Code of Student Conduct

The Code of Student Conduct serves as the basis for student conduct at NC State. It contains information related to the university’s jurisdiction over student behavior, academic and non-academic violations, potential sanctions available when a violation occurs, and information regarding interim suspension. Academic violations include allegations of cheating, plagiarism, or aiding another to cheat or plagiarize. Non-academic violations vary widely and include rules concerning alcohol, drugs, infliction or threat of bodily harm, vandalism, disorderly conduct, sexual and racial harassment, sexual assault, and more. All students are strongly encouraged to read and understand the Code of Student Conduct.

Academic Integrity: Overview

This page explains the importance of academic integrity to the university community and provides an overview of the four categories of academic misconduct outlined in the Code.

Additional Student Conduct Policies

Here, students will find links to additional university policies including: Alcohol Policy, Drug Policy, Computer Use Policy, Free Expression Tunnel policy, Smoking, Solicitation, and Housing rules.

Student Disciplinary Process: Overview

This section provides an overview of the procedures to be used when a student has been accused of cheating or other misbehavior. Students, staff, and faculty are strongly encouraged to research the various procedural options prior to coming to any conclusion regarding a particular behavior. Individuals seeking a complete description of the NC State’s disciplinary process should refer to the Student Discipline Procedures.

Procedures Related to Academic Misconduct

Academic Integrity policies include cheating, plagiarizing, aiding and abetting others to cheat as well as falsifying academic records. In most cases, charges of academic misconduct are resolved by the faculty member for the course.

The procedure in such cases usually begins with a meeting between the student and the professor involved—although it is not required. The student will be presented with the allegation and supporting materials. The student is then given a document called the Report of an Academic Integrity Violation form (RAIV), which contains a summary of the allegation(s) and a listing of any sanctions the faculty member has recommended. The document has two options for the student to consider: (1) either sign the portion of the form taking full responsibility, or (2) sign the portion of the form denying responsibility. NOTE: A student may request up to 2 days to review the decision prior to making this decision.

If the student signs the portion of the form taking full responsibility, there are four outcomes: (1) the student is accepting responsibility for the allegation involved; (2) the student is accepting the recommended sanction provided by the professor; (3) the student has waived the right to appeal the decision; and (4) the student will be placed on Academic Integrity Probation. Academic Integrity Probation states that a student will be suspended or expelled if that student is found responsible for a subsequent academic integrity violation. The signed paperwork is then sent to the Office of Student Conduct where an official record of the infraction will be maintained. NOTE: A faculty member may not lower a student’s grade in the class unless the student has signed the portion of the form taking full responsibility.

If the student signs the portion of the form denying responsibility, it generally means the student does not believe a violation has occurred or that there is disagreement with the recommended sanction. In either case, the allegation will be forwarded to the Office of Student Conduct where preparations for a hearing will begin. The hearing is designed to allow a neutral third-party to decide whether or not the student is actually responsible for the allegation and what, if any, sanctions should be imposed.

Soon after the paperwork is received, the student will be notified to set up a meeting with an advisor from the Office of Student Conduct. The meeting is designed to educate the student about the relevant hearing options and procedures. In many situations, students have a choice between two hearing options, or they may choose to plead responsible and accept the recommended sanctions provided by the Hearing Advisor (called a Mutual Agreement). Regardless of the hearing type, the student will have an opportunity to present information, ask questions, and to respond to the charge(s) in question.

Once the student’s case has been finalized (i.e. a decision has been reached via a hearing), the student will be notified of the decision in an outcome letter. A student may appeal the decision of the hearing body within ten days after the electronic delivery of this letter.

For a complete listing of rights, responsibilities, and procedures related to student discipline, please refer to the Student Discipline Procedures and the Code of Student Conduct.

Procedures Related to Non-Academic Misconduct

Non-academic cases involve allegations involving alcohol, drugs, vandalism, infliction or threat of bodily harm, sexual misconduct, harassment, and most other behaviors unrelated to cheating or plagiarism. This also includes classroom disturbances, which can be reviewed as non-academic misconduct. These cases are generally reported through University Housing or University Police.

