The two documents that follow are scheduled for discussion at the University Council on Wednesday, September 20, 1995. Council meets in McClelland Lounge, The Quad, from 4 to 6 p.m., and is open to observers who register their interest in advance with the Office of the Secretary, 898-7005.
These texts appeared For Comment as an on-line Almanac Preprint and in an Almanac Supplement September 19, 1995. Comment from readers of the electronic version is also welcome by October 6, 1995, by campus mail to the Office of the Provost, 110 College Hall/6303, or by e-mail to the Office of the Secretary, via email@example.com.
Over the past two years, there has been an extensive examination and discussion of the University's Student Disciplinary System, the Student Code of Conduct and the Code of Academic Integrity. While the Student Code of Conduct was adopted last year, adoption of the Code of Academic Integrity was delayed until the disciplinary system for handling alleged violations of the Code were developed. (It should be noted, however, that all violations of the Code of Academic Integrity are also violations of the University's Code of Student Conduct.)
The proposed Student Disciplinary System that follows is based on the outline discussed and presented for comment last spring. As in earlier versions it:
These two documents will be discussed at University Council this Wednesday, September 20. Recommendations for changes should be directed to me, Room 110 College Hall, and should be received no later than October 6, 1995. I expect to forward the final documents to the individual Deans and Schools for final adoption later this fall.
-- Stanley Chodorow, Provost
I. The Disciplinary System . . .
Statement of Purpose and Jurisdiction
Overview of the Disciplinary Process
Organization of the Disciplinary System
II. The Disciplinary Process . . .
Bringing a Complaint to the Office of Student Conduct
Resolving a Complaint by Mediation
Investigating a Complaint
Filing Formal Charges by the University Against a Student
Resolving Formal Charges by Voluntary Agreement to Sanctions
Resolving Formal Charges by Disciplinary Hearing
Appealing the Decision of a Hearing Panel
Imposing Sanctions by the University Against a Student
Fulfilling Sanctions Imposed by the University
III. Administration of the Disciplinary System. . .
Oversight of the Disciplinary System
IV. Appendix: Procedural Guidelines . . .
Academic Dishonesty Definitions . . .
D. Multiple submission
E. Misrepresentation of academic records
F. Facilitating academic dishonesty
G. Unfair advantage
The purpose of the Student Disciplinary System is to further the educational mission of the University of Pennsylvania by providing a fair and effective mechanism for investigating and resolving disputes involving students and alleged violations by students of the University's rules, regulations and policies.
The Office of Student Conduct (OSC), which reports to the Provost, handles complaints from members of the University community about student conduct and alleged violations of the Code of Student Conduct, the Code of Academic Integrity, or other University policies. The OSC also develops, subject to the approval of the Provost, administrative and procedural guidelines and practices for the administration of the disciplinary system and the implementation of this Charter, including procedural guidelines for the conduct of disciplinary hearings.
Except as provided below, the Student Disciplinary System has jurisdiction in all cases arising under the regulations of the University against registered students, whether they be undergraduates, graduate or professional students, or others, including students who are on unexpired leaves of absence. Approved or unapproved absence from the University is not a bar to the conduct or completion of disciplinary proceedings under this Charter.
In general, a student is any individual who has been admitted, matriculated, enrolled, or registered in any academic program or other educational activity provided by the Trustees of the University of Pennsylvania, and such an individual remains a student until he or she is officially withdrawn from the University and all financial, academic and disciplinary matters between that individual and the University have been resolved.
Normally, the Student Disciplinary System does not handle cases against graduate and professional students that lie within the jurisdiction of a hearing board or other disciplinary body established by the School of the University in which the student is enrolled. Where such a School-based disciplinary procedure exists, it must be the recourse of first resort for the resolution of an alleged violation of University or School regulations, except in cases successfully resolved by mediation or when the OSC decides, in consultation with the Provost, that it is appropriate in light of the circumstances for jurisdiction over the case to be taken by the Student Disciplinary System. When an alleged violation of University regulations by a graduate or professional student is not within the jurisdiction of the system established by the student's School, the Student Disciplinary System will have jurisdiction over the case.
The Student Disciplinary System does not handle cases involving alleged violations of the University's parking regulations. Alleged violations of the University's Residential Living policies and contracts are ordinarily handled under the procedures of the Department of Residential Living, but if severe enough to warrant sanctions beyond those which the Department of Residential Living is authorized to impose, may be referred by the Director of Residential Living to the OSC.
The Director of the Office of Student Conduct decides all questions of jurisdiction, consulting with the Provost (or designee) and with the University's General Counsel when necessary. When appropriate, the OSC may refer a complaint to a University office or disciplinary process other than the OSC.
-- Bringing a Complaint to the Office of Student Conduct
-- Resolving a Complaint by Mediation
-- Investigating a Complaint
-- Filing Formal Charges by the University Against a Student
-- Resolving Formal Charges by Voluntary Agreement to Sanctions
-- Resolving Formal Charges by Disciplinary Hearing
-- Appealing the Decision of a Hearing Panel
-- Imposing Sanctions by the University Against a Student
-- Fulfilling Sanctions Imposed by the University
Each of these stages is explained in more detail below, however a few general comments may be helpful.
First, any member of the University community may bring a complaint about student conduct or academic integrity to the attention of the Office of Student Conduct. Doing so in no way limits the complainant(s) rights or obligations to bring such matters to the attention of other University offices, officers, or resources, including the Office of the Ombudsman, appropriate Deans, etc., or to seek recourse outside the University through civil or criminal legal proceedings.
