Indiana University of Pennsylvania (IUP) governs its student body through its Office of Student Conduct, and through a set of rules located in the University's student handbook, the Source. The Source lists a number of behavioral violations that students can commit, which will result in students facing Student Conduct Hearings. Students found to be "in violation" of the code will be subjected to disciplinary sanctions from the University. Any member of the University community is able to file a complaint against a student through making use of a form provided by the Office of Student Conduct.
Before the case can even get to the hearing phase, the Office of Student Conduct will review the case to determine if there is enough cause for the case to be heard. The designated officer handling the case, known as the "adjudicator" will also decide if the case needs to go to an Informal Resolution Conference, or if the case needs to go a Student Conduct Board Hearing.
Informal Resolution Conference
An Informal Resolution Conference is an effort to resolve situations early, with minimal involvement in the judicial process. The accused student and assigned adjudicator will meet and try to reach an agreement on sanctions and charges. The case will more forward to a conduct hearing if no agreement is reached. Typically an Informal Resolution Conference is not available for more severe cases.
Student Conduct Hearings
Student Conduct Hearings can be conducted by either a Hearing Officer or a Student Conduct Board. There are separate procedures depending upon which party is presiding over the hearing.
Hearing Officer: Hearings in front of a designated Hearing Officer will be convened, conducted and ultimately decided by the Hearing Officer. The Hearing Officer will hear any and all information and witnesses from both the referring party and accused student. After the information and witnesses have been heard out, the Hearing Officer will get clarification on any outstanding issues, and then make a decision on whether the accused student is "in violation" or "not in violation."
Student Conduct Board: Hearings in front of an IUP Student Conduct Board will be directed and decided by the board. The board will consist of 4-6 members, with at least one student and one faculty or staff member. The board will ask questions to get facts of the case, and will make their decision after all the information and witnesses have been heard and any remaining issues have been clarified. The board will also determine if the student is responsible and any sanctions that should be assigned.
Students are welcome to the presence of an attorney whether their case is being heard by a Hearing Officer or a Student Conduct Board. Attorneys will help students feel more confident in themselves, and also make them feel as though someone is on their side throughout the stressful hearing process. Advice and counsel from an attorney will also help students present relevant and strong evidence in their hearings.
Indiana University of Pennsylvania will impose disciplinary sanctions if an accused student (or student campus organization) is found responsible for violating the University's Student Conduct Policies and Procedures. A hearing officer or Student Conduct Board may impose one or more sanctions from the sanctions listed below. Any sanction may be put on hold or “stayed” from implementation for a specified period of time as determined by the hearing officer or Student Conduct Board. Violations of Student Conduct Policies and Procedures which demonstrate malicious intent towards the race, gender, color, religion, national origin, disability, and/or sexual orientation of another person or persons may result in increased sanctions. The full range of sanctions is available depending on the nature and severity of the violation. Possible sanctions include:
- Disciplinary Warning
- Community Service or Educational Task
- Disciplinary Probation
- Disciplinary Removal from University Owned/Operated Housing
- Loss of Eligibility for University Owned/Operated Housing
- No Visitation in University Owned/Operated Housing/Facilities
- No Contact
- Letter to Parent(s) or Legal Guardian(s)
In a situation where it is determined that an IUP student's continued presence constitutes an immediate threat of harm to the student, other individuals, or University or Student Cooperative Association premises or facilities, the Vice President for Student Affairs or her/his designee may impose an Interim Suspension from the University pending final disposition of the case. In addition to any of the above sanctions deemed appropriate, IUP will impose mandatory minimum sanctions for alcohol and drug violations.
Regretfully, some Indiana University of Pennsylvania students, despite their and their parents' best intentions, proceed with the University disciplinary process without a full understanding of the possible consequences, both immediate and long-term. Those unfamiliar with the realities of the disciplinary process often do not realize until it may be too late that IUP imposes suspensions and expulsions as a sanction more often than would be expected; even in disciplinary matters that may seem to be less serious. The stakes are very high, and some consequences are unforeseen; even sanctions lesser than suspension or expulsion can greatly jeopardize a student's academic and professional goals.
(Indiana University of Pennsylvania sanctions for Title IX sexual misconduct violations, which include sexual harassment and sexual assault, stalking, and intimate partner violence, will always be severe, and Title IX sexual misconduct violations can have lifetime consequences. IUP will also promptly impose interim measures as deemed necessary to protect the complainant before the final outcome of a Title IX investigation and disciplinary proceeding involving Dating, Relationship or Sexual Misconduct or Violence.)
An Experienced Attorney's Role When Representing an Indiana University of Pennsylvania Student
Indiana University of Pennsylvania and a student's attorney may be able to work together to achieve an agreeable resolution before Student Code of Conduct disciplinary charges and/or academic integrity charges are filed in certain instances. If charges have already been filed against a student, the accused student's attorney, also in certain instances, will be able to serve as an a advocate between the University, the accused student, and other involved parties, in an effort to achieve a constructive resolution. Whether before or after Student Code of Conduct disciplinary charges and/or academic integrity charges are filed, in working towards the prospect of an agreeable resolution, the extent of an attorney's involvement will be at the discretion of Indiana University of Pennsylvania. Every student's case is unique; an experienced attorney will understand what the University may be receptive to, and will approach the matter accordingly.
An attorney's involvement at Indiana University of Pennsylvania in matters involving Student Code of Conduct disciplinary charges and/or academic integrity charges should not be confused with University disciplinary cases involving Title IX sexual misconduct allegations. In Title IX student disciplinary proceedings, an experienced attorney must work both as the point of contact between the accused student and Indiana University of Pennsylvania as well as behind the scenes to defend against sexual misconduct / sexual assault allegations.
An experienced student discipline defense attorney will understand and use the most effective strategies when handling a student's case at Indiana University of Pennsylvania.
If a hearing yields an unfavorable result, students are able to make an appeal. Indiana University of Pennsylvania appeals must be made within 10 calendar days of notification of the decision to the Vice President for Student Affairs. Certain extenuating circumstances may only require grounds for appeal being met, and waive the 10-day due date. The grounds for appeal are procedural error, new information, and inappropriate sanctions. IUP appeals for expulsion must be made to the Office of the President.
If you or your student is currently facing disciplinary action from Indiana University of Pennsylvania, contact attorney Joseph D. Lento today.