Neumann University houses its Student Code of Conduct within its Student Handbook. The Code seeks to uphold the University's traditional Franciscan values and foster the notion of brotherhood and sisterhood between the students within its community. Students who fail to uphold these values may be subject the University's disciplinary process. Throughout disciplinary proceedings, students who are under suspicion of committing a violation will be known as "the accused," and the process will seek to find them either "in violation" or "not in violation."
Neumann University Hearings
There are several paths a student's case can take once charges are brought against a student. In any and all proceedings, the standard used to make a decision will be a "clear preponderance of evidence."
Informal resolution is available when an accuser makes a complaint against a student, but does not wish to pursue action through the formal Student Conduct Process.The process allows both parties to engage in a mediated and facilitated conversation, overseen by a Student Conduct Officer, regarding the events to reach a solution. Informal resolution does not result in official University sanctions, but the Student Conduct Officer may impose certain protective actions upon the agreement of both parties.
Administrative Hearings are a lower level official Student Conduct Hearing, and will result in the student facing University sanctions if they are found in violation. The hearing will take place in front of a lone Student Conduct Officer, who will decide the outcome and sanctions after the student has had an opportunity to respond. Accused students are able to contest or not contest the charges they are facing. The student will be informed of the specifics of their case, and what sanctions they may face. Contesting the hearing will result in a Student Conduct Hearing in front of the Student Hearing Board.
Student Conduct Hearing
The Student Hearing Board will consist of 3 members of the student body, 3 faculty members, 3 members of the administration. The Board is led by the Chief Justice, who chairs all student board hearings. The Chief Justice is elected from the Student Government, and also appoints all board members.
The hearing begins with a reading of the University mission statement. Both the accused and the accuser may make a request for any member of the Student Hearing Board to leave for cause. The accused will have the opportunity to present witnesses, and respond to evidence presented against them. Witnesses will be called one at a time, and their testimony may have time limits imposed by the Chair. After witnesses and evidence have been reviewed and heard out, the board will begin private deliberation.
Hearings are generally kept between students and University personnel, although an attorney may be present if the accused student is facing criminal charges in addition to their disciplinary charges. Even if an attorney is not at a student's side, receiving legal counsel can be incredibly beneficial to students throughout the hearing process. Hearings are somewhat like court proceedings, although the odds are significantly stacked against the student; an attorney with expertise in student matters can advise students on the best way to question witnesses and present strong evidence to help their case. Students who have received counsel will also feel more confident and prepared when entering the hearing.
If the hearing results in an unfavorable outcome, students can make an appeal. For appeals based on the results of an Administrative Hearing, students may only dispute the sanctions assigned. For appeals based on the results of a Student Conduct Hearing, appeals must be on the grounds of overly severe sanctions, improper procedure, or new information to be considered. Appeals must be made within 5 class days of the date of the decision letter, except in the case of new information, in which the time period to appeal is 5 class days from discovering new information.
If you or your student is currently facing disciplinary action from Neumann University, contact attorney Joseph D. Lento today.