Second, once a matter is brought to the attention of the Office of Student Conduct, the University assumes responsibility for determining how to handle the situation and, if appropriate, for bringing formal disciplinary charges against a student. Thus, formal charges are filed on behalf of the University, not on behalf of the complainant who brought the matter to the OSC or the party(ies) who may have been directly or indirectly harmed by the alleged violation of University regulations.
In all cases, the University reserves the right to determine how best to process a complaint, including whether to dismiss it, whether to refer it for mediation, whether to investigate it, whether to file formal charges, whether to seek a resolution of charges by voluntary agreement to sanctions, whether to hold a disciplinary hearing, and to determine the appropriate office, disciplinary body, or procedure to handle the matter.
The Office of Student Conduct promptly evaluates each complaint to determine whether there appears to be evidence that the University's Code of Student Conduct, Code of Academic Integrity, or other applicable rules, regulations or policies have been violated. Where the OSC determines that no such violation has occurred, it may dismiss the matter without further investigation or it may refer the parties to the University Mediation Program to resolve their dispute. Where the OSC determines that a violation may have occurred, it may refer the matter for mediation or undertake an investigation which may lead to the filing of formal charges against a student or students.
It is expected that most cases brought to the OSC can and should be resolved through mediation and will not result in formal charges or disciplinary hearings. Therefore, in all but the most serious cases the initial response by the OSC may be to refer the complainant and respondent to the University's Mediation Program to attempt to resolve the matter through mediation. Only if mediation fails or the matter clearly warrants treatment as a violation of the Code of Student Conduct or other University policies will the OSC begin the more serious disciplinary processes outlined in this Charter. Please note that because of their seriousness within an academic community, alleged violations of the Code of Academic Integrity are never referred for mediation.
Normally, all disciplinary proceedings will be completed by the OSC during the academic term in which the case was brought to the attention of the OSC. However when necessary proceedings may extend beyond the normal academic term. Third, University disciplinary proceedings are NOT formal legal or judicial proceedings. They operate under different rules and standards and seek a different objective from legal proceedings.
The University's disciplinary system consists of the following elements:
-- Code of Student Conduct, Code of Academic Integrity, and Other University Policies, Rules and Regulations
The Code of Student Conduct sets forth the responsibility of all students at the University of Pennsylvania to exhibit responsible behavior regardless of time or place. This responsibility includes, but is not limited to, the obligations to comply with all provisions of the Code of Student Conduct, with all other policies and regulations of the University, its Schools, and its Departments, and with local, state, and federal laws. The University's Code of Academic Integrity, and similar codes adopted by some of the University's Schools, set forth the standards of integrity and honesty that should be adhered to in all student academic activities at the University of Pennsylvania. All violations of the Code of Academic Integrity, of other University or School regulations, and of local, state or federal law are also violations of the University's Code of Student Conduct. Throughout this Charter references to violation(s) of the Code of Student Conduct include violations of the Code of Academic Integrity, of other rules, regulations, or policies of the University, its Schools or Departments, or of local, state, or federal laws.
-- Office of Student Conduct
The Office of Student Conduct is the central University-wide office responsible for resolving all matters regarding student conduct and alleged violations of University policies. The office is headed by a Director, appointed by the Provost. The Director is supported by one or more Assistant Directors and other staff members who help the Director carry out the Office's duties. The duties of the OSC under this Charter include determining whether complaints warrant any action whatsoever, referring complaints for mediation or resolution by other University offices, formally investigating complaints, determining whether to charge a student with violations of University policies, resolving complaints by voluntary agreements, bringing charges of violations to a formal disciplinary hearing, presenting the University's case at hearings (including recommending sanctions if it is determined that a respondent has committed a violation), monitoring and ensuring the fulfillment of voluntary agreements (including mediated agreements) and of sanctions imposed after a hearing process and taking any administrative steps necessary to enforce them, maintaining records of all cases, providing administrative support for all aspects of the disciplinary process including hearings, preparing and compiling statistics and reports on all matters arising under this Charter, and such other duties and responsibilities as may be determined by the Provost (or designee). The Director is a University employee and serves at the discretion of the Provost.
-- University Mediation Program
The University Mediation Program (UMP) recruits, screens, and trains members of the University community to serve as mediators. The UMP is directed by a trained professional and is staffed by faculty, students and staff members who have been trained in mediation and the voluntary resolution of disputes. The UMP may also make use of mediation and dispute resolution resources available in the University's Law School, University resource offices such as the Office of the Ombudsman, or resources outside the University. The University Mediation Program is generally the resource of first resort for resolving disputes between students or alleged violations of University's Code of Student Conduct. (Because of their extreme seriousness in an academic community, alleged violations of the Code of Academic Integrity cannot be mediated by UMP.)
-- University Conduct Council
The University Conduct Council (UCC) educates students regarding the behavioral standards of the University community and provides independent advice to the Provost and the OSC regarding the operation of the University Disciplinary System in the area of student conduct, the general handling of conduct cases, and the effectiveness and implementation of the University's Code of Student Conduct. Members of the UCC also sit on Disciplinary Hearing Panels, except in cases of alleged violations of the Code of Academic Integrity. The UCC meets regularly with the Director of the Office of Student Conduct and may also meet with appropriate administrators and student, faculty or administrative groups or committees to discuss conduct issues. The UCC also initiates and participates in educational programs in the area of student conduct.
