29.7 Ethics

(Amended 8/13)
  1. Complaint of Violation of Professional Ethics and Academic Responsibility Policy (III-15). The procedures described in this section constitute the exclusive remedy within the University for resolution of any complaint that a faculty member violated the Professional Ethics and Academic Responsibility Policy. Procedures applicable to complaints that a faculty member violated any other University policy are stated under paragraph b below.
    1. Complaint. Such a complaint may be filed with the Academic Officer by any person, or a complaint may be initiated by the Academic Officer.
    2. Preliminary Actions by the Academic Officer. The Academic Officer shall make a brief investigation as may be appropriate to determine whether there is a reasonable basis for believing that a violation of the Professional Ethics and Academic Responsibility Policy has occurred. This investigation, to be conducted in such a manner as to avoid injury to the faculty member's reputation, ordinarily shall be completed within twenty days following receipt of the complaint.
      1. If, at this time or at any later time, the Academic Officer concludes that a reasonable basis does not exist, the Academic Officer shall so notify the complainant. Despite a finding of no reasonable basis, the Academic Officer may, in his or her discretion, propose measures for reconciliation between the faculty member and the complainant. If the faculty member and the complainant do not agree to participate in such reconciliatory measures, the case will be closed, and no further investigation or review will be undertaken.
      2. If the Academic Officer concludes that there is a reasonable basis for believing that a violation of III-15 Professional Ethics and Academic Responsibility has occurred, the Academic Officer, on behalf of the University, may forward a Notice of Charges to the Presiding Officer and the matter shall proceed as described below.
  2. Policy Violation. If any of the following University policies is determined, pursuant to its own procedures, to have been violated, then the Academic Officer on behalf of the University may reach a resolution with the faculty member:

    Statement on Professional Ethics and Academic Responsibility (III-15);
    Sexual Harassment Policy (II-4);
    Consensual Relationships Involving Students (II-5);
    Violence (II-10);
    Anti-Retaliation Policy (II-11);
    Drug Free Environment Policy (II-12);
    Anti-Harassment Policy (II-14); and
    Any other University policy governing faculty members' ethical misconduct.

    If the faculty member does not accept the proposed resolution, the faculty member may appeal the University's position through these procedures. In such a case, the Academic Officer, on behalf of the University, shall prepare a Notice of Charges as described below, and shall forward it to the Presiding Officer, and the matter shall proceed as described below.
    1. Notice of Charges. The Notice of Charges shall quote the provisions of the Professional Ethics and Academic Responsibility Policy or any other University policy asserted to have been violated and shall set forth in reasonable detail the circumstances of the alleged violation. Copies of the Notice of Charges shall be sent to the faculty member involved, to the departmental executive officer and collegiate dean, to the Presiding Officer, and to the complainant, if other than the Academic Officer. The Academic Officer shall attach to the Notice of Charges sent to the faculty member a copy of these procedures.
    2. Faculty Panel Appointment. No later than three business days after receipt of a Notice of Charges, the Presiding Officer shall appoint a faculty judicial panel to review the case. In its discretion, the faculty judicial panel may seek the assistance of the Investigating Officer in investigating the Notice of Charges prior to holding a hearing.
    3. Hearing. The hearing shall be held within two weeks of the appointment of the faculty panel.
      1. The Investigating Officer shall assist the panel as necessary in obtaining, with notice to the faculty member and the Academic Officer, any non-testimonial evidence the panel may desire before proceeding to hearing. The Investigating Officer also shall assist the panel in making arrangements for the hearing and shall have other duties as described below.
      2. Closed Hearing. The hearing shall be closed.
      3. Recording. The hearing shall be recorded by video recording and may also be recorded by a stenographic reporter, as the panel may decide. The record of the hearing may, at the discretion of the panel, exclude the discussion of procedural matters. The Investigating Officer shall ensure that the recording process maintains the confidentiality of the proceedings, and that the resulting video record is maintained in a secure manner, protecting its confidentiality. If any party requests a transcript, that person shall bear its cost. If the panel requests a transcript, the Investigating Officer shall bear its cost.
      4. Refusal to Testify. A faculty member against whom a charge has been brought or the alleged victim in a Title IX case has the right to refuse to testify or even to appear at a hearing on the case. Such a refusal to testify or to appear shall not be taken as indicative of guilt by the faculty member or of insincerity by the alleged victim.
      5. Sequestration of Witnesses. Any witness other than the faculty member, the Academic Officer, and the complainant in a Title IX case shall be sequestered from the hearing until such witness has completed testifying, unless the panel, in the interests of justice, objects to such sequestration.
      6. Rights of the Parties and the Alleged Victim. Subject to the Investigating Officer's power to control the hearing, described below,
        1. the accused faculty member may be accompanied by another faculty member of his or her choice, and
        2. the alleged victim in a Title IX case may be accompanied by an advocate of his or her choice,