The procedure in non-academic cases usually begins by notifying the student of the alleged misconduct and requesting that the student establish a meeting with the Office of Student Conduct. During the meeting, the student is provided with access to the conduct file and made aware of the specific allegations involved. The student is often given an opportunity to provide additional information that may become part of the case file. Once an allegation of non-academic misconduct has been provided, the student may choose to be represented by an attorney or non-attorney advocate (click here for details).

What happens next depends on the nature of the incident (i.e. minor vs. serious). Minor incidents involve those behaviors that are not likely to result in Suspension or Expulsion from the University. Serious incidents, on the other hand, involve behaviors that could result in Suspension or Expulsion from the University – and therefore must result in a formal hearing. For additional information, please review UNC Policy 700.4.1.

Minor incidents are generally dealt with and finalized during the initial meeting with the Office of Student Conduct. This is known as a Disciplinary Conference.

For incidents that are considered “Serious,” the student will have a choice between two hearing options and may also choose to plead responsible and accept the recommended sanctions provided by the Hearing Advisor (called a Mutual Agreement).

The hearing options consist of an Administrative Hearing or a Conduct Board Hearing. Both are procedurally the same. The Administrative Hearing is considered a time-saving option for some students and consists of a hearing in front of an administrator identified by the Office of Student Conduct. The Conduct Board Hearing takes place before a panel of five students, one of whom will be identified as a presiding officer. In both hearing types, the student will have an opportunity to present information, ask questions, and respond to the charge(s) in question.

Once the student’s case has been finalized (i.e. a decision has been reached via a hearing or a Mutual Agreement), the student will be notified of the decision electronically in the form of an outcome letter.

For a complete listing of rights, responsibilities, and procedures related to student discipline, please refer to the Student Discipline Procedures and the Code of Student Conduct.

Student Rights and Responsibilities

Respondent’s Rights

Students whose conduct is under review based on the Code have the following rights:

3.1.1 To receive written notice of the charges as described in these Student Discipline Procedures. Written notice of the charges will be provided to the Student within thirty (30) calendar days from either (a) the receipt of the complaint by the Office of Student Conduct or University Housing or (b) the receipt of an investigative report from the Office for Institutional Equity and Diversity (“OIED”), unless extenuating circumstances require a longer time period. A designated University official may investigate such reports prior to determining whether a formal charge should be brought against a Student or Student Group/Organization. As outlined in Appendix G, OIED will investigate reports of Interpersonal Violence or Sexual Misconduct (as defined in sections 10.14, and 10.15 of the Code). Ultimately, the Office of Student Conduct will determine whether to issue formal charges accusing a Student or Student Group/Organization of violating the Code. The constitutional prohibition against double jeopardy in criminal cases does not apply to Student disciplinary proceedings. The university may impose disciplinary sanctions even where there has been a criminal proceeding disposing of the same matter. Accordingly, the university may pursue charges for a violation of the Code where corresponding criminal charges have been reduced, declined, or dismissed.

3.1.2 In cases that could result in a sanction of suspension or expulsion, to receive a written notice of hearing that includes information specific to the factual allegations and possible sanctions.

3.1.3 To have reasonable access, to the extent permitted by law, to the Respondent’s case file in the Office of Student Conduct.

3.1.4 To receive an explanation of the procedural alternatives available within the university disciplinary process.

3.1.5 To be presumed not responsible unless proven by a preponderance of the evidence to have violated the Code.

3.1.6 To respond to the information presented and to question witnesses, through a hearing board or Hearing Officer. Respondents in disciplinary proceedings are expected to answer questions concerning their conduct. Disciplinary proceedings are administrative in nature and the person or board reviewing the case needs to have all relevant information available in order to reach a result. If the Respondent refuses to answer questions, a decision will be made based upon the information present in the record. Students whose alleged misconduct may subject them to criminal proceedings should consult with their own legal counsel regarding their rights.

3.1.7 To deny responsibility (without being charged for lying in relation to that denial) if proven responsible. However, a Student may be charged, or be subjected to more stringent sanctions, for lying about the facts of the case.

