Rowan University outlines proper student behavior within its Student Code of Conduct located in the University's student handbook. The Student Code of Conduct sets forth a number of violations a student can commit that endanger or disrespect the community of the University. Students may face a number of sanctions in response to these violations, ranging from a mere warning to expulsion. Disciplinary action is a serious issue to consider from any university. At Rowan University the disciplinary process begins with a complaint being filed to the Office of Community Standards.
A complaint can be filed against a single student or a student group. The complaint will be reviewed by the Assistant Vice President for Civic Involvement, or a designated staff member. The complaint will be resolved in a manner deemed appropriate for the offense.
Administrative Hearing Officer: An Administrative Hearing Officer will be appointed for hearings that will not result in suspension or expulsion.
Campus Hearing Board: The Campus Hearing Board will oversee and hear cases that may be punishable by suspension or expulsion. It will consist of nine members: three students, three University Senate members, and three University staff members. A "Special" Campus Hearing Board will be formed if the regular members are unable to meet for any reason. The Special Campus Hearing Board will be at least three of the regular members, and replacements for the other respective positions.
Generally, for most offenses, the student will be subject to either a meeting with an Administrative Hearing Officer, or a full Campus Board Hearing, depending on their actions.
Administrative Agreement or Hearing Waiver: Students can resolve the disciplinary action by filing an administrative agreement or hearing waiver, this acknowledges responsibility on the student's part for the violations and agrees to the charges. Doing so also agrees with any sanctions imposed as well.
Administrative Hearing Officer: For lower level violations, students will likely meet with an Administrative Hearing Officer for a hearing. The Hearing Officer both administrates the hearing and also makes the final decision as to what the outcome of the hearing will be. The Hearing Officer is responsible for hearing out both sides and basing their final decision on all pieces of information heard throughout the process. Following the hearing process, the Hearing Officer will deliver a decision and the sanctioning for the accused student. If, for any reason, the student feels it necessary to find a new Hearing Officer, they are welcome to challenge the assignment of the hearing officer. Likewise if the Hearing Officer is unable to come to an unbiased conclusion, they may excuse themselves and another Hearing Officer will replace them.
Campus Board Hearing: The Campus Hearing Board will be chaired by a non-voting Administrative Hearing Officer, who will over see proceedings and act somewhat like a judge in a criminal case. The Chair will ensure that all procedure is followed correctly and also determine what evidence is permissible at the Rowan University Campus Board Hearing. The Board itself acts more like a jury, and will discuss the case after all evidence has been presented, and reach a a decision by majority vote as to whether or not the student is "in violation" (guilty) or "not in violation" (not guilty) of any codes, based on the standard of "more likely than not." The Board will also determine the sanction to impose based on the violations committed. Students are welcome to have an attorney present at this hearing, as well.
Rowan University will impose disciplinary sanctions if an accused student is found responsible for violating the University's Student Code of Conduct. An Administrative Hearing Officer, a Campus Hearing Board, or a Special Interim Hearing Board may impose a single or multiple sanctions for a violation, and the full range of sanctions listed below is available depending on the nature and severity of the violation. The following factors can be considered in determining disciplinary sanctions: (1) present demeanor and past disciplinary record of the accused student, (2) penalties resulting from a corresponding court case, (3) the nature of the violation, (4) and severity of any damage, injury, or harm resulting from the violation as perceived by the victim, and/or appropriate Rowan University officials. Possible sanctions include:
- Official Warning
- Educational Task
- Monetary Fine
- Suspension of Activity Privileges
- Disciplinary Probation
- Suspension of Residence Privileges
- Other Sanctions (as deemed appropriate)
Regretfully, some Rowan University 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 Rowan University 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.
Rowan University 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. Rowan University 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.
Experience Matters - An Experienced Attorney's Role When Representing a Rowan University Student
Rowan University and a student's attorney may be able to work together to achieve an agreeable resolution before Student Code of Conduct disciplinary violations and/or academic misconduct 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 advocate between Rowan University, the accused student, and other involved parties, in an effort to achieve a constructive resolution. Whether before or after Student Code of Conduct 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 Rowan University. 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 Rowan University in matters Student Code of Conduct charges and/or academic disciplinary charges should not be confused with Rowan 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 Rowan University as well as behind the scenes to defend against sexual misconduct and sexual assault allegations.
An experienced student discipline defense attorney will understand and use the most effective strategies when handling a student's case at Rowan University.
In the event of an unfavorable outcome, students have an opportunity to appeal the Campus Hearing Board's decision. Rowan University appeals must be made within five business days of date of the letter informing the parties of the decision made. They must be submitted to the Office of Community Standards, and should dictate a procedural error, new information, claims for insufficient evidence, or claims for too harsh of sanctions as their grounds for appeal. Appellate decisions are final. It is important to note that any party involved is able to submit an appeal, including any victim, the Vice President for Student Life and Dean of Students.
Disciplinary action will be swift and sometimes harsh. It is important to get legal counsel at the start of the process. If you or a loved one is facing disciplinary action from Rowan University, contact university student defense attorney Joseph D. Lento today.