          subject to the provisions above, regarding sequestration of witnesses. In addition, the Academic Officer, the accused faculty member, and the complainant in a Title IX case shall have the following rights:

        3. to decide which witnesses to call to testify on behalf of that party;
        4. to present evidence through the testimony of a party's own witnesses;
        5. to present any other relevant evidence;
        6. to cross-examine any witness called by the other party;
        7. to make an opening statement before and a closing statement after the presentation of evidence; and
        8. to be consulted and to present oral argument for the purpose of influencing any decision made by the Investigating Officer in the exercise of the Investigating Officer's power to control the hearing.
      7. Rights of the Alleged Victim when Not the Complainant in a Title IX case. The judicial panel shall determine whether the alleged victim may attend the hearing for any purpose other than to testify. The panel's determination shall be based on the interests of justice and shall take into account the advice of the Investigating Officer. The alleged victim shall have the right to be represented by counsel or by another person of his or her choice in connection with the alleged victim's testimony as a witness at the hearing. The alleged victim shall not participate as a party in the hearing. This paragraph does not apply to any case in which the alleged victim is the complainant in a Title IX case, as the complainant in such a case shall be accorded rights equivalent to those enjoyed by the accused.
      8. Investigating Officer. The Investigating Officer shall have the power to control the hearing, in consultation with the panel, including but not limited to the power:
        1. to ask questions of any witness called by either party;
        2. to limit the presentation of evidence on grounds of irrelevancy or redundancy when necessary to avoid an excessively long hearing, but the investigating officer shall not exclude evidence on the basis of formal rules of evidence that would govern a judicial proceeding;
        3. to limit the length of opening and closing statements;
        4. to set the date, time, and place for conducting the hearing, including the beginning, ending, adjournments, and any reopenings, in the interest of achieving an expeditious proceeding and accommodating the convenience of the parties and the panel;
        5. to take such action as seems appropriate to preserve the confidentiality of marked documents or other confidential matters to the maximum extent possible consistent with a full opportunity of each party and the alleged victim in aTitle IX case to present and hear relevant evidence; and
        6. to sequester witnesses, pursuant to paragraph (5) above.
      9. The Panel. The panel shall have the power:
        1. to ask questions of any witness; and
        2. to make the findings and recommendations required to write the report described below.
      10. Burden of Proof and Standards of Judgment. In all cases brought under this section, the Academic Officer, on behalf of the University, shall bear the burden of proving, by the preponderance of the evidence in the record as a whole, that the faculty member violated the Professional Ethics and Academic Responsibility Policy or other University policy as stated in the Notice of Charges.
      11. Report. The panel shall state its findings and make its recommendations in a written report which shall be prepared and sent to the Presiding Officer within ten days after the conclusion of the hearing.
        1. The report shall be written in a manner that satisfies the requirement of protecting confidentiality to the maximum extent possible.
        2. The report shall set forth findings of fact and conclusions drawn from those findings. The report shall specify any sanctions that the panel recommends; such sanctions may consist of any combination of the following:
          1. Letter of warning or censure;
          2. Denial of specific privileges for specified periods;
          3. Adjustments in assigned duties or in compensation;
          4. Suspension for a specified period;
          5. Dismissal from employment;
          6. Performance of additional duties or issuance of apologies; or
          7. Other remedies or sanctions that the panel deems appropriate, including those providing for the safety of the alleged victim in a Title IX case or securing the University community as a whole.
        3. In preparing its report, the panel in its discretion may seek the assistance of the Investigating Officer.
