Jurisdiction and Role of the Dean of Students Office

The general responsibility for non-academic discipline of all students enrolled in Spalding University shall be vested in the Office of the Dean of Students. The Dean of Students’ Office has been delegated the responsibility of administering the Honor Code, Student Conduct and Response to Student Complaints and Grievances.

The Dean of Students will review any alleged violations of the University Honor Code, Student Handbook or the Residence Hall Handbook. This includes, but is not limited to, all drug or alcohol related violations, threatening behaviors, disruption, arson and sexual misconduct.

The Dean of Students or his/her designee will determine if there is reasonable cause to believe that a policy has been violated. If there is, then the Dean of Students or designee will determine whether to address the matter through a Developmental Conduct Meeting or to refer the situation to the Honor Board for an adjudication hearing.

The Dean of Students or his or her designee will discuss the suspected violation(s) with the person reporting it and may consult with other persons having pertinent knowledge, with other University officials, the dean of the student‘s academic unit or the University‘s legal counsel, if the Dean or the designee deems it necessary in order to determine whether or not there is a reasonable basis for the allegation(s). Based upon the results of these consultations, the Dean of Students will determine which one of the following three processes will be followed.

The Developmental Conduct Meeting is a meeting between the student(s) alleged to have violated university policy and the Dean of Students or his/her designee. It is a meeting designed to provide the student an opportunity to give his/her/their account of the incident in question, to think critically and reflect on the behavior and decisions that led to this situation, and to discuss alternative options for the future. If the University Representative determines that the student violated the Code, a sanction can be imposed during the meeting and a Findings and Sanctions letter will be generated. Findings or Sanctions of a Developmental Conduct Meeting may be appealed per the Appeals Policy and Procedures. 

If, after proper consultation, the Dean of Students determines that there is not a reasonable cause to believe that a policy has been violated, then he/she will take one of the following actions:

 inform the person who reported the suspected violation and/or the student accused, if applicable, of that fact and take no further action.

 determine if an informal developmental conversation is warranted.

 determine if a referral to the Compassion Acton Team is warranted.

If an incident is related to Professional Ethics of the student’s field of study but not covered under the Honor Code, then the case is referred to the academic department in which the student’s major resides. If an incident involves violation of academic policies related to plagiarism, research dishonesty or other academic policies, then the case will be referred to the academic department where the violation occurred.

If, after proper consultation, the Dean of Students determines that there is reasonable cause to believe a specific University policy has been violated, then he/she will begin a preliminary investigation and notify the student(s) of the investigation and allegation(s). The evidence will be evaluated using the Preponderance of Evidence Standard Threshold and one of the following actions will occur.

If the Dean of Students determines that there is No Evidence the infraction occurred, Insufficient Evidence that the infraction occurred, Very Sufficient Evidence the infraction occurred or Overwhelming Evidence the infraction occurred, then a Developmental Conduct Meeting will take place which will result in one of the following:

 Dismissal of Case (No Evidence or Insufficent Evidence)

 Findings and Sanctions (Very Sufficient or Overwhelming Evidence) 

 Referral to the Honor Board for Adjudication (Inconclusive or Confounding Evidence)

If the Dean of Students or desginee cannot reach a determination based on the available evidence then the case will be referred to the Honor Board for a hearing. Once the determination has been made regarding the appropriate process, the case must move through that process to completion. Any further allegations arising will be reviewed as distinct and must be reviewed through the same process to determine action.  Allegations which have been evaluated as detailed above and have undergone any one process through to completion may not be heard again under a different process.

The accused student will be notified in writing of the allegations or charges. The written notice will include the date, time, and place of the administrative conduct meeting or Honor Board hearing. All matters which would result in a sanction less severe than suspension or expulsion will be resolved in an administrative conduct meeting unless the Dean of Students or designee decides that a hearing is warranted.

An administrative conduct meeting is a meeting between the accused student and the Dean of Students or designee. It is a meeting designed to provide the accused student an opportunity to give his/her account of the incident in question, to think critically and reflect on the behavior and decisions that led to this situation, and to discuss alternative options for the future. If the University Representative determines that the student violated the Code, a sanction can be imposed during the meeting. If the accused student fails to appear at a conduct meeting or conduct hearing, the meeting or hearing may be held in his/her absence, with determination of violation(s) and sanction(s) being imposed.

All matters for which revocation of admission or degree, withholding a degree, expulsion or similarly irrevocable sanctions are possible outcomes will be resolved in hearing before the Honor Board.

The Honor Board may be utilized in all conduct hearings except in the case of alleged violations of sexual misconduct, domestic/dating violence and stalking. The hearing board will be composed of three members chosen from a pool of trained students, faculty and/or staff that serve as members of the student conduct hearing council. The hearing board will hear evidence and make recommendations regarding findings and sanctions to be imposed, if any, to the Dean of Students.

Findings will be based on information contained in the hearing record as provided by the complainant and the accused and delivered by the primary investigator. Board recommendations will be based on a majority vote. Alleged violations of policies relating to sexual misconduct, domestic/dating violence and/or stalking or similar cases will be heard by the Special Review Board made up of members of the Spalding faculty who are specially trained to review such cases. The review board will hear evidence and make recommendations regarding findings and sanctions to be imposed, if any, to the Dean of Students.

Findings will be based on information contained in the hearing record as provided by the complainant and the accused and delivered by the primary investigator, in these cases the Dean of Students. Board recommendations will be based on a majority vote.