29.11 Proceedings Before Hearing Officer

  1. Within seven days of having been appointed, the hearing officer shall notify the parties in writing of the time, date, and place of the hearing. The hearing shall be scheduled no earlier than five days after the date such notice is mailed. The hearing officer may require the parties to provide in advance of the hearing the names of witnesses who will be called by the parties and list of all other items which will be submitted in evidence. If such information is required, it shall be made known to the other party at least two days before the appearance of the witnesses or the submission of the evidence. The two-day rule does not apply to witnesses who may be called for rebuttal purposes. In their discretion, the hearing officer may waive the two-day rule where it appears that such waiver will not prejudice the party not calling the witness or submitting the evidence. If any prejudice seems likely, the hearing shall be delayed for an appropriate period so that prejudice will be avoided.
  2. Open Hearings.
    1. Unless the person charged or the Academic Officer requests otherwise, the hearings will be open. The party requesting that the hearings be closed shall notify the hearing officer and the other party of this desire at least forty-eight hours in advance of the hearing. After hearing arguments from the person charged and the Academic Officer on the request to close the hearings, the hearing officer, in their discretion, shall decide whether or not the hearings should be closed. The question whether the hearing shall be open or closed shall be the first issue to be considered.
    2. At the request of either party made prior to the commencement of the hearing, the hearing officer will exclude prospective witnesses, other than parties, from the hearing room during testimony of other witnesses.
  3. The hearing officer shall preside over the hearing and shall rule on all questions regarding the conduct of the hearing, including the admissibility of evidence.
  4. The failure of the person charged to appear shall not be taken as indicative of guilt and shall not prejudice their case in any way. The hearing officer may proceed in the absence of any party who, after due notice, fails to be present or who has been excluded from the hearing because of disruptive conduct.
  5. The hearing officer shall have the power to have removed from the hearing any person who disrupts the proceedings. If a party to the proceeding or the adviser or counsel of such party, or any or all of them, are ordered removed for actions disrupting the proceeding, all reasonable efforts shall be made to keep them informed about the proceeding. The hearing officer, in their discretion and in the absence of a request from either party, has the authority to close the hearing if in the judgment of the hearing officer it seems likely that the hearing, once disrupted, will again be disrupted. The hearing officer's decision to close the hearing to persons who are not parties, counsel, or advisers shall be in their discretion and shall not be subject to review. The hearing officer's decision to order from the hearing persons who are parties, counsel, or advisers shall be subject to review by the appropriate review panel and shall constitute reversible error if the record shows that the hearing officer acted unreasonably in the circumstances.
  6. A tape recording or stenographic account shall be made of the hearing, except that on order of the hearing officer procedural matters may be discussed off the record. After the time for all administrative reviews has elapsed, the recording or stenographic account shall be turned over to the presiding officer of the appropriate Judicial Commission who shall keep it for one year and shall make it available under their supervision to all parties in the case.
  7. The Academic Officer shall have the burden of proving the alleged violation and shall present evidence first. The Academic Officer's burden of proof shall be satisfied only by clear and convincing evidence in the record considered as a whole.
  8. The parties may offer such evidence as they desire and shall produce such additional evidence as the hearing officer may deem necessary to an understanding and determination of the dispute. The hearing officer shall be the judge of the relevancy and materiality of the evidence offered. Conformity to the legal rules of evidence shall not be necessary. All evidence shall be taken in the presence of the parties, except where a party is absent by default or is excluded for cause. The hearing officer may require University officers and employees to produce records or other exhibits if such records or exhibits are not confidential under state or federal law. Upon request, the hearing officer shall exclude evidence acquired in violation of the search and seizure provisions of the United States and Iowa constitutions if such evidence would be excluded in a criminal proceeding in a federal or state court.
  9. The parties and their legal counsel or advisers may present witnesses and examine them, and cross-examine all witnesses called by the other party. In their discretion, the hearing officer may limit the number of witnesses to be heard where it is clear that additional witnesses will not add new information for the record.
  10. If the person charged elects to testify, they shall be subject to cross-examination. The person charged may not be required to testify, however.
  11. The hearing officer may receive and consider written statements of persons unable to appear as witnesses. Such statements may be given whatever weight appears appropriate, but before a written statement is given any consideration, the party not introducing it shall receive a copy of the statement and be given a reasonable opportunity to obtain answers to written interrogatories submitted to the person whose written statement is offered. If the written interrogatories are submitted and, in the judgment of the hearing officer, are not answered in a timely and satisfactory manner, the statement shall not be received in evidence.
  12. In their discretion, the hearing officer may grant adjournments and continuances upon the request of a party or upon the hearing officer's own initiative.
  13. The hearing officer shall inquire specifically of all parties whether they have any further proofs to offer or witnesses to be heard prior to the ending of the hearing. If briefs are to be filed, the hearings shall be declared ended as of the final date set by the hearing officer for the receipt of briefs.