Lake Erie College of Osteopathic Medicine (LECOM) governs its student body using its Code of Student Conduct. The Code is located in the College's student handbook. Although there are different handbooks based on the student's academic discipline, the overall process remains the same. The code lists both the honor code and non-honor code infractions that students can commit. If a student is found to have committed an infraction or misconduct, the College will impose penalties on them.
The Student Disciplinary Procedures are enforced by the Office of Student Affairs. When a report alleging misconduct is received by the Office of Student Affairs the student named in the report will be summoned for a meeting. The Office of Student Affairs will also begin a preliminary investigation.
Student Disciplinary Procedures
At the meeting, a representative of the Office of Student Affairs determines if full disciplinary procedures are necessary. The Office of Student Affairs may assign penalties outright. The student will have an opportunity to present their case to the Office of Student Affairs and respond to the allegations before a decision is made. If a student wishes, they may request a hearing with the Student Promotion and Graduation Committee.
The Student Promotion and Graduation Committee holds authority over disciplinary hearings. The Committee is made up of academic deans, College administrators, and faculty members. In order to have the Committee review a case, the student must meet with the Director of Student Affairs to solidify the process. Failure to do so can result in a waiver of the right to a hearing and appeal.
At hearings, students will be able to have their case reviewed by the Committee. The Committee holds the control over how the hearing will flow and be decided upon. The Committee is also responsible for calling in witnesses and hearing out their testimony. The Chairperson will conduct the hearing and ensure procedural integrity. A decision will be made based on the facts, and the student will receive the decision in writing.
The Code does not specify who may accompany a student into a hearing, however, without the benefit of a dedicated advocate representing their interests, students can have little input in what the outcome will be throughout the entire process. For this reason, it is especially important that a student's interests are represented as early as possible during the disciplinary process, and to come back with a strong appeal, should the outcome be unfavorable. An attorney working with the student both as a liaison between student and LECOM as well as from behind the scenes will be able to assist the student through all stages of the disciplinary procedures. Attorneys can offer insight on how to present evidence at a hearing, and also guide the student through the appeals process if the case gets to that point.
Appeals come in two different forms. There is a primary appeal to a dean, and if that is denied, students can make a secondary appeal to the President of the College.
Appeals to a Dean must be made within 3 working days after the decision is received. Appeals should have the student's written arguments for an appeal, and if necessary, additional information can be submitted.
Appeals to the President are a secondary appeal after initial Dean's decision. Appeals must be made within 7 business days after the decision of the Dean. No additional information can be submitted, so the President's decision will be made solely on what was presented in the prior stage.
If you or your student is facing disciplinary action from Lake Erie College of Osteopathic Medicine, contact attorney Joseph D. Lento today.