The UCC consists of a minimum of 13 undergraduate students, recommended by the Nominations and Election Committee and appointed by the Provost for renewable terms of one year. The UCC selects a chair from among its members by a majority vote of the current members. Faculty members and graduate students designated by the Faculty Senate or GAPSA to sit on Disciplinary Hearing Panels may participate in the work of the UCC at the mutual convenience of the UCC and the faculty member or graduate student.
-- University Honor Council
The University Honor Council (UHC) educates students and faculty regarding the standards of academic integrity of the University community and provides independent advice to the Provost and the OSC regarding academic integrity policies and their implementation, the operation of the University Disciplinary System in the area of academic integrity, the general handling of academic integrity cases, and the effectiveness and implementation of the University's Code of Academic Integrity. Members of the UHC also sit on Disciplinary Hearing Panels in cases of alleged violations of the Code of Academic Integrity. The UHC meets regularly with the Director of the Office of Student Conduct and may also meet with appropriate faculty committees or groups to discuss academic integrity issues. The UHC also initiates and participates in educational programs in the area of academic integrity.
The UHC consists of a minimum of 13 undergraduate students, recommended by the Nominations and Elections Committee and appointed by the Provost for renewable terms of one year. The UHC selects a chair from among its members by a majority vote of the current members. Faculty members and graduate students designated by the Faculty Senate or GAPSA to sit on Disciplinary Hearing Panels may participate in the work of UHC at the mutual convenience of the UHC and the faculty member or graduate student.
-- Disciplinary Hearing Officer
The Provost, after consultation with the UCC, UHC, and the Steering Committee of University Council, will bi-annually appoint a tenured member of the Standing Faculty of the University of Pennsylvania as Disciplinary Hearing Officer(DHO), preferably from among those tenured faculty members who have experience with the Student Disciplinary System. The DHO presides over all disciplinary hearings, selects members to serve on Disciplinary Hearing Panels, and determines the time, location, etc., of all disciplinary hearings held under this Charter. The DHO is responsible for overseeing the procedural integrity of disciplinary hearings. She or he will, for example, consider and resolve pre-hearing challenges to the authority or procedures of a Disciplinary Hearing Panel; ensure that the OSC, the UCC, and the UHC act in accord with the basic principles of fairness prior to, during, and subsequent to disciplinary proceedings; and may consult at any time with students, faculty members, the University's General Counsel, or others about procedural issues and convey their advice and the DHO's recommendations to the OSC, the UCC or UHC, the Provost, or other parties. The DHO serves and may be reappointed at the discretion of the Provost.
-- Disciplinary Hearing Panels
Disciplinary cases are heard by Disciplinary Hearing Panels of five members each. The Disciplinary Hearing Officer selects the undergraduate members of Disciplinary Hearing Panels from the membership of the University Conduct Council for conduct cases and from the University Honor Council for academic integrity cases. The Disciplinary Hearing Officer selects the graduate and professional student members of Hearing Panels from lists of 13 or more graduate and professional students provided annually to the DHO by the Graduate and Professional Students' Assembly (GAPSA). The Disciplinary Hearing Officer selects the faculty members of Hearing Panels from lists of 13 or more faculty provided annually to the DHO by the Faculty Senate Executive Committee.
In all disciplinary cases, except those involving alleged violations of the Code of Academic Integrity, the Disciplinary Hearing Panel is composed of three students and two faculty members. If the respondent in a case is an undergraduate student, the panel will consist of three undergraduate students and two faculty members. If the respondent in a case is a graduate student, the panel will consist of three graduate students and two faculty members. If a case involves both undergraduate and graduate respondents, the panel will include at least one undergraduate and at least one graduate student and two faculty members; the fifth panel member will be an undergraduate or graduate student selected by the DHO.
In disciplinary cases involving alleged violations of the Code of Academic Integrity, the Disciplinary Hearing Panel is composed of three faculty members and two students. If the respondent in an academic integrity case is an undergraduate student, the panel will consist of two undergraduate students and three faculty members. If the respondent in an academic integrity case is a graduate student, the panel will consist of two graduate students and three faculty members. If a case involves both undergraduate and graduate respondents, the panel will consist of one undergraduate and one graduate student and three faculty members.
Except for participation on the University Conduct Council or the University Honor Council, no one designated to serve on Disciplinary Hearing Panels may serve simultaneously in any other capacity within the University Disciplinary System.
If any nominating body chooses fewer than 13 members to serve on Disciplinary Hearing Panels or cannot make additional members available when needed, the Provost makes the necessary appointments to fill the complement of the appropriate group. If any member is unable to serve for any reason, a replacement is selected in the same manner that the original member was chosen.
Though all members of Disciplinary Hearing Panels are appointed for one-year terms, the respective nominating bodies are encouraged to reappoint members for at least one additional year to provide continuity and depth of experience within the University Disciplinary System.
Student members of Disciplinary Hearing Panels must be in good academic and disciplinary standing, as defined by their Schools. If a member ceases to be in good standing at the University or fails to perform his duties within the University Disciplinary System, the Provost will remove him or her and a replacement from the same category will be chosen in the appropriate manner.
-- Disciplinary Appellate Officer
The Provost, in consultation with the UCC, UHC, and the Steering Committee of University Council, bi-annually appoints a tenured member of the Standing Faculty of the University of Pennsylvania as a Disciplinary Appellate Officer(DAO), preferably from among those tenured faculty members who have experience with the Student Disciplinary System. The DAO decides appeals of decisions made by Disciplinary Hearing Panels, based solely on the written record of such proceedings and written submissions from the relevant parties. The DAO serves at the discretion of the Provost and may be reappointed.
