Student Conduct Process

Conduct Process Flowchart - This flowchart outlines The University of Scranton's student discipline process, which is also referred to as the student conduct process.

Informal and Formal Conduct Hearings

Any member of the University community may file a complaint against any student or student organization for misconduct. The complaint shall be prepared in writing by the complainant and directed to the Office of Student Conduct. Upon receipt of a complaint, the Director of Student Conduct reviews the complaint and arranges for a preliminary investigation, if necessary. If the complaint is founded, the Conduct Officer assigned to the case will consult with the complainant and determine the appropriate charge(s).

Educational Conference: After speaking with the complainant, the Conduct Officer meets with the accused student for an Educational Conference. The Educational Conference provides an opportunity for the accused student to share his or her insight into the alleged incident and misconduct. Thereafter, it is determined whether the matter can be disposed of administratively by mutual consent of the parties in a manner acceptable to the Conduct Officer. All charges shall be presented to the accused in written form; the complainant shall receive a copy of the charge(s) and the accused's written response to the charges. The written response of the accused is not mandated at the Educational Conference. If the charges, sanctions, and/or provisions are agreed upon in writing, there shall be no subsequent proceedings. However, if the charges, sanctions, and/or provisions cannot be agreed upon at the Educational Conference level, there will be a formal hearing of the matter.

Deferred Suspension Review (formerly "Behavioral Contract Review"): Students who are on Deferred Suspension (formerly “Behavioral Contract”) at the time of an alleged incident will be afforded the opportunity to have an informal hearing with the Vice President for Student Affairs (or designee) rather than an Educational Conference. In accordance with the definition of Deferred Suspension (formerly “Behavioral Contract”), the Vice President for Student Affairs (or designee) will render the final decision with respect to the student’s responsibility for violations of the Student Code of Conduct and issue any appropriate sanctions and/or sanction provisions. Students who are on Deferred Suspension (formerly “Behavioral Contract”) do not have the right to a formal hearing.

There are two types of formal hearings:

Administrative Hearing: An Administrative Hearing is used to adjudicate alleged violations of a less serious nature when the likely sanction does not rise to the level of a suspension or expulsion.  The Director of Student Conduct will assign a Conduct Officer who was not involved in the Educational Conference to serve as the Administrative Hearing Officer. Decisions rendered in an Administrative Hearing are final and not subject to appeal.

University Review Board (URB) Hearing: A University Review Board (URB) Hearing is used to adjudicate alleged violations of a serious matter that may result in the sanction of suspension or expulsion for the accused student. A URB Hearing is conducted by a URB panel consisting of faculty, staff, and students who are selected from the URB pool and a non-voting chairperson appointed by the Vice President for Student Affairs (or designee). The decision of a URB panel may be appealed on limited grounds specified in Student Handbook within five (5) full class days of the decision if class is in session and five (5) full business days if class is not in session. A written appeal must be received by the Vice President for Student Affairs (or designee) and must explain on what ground(s) an appeal is based.

The Vice President for Student Affairs (or designee) may exercise discretion as to the type of formal hearing given concerns of the timeliness, specific circumstances, or complainant. In cases involving more than one accused student, hearings concerning each student may be conducted separately at the discretion of the Director of Student Conduct.

Additional guidelines concerning formal hearings and University appeals can be found in the Student Handbook.

Standard of Responsibility

The University utilizes the "preponderance of the evidence" standard of responsibility in conduct proceedings. The hearing authority will determine, based on all of the information presented, whether it is more likely than not that the accused student is responsible for one or more violations of the Student Code of Conduct. The burden of meeting the standard of responsibility rests with the complainant.