3.1.8 To appeal an adverse decision as described below in section 7.

3.1.9 To review the Code and these Student Discipline Procedures.

3.1.10 When charged with or under investigation for non-academic misconduct, to be represented by a single Attorney/Non-Attorney Advocate at the Respondent’s own expense, during a Disciplinary Conference, Mutual Agreement, Administrative Hearing, or Interim Suspension hearing

3.1.11 To have a single Observer at the hearing for support.

3.1.12 To receive contact and referral information from staff in OIED, the Office of Student Conduct, University Police, or other appropriate University offices for University-based supportive measures.

3.1.13 To waive any of the above rights, provided that the waiver is made freely and in writing.

Responsibilities of Respondents, Complainants, and Witnesses

Participants in the student conduct process have the following responsibilities:

3.2.1 To know and adhere to the Code.

3.2.2 To be honest and complete in all information provided in this process.

3.2.3 To attend all meetings, conferences, or hearings in a timely fashion.

3.2.4 For Respondents, to complete any sanctions imposed for violating the Code and consistent with the decision and deadlines administered in their case.

3.2.5 To participate in a manner that is civil and respectful.

3.2.6 For Complainants and Respondents, to have the opportunity to present their case and secure the presence of any witnesses who will speak on their behalf.

Educational Sanctions

Where a student has been found responsible for violating the NC State’s policies, rules, and regulations, the university is committed to providing sanctions (outcomes) that are developmentally appropriate while also protecting the significant interests of the community. This section provides a listing of common educational sanctions related to violations of the policies provided.

Appealing a Disciplinary Outcome

Students who have been found responsible for a conduct violation (and victims in cases of relationship violence, sexual misconduct, or stalking) may appeal the decision based on a violation of their due process rights. This section explains the appeal process and provides a link to the necessary form for submitting an appeal. Individuals seeking a complete version of their appeal rights should refer to Section 7 of the Student Discipline Procedures.

Requesting a Suspension Notation Removal From Transcript

According to Section 8.3.2 of the Student Discipline Procedures, “Notations of disciplinary action will be made on the transcript whenever a student is suspended or expelled. Suspension notations may be removed upon student petition to the Vice Chancellor and Dean of Academic and Student Affairs. Factors to be considered in reviewing petitions for notation removal after suspension include: (a) The present demeanor of the student; (b) The student’s conduct subsequent to the violation; and (c) The nature of the violation, including the issue of premeditation and/or the severity of any resulting damage, injury, or harm.” Students who wish to request a suspension notation removal should complete the Suspension Notation Removal Request form.

Student Confidentiality

The Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA), a Federal law, and its corresponding regulations gives students certain rights to privacy of their education records and rights of access to their education records. University Regulation 11.00.01 (FERPA) explains the various rights that students enjoy under FERPA as well as information on how to waive those rights. University Regulation 11.00.01 (FERPA) also contains information regarding the notification of parents and legal guardians of alcohol or drug violations. The Office of Student Conduct may notify parents or guardians of students under the age of 21 of certain alcohol or drug violations. This notification generally will take place upon the determination of a violation by a decision maker in the student conduct process. Unless there are extenuating circumstances, the Office of Student Conduct will generally not notify parents or legal guardians of students under the age of 21 of first time alcohol violations.

Student Conduct Board

The Conduct Board is responsible for reviewing alleged violations of the Code of Student Conduct and educating the university population about the rules, polices, and regulations contained in the Code. Most notably, members of the Board serve as hearing officers for cases that could result in Suspension or Expulsion from the university.

Additional Services

Referrals Dean’s Certification
When appropriate, we can provide a number of referral services within the university Community. Students, or their friends, who are unsure who to talk to about a particular issues are encouraged to discuss the matter with someone from our office. We will do our best to direct you to the appropriate office and act as an advocate to your needs. As students apply to various graduate programs, transfer to other undergraduate institutions, or apply for positions that require background checks, the Office of Student Conduct is called upon to answer questions regarding past student judicial history. Students can either leave the forms with the Registrar’s office or bring them to the Office of Student Conduct. The records check will be completed within twenty-four hours and the form will be given to Registration and Records for a final review and mailing. There may be a charge assessed for this service.