Any student, faculty or staff member who believes that a student has violated University rules, regulations or policies may file a complaint, which must be in writing, with the OSC. Students, faculty or staff members may also consult informally, with the OSC staff to determine whether they wish to file a complaint. Complaints made to other University offices or personnel may also be referred to the OSC. Upon receipt of a complaint, the OSC will determine promptly (usually at the time the complaint is made) whether a complaint should be referred for mediation, dismissed, or investigated for possible disciplinary action.
A complaint is not a formal charge that a student has violated University regulations. Formal charges against a student are only made by the University (not by complainants) following the investigation of a complaint. A complaint to the OSC merely asks the OSC to consider the matter for possible referral or investigation. Until there is a determination to the contrary by voluntary agreement to sanctions or by a Disciplinary Hearing Panel, there is a presumption that an accused student has not violated University rules, regulations or policies.
When a complaint is filed with the OSC, the OSC promptly gives written notice of the complaint and its allegations to the party(ies) alleged to have violated University rules. A copy of the Charter and the then current Procedural Guidelines for Conduct Cases or for Academic Integrity Cases, as appropriate, will be included with the notice, as well as a list of potential advisors who have received training from the OSC.
In some cases, the OSC may decide that the complainant and respondent should be able to resolve a matter through discussion. The University encourages informal mediation wherever practical and appropriate. The OSC may refer appropriate cases for mediation to the University Mediation Program (UMP) or other resources. Students may also seek mediation on their own by contacting the University Mediation Program.
It is within the sole discretion of the OSC to determine whether a particular matter is suitable for mediation. At any time prior to the filing of formal disciplinary charges, the OSC may refer for mediation any matter other than an alleged violation of the Code of Academic Integrity. If mediation fails or new information comes to light about a matter previously referred for mediation, the OSC may proceed with an investigation and the filing of formal charges. The OSC may also set a date after which it will begin to investigate the original complaint or file formal charges, if a matter has not been successfully mediated.
If the OSC refers a complaint for mediation, the UMP will assign a trained mediator and advise the complainant(s) and respondent(s) in advance of the time, place and date set for mediation.
In order to resolve a case by mediation, both the complainant and the respondent must agree to the proposed resolution. The OSC ensures that agreements are documented appropriately, maintains permanent records of mediated agreements, and monitors compliance with the terms of agreements. If a student fails to comply with the terms of a mediation agreement, the OSC may take steps to enforce the original mediation agreement (including use of a Disciplinary Hold or the filing of new charges under the Code of Student Conduct) or may investigate the original complaint and bring formal disciplinary charges under this Charter.
If the parties fail to resolve the dispute through mediation or otherwise, the complainant may ask the OSC to reconsider the matter.
If the OSC's evaluation of a complaint determines that there appears to be evidence that a violation of the Codes of Student Conduct has occurred, but the complaint is inappropriate for mediation or if mediation fails, the OSC will then investigate the complaint and determine whether to bring formal charges of a violation. The OSC will inform both respondent(s) and complainant(s) whether formal charges have been filed.
In the course of its investigation, the OSC may interview any witnesses, including the respondent(s) or potential respondent(s). While being interviewed, all witnesses, including respondents and complainants, have the right to be accompanied by an advisor who is a member of the University community, and the OSC will inform each witness that anything they say may be introduced as evidence at a hearing.
After filing formal charges against a student(s), the OSC may propose a sanction to the student(s) charged. The respondent(s) may accept the proposal, resolving the charges. The respondent(s) may also propose an alternative sanction to the OSC or reject the proposed sanction. (Complainants are not parties to voluntary agreements to sanctions.) Statements made during discussions about whether a respondent will enter into a voluntary agreement to sanctions may not be introduced as evidence at any subsequent hearing but may provide a basis for further investigation by the OSC.
If the OSC wishes to offer a resolution of formal charges by voluntary agreement, it will meet expeditiously with the respondent(s) following the formal notice of charges to explore this type of resolution. During discussions with the OSC, the respondent may be accompanied by an advisor. All sanctions allowed under this Charter are available to the OSC as part of a resolution by voluntary agreement to sanctions.
A resolution by voluntary agreement to sanctions may be entered into by written agreement at any time after a complaint has been filed, but prior to the disposition of an appeal, if any. By voluntarily agreeing to sanctions, a respondent waives his or her rights to further proceedings under this Charter.
If, in the sole judgment of the OSC, voluntary agreement to sanction(s) is not reasonably in prospect, or if the respondent(s) reject a proposed sanction, the case proceeds to a disciplinary hearing.
The following is only a summary description of the disciplinary hearing process. Detailed procedural guidelines for Disciplinary Hearings (see Appendix) are developed by the Office of Student Conduct and approved by the Provost following consultation with the Disciplinary Hearing Officer and the UCC or UHC, as appropriate. The procedures current at the time a complaint is filed, which will be made available to all parties by the OSC, must be used in the resolution of the complaint.
When formal disciplinary charges have been filed, the Disciplinary Hearing Officer begins the process of scheduling the Disciplinary Hearing which takes place before a five-member panel composed of students and faculty members. The DHO promptly convenes the Hearing Panel, with due regard for the time required for all parties to prepare for the Hearing.
The DHO conducts the hearing, but does not deliberate or vote with the Panel regarding its findings or recommendation of sanctions.