        4. The panel shall send its report and recommendations, if any, to the Presiding Officer. The Presiding Officer then shall send copies of the report to the faculty member, the President, the Academic Officer, the complainant, if any, in a Title IX case, and the Investigating Officer.
      12. President's Review. The President shall determine what action, if any, the University shall take, based on the panel's findings and recommendations. The President may seek advice of legal counsel concerning the decision, and the President in consultation with the Vice President for Legal Affairs and General Counsel shall determine who shall provide that counsel.
        1. Basis for President's Decision. The President's decision shall be based on all documents, testimony, and other matters presented to the panel. The President shall not hold a hearing, but may meet with the panel. Furthermore, either party may submit a brief to the President within five business days of receiving notice that the Presiding Officer has transmitted the panel's report to the President. In making the decision, the President shall give great weight to the findings and recommendations of the panel. Like the panel, the President shall be bound by the burden of proof and standard of judgment stated above.
        2. President Accepts All Findings and/or Recommendations. If the President accepts all of the panel's findings and/or recommendations for sanctions, the President shall direct that the panel's recommendations be implemented. The President shall so inform the Presiding Officer in writing no later than fifteen days after receiving the panel's decision. The Presiding Officer shall send copies of the President's final decision to the faculty panel members, the faculty member, the departmental executive officer, the collegiate dean, the Academic Officer, the University Representative, each of the members of the panel, the complainant in a Title IX case, and the Investigating Officer. The case will then be closed.
        3. President Does Not Accept the Panel's Findings and/or Recommendations. If the President does not accept one or more of the findings and/or recommendations of the panel, the President shall consult with the panel as a whole to address the points of disagreement. This consultation shall occur no later than ten days after receiving the faculty panel's report so that the President will have considered the Parties' briefs. The President then shall make a final decision on the matter within fifteen days following receipt of the faculty panel report. In making this final decision, the President shall give great weight to the views of the panel.
          1. After Panel Consultation, President Rejects All Findings and/or Recommendations. If, after panel consultation, the President rejects all of the panel's findings and/or recommendations for sanctions, the President shall inform the panel members in writing of the final decision and of any additional reasons supporting the decision and shall send a copy thereof to the Presiding Officer. The Presiding Officer shall send copies of the President's final decision and reasons to the faculty member, the departmental executive officer, the collegiate dean, the Academic Officer, the University Representative, each of the members of the panel, the complainant in a Title IX case, and the Investigating Officer. The case will then be closed, subject only to a decision by the Board of Regents to grant the faculty member or the complainant in a Title IX case further review.
          2. After Panel Consultation, President Accepts At Least One, But Not All, Finding(s) and/or Recommendation(s). If, after panel consultation, the President accepts at least one, but not all, of the panel's findings and/or recommendations for sanctions, the President shall direct that those recommendations that the President accepts be implemented. The President shall inform the panel members in writing of those findings and/or recommendations that the President accepts, and of those that the President does not accept, and of any additional reasons supporting the decision. The President shall send a copy of the decision to the Presiding Officer. The Presiding Officer shall send copies of the President's final decision to the faculty member, the departmental executive officer, the collegiate dean, the Academic Officer, the University Representative, the complainant in a Title IX case, and the Investigating Officer. The case will then be closed, subject only to a decision by the Board of Regents to grant the faculty member or the complainant in a Title IX case a request for review with regard to those recommendations not accepted by the President.