Philadelphia University relies on an overarching set of Community Standards to govern its student body. A full list of the University's Community Standards is located in the Student Handbook. When a student violates one or more of the University's Community Standards, they will be subject to the University's Judicial System. If a student is found to be responsible for a Community Standards violation, the University will impose sanctions to reflect the behavior of the student.
Students involved in the disciplinary process will be known as "respondents" throughout hearings. The judicial hearings process relies on several hearing authorities, who's involvement varies depending on the case.
Judicial Officers: Judicial Officers can be either administrative staff members or faculty members. They function somewhat like a prosecutor throughout the hearing process, and will also decide on the case if a board is not involved.
Student Conduct Board: The Student Conduct Board will be made up of 3 students, 3 administrative staff members or faculty members, and a Presiding Officer.
Academic Integrity Board: The Academic Integrity Board will be made up of 3 faculty members, and 3 students and will deal exclusively with violations of the Academic Integrity policy.
Sexual Misconduct Board: The Sexual Misconduct Board is reserved for Title IX violations only, and will be made of 3-5 faculty, staff, and students selected by the Title IX coordinator.
Philadelphia University Hearing Process
At hearings, all parties can present witnesses and evidence, however, there is no direct questioning allowed. All questions must go through the Hearing Board and then to the witness. The Judicial Officer will present evidence to the Board against the respondent. The respondent will be given the chance to present evidence and a statement regarding their responsibility to the Board as well. Past incidents are generally not included as evidence against the student unless they are directly related to the current incident. After information has been heard, the board will deliberate and make a decision as to whether or not the student is responsible for a violation using the standard of a "preponderance of evidence."
Throughout the hearings process, respondents may be given a University Advisor to try to assist them. University Advisors are there to simply inform students of the hearings process and may not have the same level of investment and interest in a student's case as an attorney. Students are also entitled to the presence of a support person as well. Students who choose to have an attorney at their side through the hearings process will feel more confident and secure in their case. Counsel from an attorney will enlighten students in various methods and tactics used in evidence presentation, argument construction, and witness questioning that can be a great help for their case.
Philadelphia University Appeals
In the event of an unfavorable outcome, students are able to make an appeal of the decision. Appeals must be made within 2 business days of the hearing decision. Letters of appeal go to different authorities, depending on the sanction received and the hearing authority for the case. Decisions made by Judicial Hearing Officers must be appealed to the Director of Judicial Affairs. Decisions that resulted in sanctions of suspension or loss of housing must be appealed to the Dean of Students. Decisions that resulted in suspension or expulsion from the University must be appealed to the President's Office. Any academic integrity violations must be appealed to the Executive Dean of the School that the violation occurred in, or the academic program director. The grounds for appeal are a violation of the University judicial process, a misinterpretation of the policies alleged to be violated, new evidence, improper or excessive sanctions, or a decision made that was unsupported by a preponderance of evidence.
If you or your student is currently facing disciplinary action from Philadelphia University, contact attorney Joseph D. Lento today.