The rules of evidence applicable to legal proceedings do not apply to disciplinary hearings. Information, including hearsay evidence, may be considered if it is relevant and not unduly repetitious, and is the sort of information on which responsible persons are accustomed to rely in the conduct of serious affairs. The DHO decides all questions about the admissibility of evidence and the conduct of hearings.
At the hearing, the OSC presents the University's case against the student, calling witnesses to testify and presenting the results of the OSC's investigation of the complaint. Complainants are always allowed to be present at the hearing and to testify, if they wish to do so, but they may not call witnesses or present other evidence or arguments. Respondents are always allowed to call witnesses to testify and to ask questions of all witnesses. Members of the Hearing Panel may also question witnesses.
All members of the University community are required to cooperate with the Student Disciplinary System. Those individuals who may be interviewed or called as witnesses in a disciplinary matter (including respondents and complainants) are obligated to provide honest and complete statements to the OSC and to the Hearing Panel. A student who fails, without good cause, to appear for a hearing after receiving notice, or to cooperate with the investigation of the OSC may be charged with a violation of the Code of Student Conduct.
During a hearing, the respondent(s) is responsible for presenting his or her own case. Advisors to respondents may be present and may advise the respondent(s), but are not permitted to address the Hearing Panel or to participate directly in any hearing, except to make a brief statement at its conclusion.
Only evidence presented at the hearing will be considered by the Hearing Panel. The Hearing Panel will presume a respondent innocent unless proven responsible for a violation by clear and convincing evidence. All decisions of the Hearing Panel require a majority vote.
The OSC will arrange for a verbatim transcript or audio recording to be made of all disciplinary hearings. The transcript or recording is the property of the University of Pennsylvania and becomes part of the permanent record of the disciplinary proceedings.
Following the hearing, the members of the Hearing Panel retire to discuss in private their decision which consists of three parts: a determination of whether a violation(s) occurred, a determination of whether the respondent(s) are responsible for the violation(s), and a recommendation as to the appropriate sanction(s). If the Hearing Panel finds the respondent(s) responsible for a violation(s), the OSC will recommend to the Panel a sanction to be imposed and will inform them of any previous disciplinary offenses by and sanctions against the respondent(s). The respondent(s) may respond to the OSC's proposed sanction.
The Hearing Panel will promptly transmit their decision, including the findings of fact and responsibility and the panel's recommendation regarding sanctions, in writing to the DHO, the OSC, the respondent(s) and the Provost.
Only the respondent to formal disciplinary charges can appeal the decision of the Hearing Panel. The Disciplinary Appellate Officer (DAO) has exclusive jurisdiction to decide appeals from the determinations of a Hearing Panel.
Appellate review is limited to allegations of procedural error in the conduct of hearings, error in the interpretation or application of relevant University regulations, or consideration of new and material evidence sufficient to alter the Hearing Panel's judgment. If the DAO finds any of these to be present, he or she may reverse or modify the Hearing Panel's determination, may recommend a different sanction to the Provost, or may remand the case for further investigation by the OSC or a new hearing before a new Hearing Panel.
Whether or not the respondent(s) exercise their right to appeal the decision of the Hearing Pane, if the Provost subsequently modifies the sanction recommended by the Hearing Panel or the Disciplinary Appellate Officer, the respondent(s) will have a second opportunity to file an appeal to the DAO before the modified sanction is imposed.
If the Disciplinary Hearing Panel finds that a student has violated University rules or regulations, it will recommend to the Provost appropriate sanctions. Only the Provost (or designee), acting on behalf of the University, may actually impose a sanction. The Provost will not impose a sanction until after any appeal of the Hearing Panel's decision has been decided by the DAO.
The Hearing Panel may recommend, and the Provost may impose, any reasonable sanction against a respondent, including, but not limited to, warning, reprimand, fine, restitution, disciplinary probation for a specified period, withdrawal of privileges, indefinite probation (i.e., probation whenever and as long as the respondent is a full- or part-time student at the University), suspension for a specified period, indefinite suspension without automatic right of return as a student, or expulsion. The Disciplinary Hearing Panel will recommend, and the Provost will decide, whether the sanctions should appear on the transcript of a respondent, and, if so, for how long. Although due deference is given to the Hearing Panel's recommendations, the Provost is not bound by the sanctions recommended by the panel and may modify them in any respect after consulting with the Council of Undergraduate Deans.
The Dean or appropriate Associate Dean of the respondent(s)'s School will be informed by the OSC of the final outcome of all disciplinary proceedings to which the School's student(s) is a party.
Note that the outcome of a disciplinary proceeding against a student who has been alleged to have violated the Code of Academic Integrity has no direct bearing on a faculty member's grading decisions regarding that student, although when a faculty member is involved in an academic integrity case, he or she will be informed of the outcome of the disciplinary proceeding and may alter the grade he or she gave to the student.
The OSC monitors the implementation and fulfillment of sanctions. In performing this duty, the OSC will have the cooperation of the Division of University Life, the respondent's Dean, and other appropriate University offices. No sanction will be enforced while an appeal is pending.
Under the Code of Student Conduct, Penn students are required to comply with all disciplinary sanctions. Failure to do so constitutes a new violation of the Code and is itself subject to disciplinary proceedings by the OSC.
The University's Student Disciplinary System is responsible to the Provost (or designee) for the implementation of this Charter. The Provost is responsible for administrative oversight of the Disciplinary System, including the Office of Student Conduct.
When extraordinary or unusual circumstances warrant, the Provost may, with the approval of the President, suspend, modify, or supersede any provision of this Charter to ensure that the Student Disciplinary System is able to function in furtherance of the educational mission of the University.
Where feasible, the OSC may take such administrative steps as may be necessary to effect the prompt resolution of a disciplinary matter, including but not limited to, tape recording the testimony of witnesses who may be unavailable at the time of hearing, paying reasonable transportation costs to ensure the attendance of complainants, respondents, witnesses, or other participants at a hearing, scheduling hearings outside of the normal academic year, etc.
In any disciplinary case in which a member of the University Disciplinary System cannot perform her or his duties under this Charter, an alternate may be designated by the Provost using the procedures appropriate to that individual's position in the system. In addition, when the Provost determines that circumstances warrant, such as (but not limited to) when a conflict of interests or a particularly complex or controversial case arises, the Provost may appoint a special staff member to work with the Office of Student Conduct, a special Disciplinary Hearing Officer, or a special Disciplinary Appellate Officer using the procedures appropriate to the position.
-- Reports to the University Community
The OSC, in consultation with the Provost, the University Conduct Council, and the University Honor Council, will make periodic public reports to inform the University community about the character and extent of the work of the Disciplinary System, including the nature of violations of University rules and regulations and the sanctions imposed. The reports of the OSC will deal both with cases that go to hearing and with cases that are resolved before hearing, and will include information such as the total number of cases handled during the preceding year broken down by type of resolution (e.g., mediation, voluntary agreement to sanctions, hearing, etc.), by type of violation, by type of sanction(s) imposed, by whether or not the respondent(s) were found responsible for a violation, and so forth.
With the approval of the Provost, the OSC may also make extraordinary reports concerning the outcome of certain exceptional cases.
-- Disciplinary Holds
At any time after the filing of a complaint, the OSC, after consulting with the student's academic dean, may place a "Disciplinary Hold" on the academic or financial records of any student for the purpose of preserving the status quo pending the outcome of proceedings, ensuring cooperation with the Student Disciplinary System (as is required by the Code of Student Conduct), or to enforcing a disciplinary agreement or sanction. A Disciplinary Hold may prevent, among other things, registration, the release of transcripts, and the awarding of a degree.
-- Mandatory Leave of Absence and Conditional Attendance
In extraordinary circumstances, when a student's presence on campus is deemed by the University to be a threat to order, health, safety, or the conduct of the University's educational mission, the Provost (or designee), in consultation with the student's Dean or Associate Dean, may place the student on a mandatory temporary leave of absence or impose conditions upon a student's continued attendance, pending a hearing of disciplinary charges. When reasonably possible, the Provost (or designee) will provide the student with an opportunity to be heard before making a decision to place him or her on temporary leave of absence or impose conditions on his or her attendance. At the respondent's request, and where feasible, the University may expedite the investigation of a complaint against a student placed on a temporary leave of absence or conditional attendance and the disciplinary hearing of formal charges against such a student.
-- Civil or Criminal Proceedings
The University may proceed with disciplinary proceedings against a student under this Charter regardless of possible or pending civil claims or criminal charges arising out of the same or other events. The OSC, with the concurrence of the Provost and after consultation with the University's General Counsel, will determine whether to proceed with charges against a student who also faces related charges in a civil or criminal tribunal. If the University defers proceeding with disciplinary charges against a student in light of related charges in a civil or criminal tribunal, the University may at any subsequent time proceed with disciplinary proceedings against that student under this Charter irrespective of the time provisions set forth in the Charter or the OSC's procedural guidelines.
-- Permanent Records
Except as may be otherwise provided by applicable federal, state or local law, permanent records of all complaints and disciplinary proceedings are maintained by the Office of Student Conduct.
Except as may be otherwise provided by applicable federal, state or local law, all disciplinary proceedings, the identity of individuals involved in particular cases, and all disciplinary files, testimony, and findings are confidential, in accordance with University guidelines and federal law concerning the confidentiality of student records. No member of the University community (including complainants, respondents, witnesses, advisors, OSC staff members, members of the UHC or UCC, Hearing Panel members, etc.) may disclose or cause to be disclosed or participate in the disclosure of confidential disciplinary matters.
-- Violation of Confidentiality
Failure to observe the requirement of confidentiality by a member of the University community constitutes a violation of University rules and may subject the individual to the appropriate procedures for dealing with such violations. If the confidentiality of disciplinary proceedings is broken by the complainant(s), such an act constitutes a violation of the Code of Student Conduct and is in turn subject to disciplinary proceedings. If the confidentiality of disciplinary proceedings is broken by the respondent(s) or a respondent's advisor, then all parties to the matter are immediately released from their obligation to respect the confidentiality of the proceedings.
-- Release of Information on Disciplinary Proceedings
To ensure that students involved in disciplinary matters have appropriate liaison with their School offices in regard to their academic work, the Dean or appropriate Associate Dean of the School(s) of the respondent(s) is confidentially informed when a complaint is filed, when a sanction is imposed, or when a disciplinary complaint is otherwise resolved by the Student Disciplinary System. When a sanction is imposed, the Director of Career Planning and Placement may be informed by the OSC if the sanction(s) is reportable outside the University, but any such report will include information explaining the relative seriousness of the sanction(s). When a transcript notation is required as part of a sanction, the University Registrar is also informed and required to implement the sanction as directed by the OSC on behalf of the Provost.
-- Reportability of Sanctions
All disciplinary sanctions are reportable outside the University of Pennsylvania, provided that the respondent has signed the required release and subject to the requirements of federal law. All reports of sanctions will include information explaining their relative seriousness.
Resolution of disciplinary charges by voluntary agreement to sanctions constitutes a finding of responsibility and is reportable in the same manner as sanctions imposed following a Disciplinary Hearing.
The procedural guidelines described in this Appendix are published for information only and may be modified at any time by the Provost on recommendation of the Director of the Office of Student Conduct, following consultation with the Disciplinary Hearing Officer and the UCC or UHC, as appropriate The procedures current at the time a complaint is filed, which will be made available to all parties by the OSC, must be used in the resolution of the complaint.
The resolution of formal charges by disciplinary hearing is governed by the principles of due notice, the right to question witnesses and respond to charges, the duty of self-representation, the presentation by the OSC of the University's case, hearing by an unbiased panel of students and faculty, and management of the hearing process to assure expedition and fairness by a Disciplinary Hearing Officer. The following procedural guidelines are intended to implement these principles.
Upon receiving notice of a complaint and the accompanying list of trained advisors, the respondent may select an advisor from this list or choose any other faculty, staff, or student member of the University community. The advisor may accompany the respondent to any meetings or proceedings regarding the disciplinary complaint in order to advise the respondent but may not actively participate in the proceedings.
At hearings, each respondent and each complainant may be accompanied by an advisor who is a faculty, staff, or student member of the University community. If criminal charges are pending or in the judgment of the OSC are reasonably in prospect against a respondent, his or her advisor may be an attorney who is not a member of the University community; however, the attorney may not question witnesses or address the panel except as provided below with respect to advisors generally.
During the hearing, an advisor may consult with the advisee but may not address the panel, except that the advisor may make a brief statement to the panel before the panel begins its deliberations. The time allowed for such summary will be set by the DHO.
Any advisor who fails to observe the procedures of this Charter or decisions of the DHO may, after appropriate warning, be disqualified from continuing to serve by the DHO. In the event of such disqualification, the hearing may proceed whether or not a replacement advisor is available. Any person disqualified from serving as an advisor is ineligible to serve as an advisor for a period of two years.
-- Scheduling Disciplinary Hearings
Hearings normally take place within four weeks of the filing of formal charges. Upon a showing of good cause by the OSC or respondent(s), the DHO may grant a reasonable extension of any time limit set forth in the Charter or procedural guidelines.
At least seven days before the hearing date, the DHO will notify the complainant(s), respondent(s), and witnesses in writing of the place, time, and date of the hearing and of the names of the panel members assigned to hear the case.
The DHO may expedite a Disciplinary Hearing in appropriate circumstances, including cases involving students who have been temporarily suspended, graduating students, or students who are about to take a leave of absence or to leave campus to study elsewhere.
-- Disqualification of Hearing Panel Members
Members of the Hearing Panel should disqualify themselves from hearing a case if they believe in good faith that their capacity for making an objective judgment in the case is or may reasonably appear to be impaired. Members should not disqualify themselves for any other reason.
The respondent(s), complainant(s), or the OSC may object for specific cause to any panel member assigned to hear the case; the objection must be written and received by the DHO at least forty-eight hours before the hearing. If the DHO decides that a challenge is valid, the DHO, after notifying the respondent(s), complainant(s), and the OSC, will replace the challenged member with another from the same category.
A respondent(s), complainant(s), or the OSC may object for good cause to the replacement member within a reasonably prompt time of the member's appointment but no later than the beginning of the hearing.
The DHO will rule upon all disqualification requests and objections to panel members.
-- Witnesses and Pre-Hearing Exchanges
No later than two days before the hearing, the OSC and the respondent(s) will exchange among themselves and with the DHO copies of all exhibits to be presented, the names of witnesses to be called, and a brief summary of the substance of testimony expected to be presented.
When the DHO believes that it will contribute to the expedition and fairness of a Disciplinary Hearing, he or she may (but need not) ask the OSC to prepare a written statement of its case against the respondent(s) and give the respondent(s) a reasonable opportunity to prepare a written response. Both documents and any exhibits or evidence may then be considered by the Hearing Panel, in addition to additional testimony, arguments, or evidence presented at the actual hearing.
In exceptional circumstances, when a witness or exhibit does not become known or available until immediately before the hearing, the DHO may, at her or his discretion, permit the evidence to be presented or reschedule the hearing.
If a respondent or the OSC anticipates that a key witness will be unavailable for a hearing, the party may ask the DHO to preserve the testimony of the witness on tape and present it as evidence at the hearing. The OSC and the respondent(s) must be notified in advance of the time, place, and date of the taping. All parties who would be permitted to question such a witness at a hearing may question the witness at the taping.
-- Conduct of Hearings
All hearings will be held in appropriate University facilities designated by the DHO and will be held in private unless the respondent(s), the complainant(s), the OSC, and the DHO all agree to an open hearing. The DHO is not required to accede to a request to open a disciplinary hearing. In any case, the DHO may limit attendance at a hearing to ensure fair and orderly proceedings.
Upon a showing that the required notice was provided, the hearing against a respondent(s) may proceed in her or his absence.
-- Notice of Hearing Panel Decision
The Hearing Panel will transmit their decision, including the findings of fact and responsibility and the panel's recommendation regarding sanctions, in writing to the DHO, the OSC, the respondent(s) and the Provost within 72 hours of the end of the hearing.
A respondent must submit any appeal to the Appellate Officer in writing via the OSC within seven days of the sending of the Hearing Panel's opinion. The appeal must state in detail the specific grounds upon which it is based.
When the OSC receives the appeal, it gives the Disciplinary Appellate Officer a copy of the appeal, a copy of the respondent's charge letter, a copy of the Hearing Panel's opinion, a verbatim transcript or audio tape recording of the Disciplinary Hearing, and any exhibits considered by the panel in reaching its decision.
After receiving an appeal, the Disciplinary Appellate Officer may, at his or her own initiative, meet with, question, or hear oral arguments from any parties the DAO deems helpful in considering the appeal. The Appellate Officer will issue his or her decision in writing no later than two weeks after receipt of the appeal and will provide copies to the OSC, the DHO, the Provost, and the respondent(s).
The sanctions explained below are those most commonly used in the Student Disciplinary System. However, the following list is not exhaustive, and under the Charter any reasonable sanction, including but not limited to the following, may be imposed. Sanctions may be imposed alone or in combination with other sanctions.
A Warning is a formal, written admonition given by the OSC on behalf of the University in instances of minor misconduct.
A Reprimand is a more serious, official, written notice of violation of the University's rules, regulations, or policies, given by the OSC on behalf of the University, which includes notice to the student that continued or repeated conduct violations will be treated very severely.
A monetary Fine may be levied as a disciplinary sanction and is payable to the Trustees of the University of Pennsylvania.
Restitution is reimbursement for the damage, loss, or misappropriation of University, private, or public property or compensation for injury to individuals,. Restitution may take the form of monetary payment, property, or appropriate service.
-- Disciplinary Probation
Disciplinary Probation may be imposed for a specified period or indefinitely (i.e., for as long as and whenever a student is a full or part-time student at the University of Pennsylvania). Probation is imposed for serious misconduct or repeated minor misconduct. A sanction of Disciplinary Probation also implies that any future conduct or academic integrity violation found to have occurred during the probationary period may be grounds for suspension, or in especially serious cases, expulsion from the University.
-- Withdrawal of Privileges
Withdrawal of Privileges is the denial of specified privileges or the ability to participate in specified activities for a designated period of time.
Suspension is the termination of student status and separation from the University until a specified date. Suspension means the loss of all rights and privileges normally accompanying student status. Students on disciplinary suspension may not obtain academic credit at Penn or elsewhere toward completion of a University of Pennsylvania degree while under suspension. Students are eligible to return to the University after the specified suspension term has elapsed. Suspension is imposed for misconduct serious enough to warrant separation from the University community.
-- Indefinite Suspension
An Indefinite Suspension is termination of student status and separation from the University for an unspecified time period, without an automatic right of return to the University as a student, though specific conditions for return as a student may be specified. When the conditions of an Indefinite Suspension have been fulfilled, the student must make a formal request, as specified in the conditions, to return to student status.
Expulsion is a permanent termination of student status and permanent separation from the University of Pennsylvania. Expulsion is imposed in cases of extremely serious misconduct or in cases of continued serious misconduct following the imposition of probation or suspension.
In addition to the sanctions defined above, students may also be required to perform a designated number of hours of University or other community service or to utilize University or other educational or counseling services related to the nature of the misconduct.
Since the University is an academic community, its fundamental purpose is the pursuit of knowledge. Essential to the success of this educational mission is a commitment to the principles of academic integrity. Every member of the university community is responsible for upholding the highest standards of honesty at all times. Students, as members of the community, are also responsible for adhering to the principles and spirit of the following Code of Academic Integrity.
Activities, that have the effect or intention of interfering with education, pursuit of knowledge, or fair evaluation of a student's performance are prohibited. Examples of such activities include but are not limited to the following definitions:*
A. Cheating: using or attempting to use unauthorized assistance, material, or study aids in examinations or other academic work or preventing, or attempting to prevent, another from using authorized assistance, material, or study aids.
Example: using a cheat sheet in a quiz or exam, altering a graded exam and resubmitting it for a better grade, etc.
B. Plagiarism: using the ideas, data, or language of another without specific or proper acknowledgment.
Example: copying another person's paper, article, or computer work and submitting it for an assignment, cloning someone else's ideas without attribution, failing to use quotation marks where appropriate, etc.
C. Fabrication: submitting contrived or altered information in any academic exercise.
Example: making up data for an experiment, fudging data, citing nonexistent or irrelevant articles, etc.
D. Multiple submission: submitting, without prior permission, any work submitted to fulfill another academic requirement.
E. Misrepresentation of academic records: misrepresenting or tampering with or attempting to tamper with any portion of a student's transcripts or academic record, either before or after coming to the University of Pennsylvania.
Example: forging a change of grade slip, tampering with computer records, etc.
F. Facilitating academic dishonesty: knowingly helping or attempting to help another violate any provision of the Code.
Example: working together on a take-home exam, etc.
G. Unfair advantage: attempting to gain unauthorized advantage over fellow students in an academic exercise.
Example: gaining or providing unauthorized access to examination materials, obstructing or interfering with another student's efforts in an academic exercise, lying about a need for an extension for an exam or paper, continuing to write even when time is up during an exam, destroying or keeping library materials for one's own use, etc.
* If a student is unsure whether his action(s) constitute a violation of the Code of Academic Integrity, then it is that student's responsibility to consult with the instructor to clarify any ambiguities.