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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Students whose conduct is under review based on the Code of Student Conduct have the following rights:
- Written notice of the charges as described in the Student Disciplinary Procedures. Written notice of the charges will be provided to the student within thirty (30) days of the report of misconduct being made, unless extenuating circumstances require a longer time period.
- In cases that could result in a sanction of suspension or expulsion, the written notice of hearing shall include information specific to the factual allegations and references to possible sanctions.
- Reasonable access to the respondent’s case file in the Office of Student Conduct, which includes all information, to the extent permitted by confidentiality laws.
- Explanation of the procedural alternatives available within the University disciplinary process.
- To be presumed not responsible until proven otherwise for violating the Code.
- To respond to the evidence and to question witnesses, through the Board or decision maker.
- To respond to the information presented and to question witnesses, through a hearing board or decision maker. Respondents in disciplinary proceedings are expected to answer questions concerning their conduct. Disciplinary proceedings are investigatory in nature and the person or body reviewing the case needs to engage the respondent in discussion and dialogue in order to reach a result. If the respondent refuses to answer questions, a decision will be made based upon the information presented. Students whose alleged misconduct may subject them to criminal proceedings should consult with their own legal counsel regarding their rights prior to their hearing.
- 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 increased sanctions, for lying about the facts of the case, as opposed to just denying responsibility.
- To appeal an adverse decision as described in section 7 of the Student Disciplinary Procedures.
- To review the Code and these Procedures.
- When enrolled and formally charged with non-academic misconduct, to be represented by an attorney or other advocate at the respondent’s own expense, during a Disciplinary Conference, Mutual Agreement, Administrative Hearing, or Interim Suspension hearing. Note that all Disciplinary Conferences involving representation will be conducted by a staff member in the Office of Student Conduct. Further information can be found here.
- To waive any of the above rights, provided that the waiver is made freely and in writing.
Complainant’s / Victim’s Rights
- To file charges through Campus Police, the Office of Student Conduct, or when appropriate, with University Housing staff.
- To pursue criminal or civil charges where a legal case exists (without University assistance).
- To receive an explanation of the applicable charges from a staff member in the Office of Student Conduct or appropriate University Housing staff member.
- To receive an explanation of the procedural alternatives available within the Student Disciplinary Procedures as you bring charges against a student.
- To have all formal complaints investigated by Campus Police or the Office of Student Conduct or other University officials.
- To be free from harassment and intimidation from respondents and others as you engage this process.
- To testify at the disciplinary process, and to know the results of the process to the extent allowed under federal laws and University policies.
- To question witnesses through the Board or other decision-maker.
- In cases involving charges of Relationship Violence, Sexual Misconduct, or Stalking, to have a support person at the hearing as an observer, to have the same access to the proceedings as the respondent, including the ability to question witnesses, to be free of irrelevant questions about sexual history, to make an impact statement prior to imposition of sanctions if the respondent is found responsible, and to appeal a decision based on grounds described in section 7 of the Student Disciplinary Procedures regarding appeals. In cases where the respondent has an attorney present at the hearing, the victim also may have an attorney, at the victim’s own expense, present at the hearing.
Responsibilities of Respondents, Complainants, and Witnesses
Participants in the student judicial process have the following responsibilities:
- To be honest and complete in all information they provide during the disciplinary process.
- To attend all meetings, conferences, or hearings in a timely fashion.
- For respondents, to complete any imposed sanctions on time and consistent with the decision in their case.
- To participate in a manner that is civil and respectful.
- For complainants and respondents, to prepare and present their entire case and secure the presence of any witnesses who will speak on their behalf
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.
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.
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 Provost. 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.
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.
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.
|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.|
Frequently Asked Questions by Students
I received a Student Conduct Referral, what do I do now?
Student Conduct Referrals are issued to students when a University Police Officer, or other community member, believes that student may have violated the Code of Student Conduct. As it indicates on the bottom of the referral form, the student must contact the Office of Student Conduct at 919.515.2963 within the next two business days to schedule an appointment.
What happens at the appointment?
For non-academic charges, the first thing that will happen is that you will have a conversation with one of the staff in the Office of Student Conduct or staff from University Housing. In this initial meeting you will have an opportunity to share your side of the story and ask questions about the process. During this initial meeting, a decision will be made as to what process will be used to resolve the charges.
For cases of alleged academic misconduct, the first contact will generally be with the faculty member of the class in question. That faculty will facilitate a conversation and present you with a series of options: (1) accept responsibility and sign a form accepting sanctions; (2) deny responsibility and utilize the hearing process, or (3) delay the decision until the student has had an opportunity to talk to the staff in the Office of Student Conduct to better understand their rights and options.
How do I prepare for my meeting?
There are different types of conduct review processes, but the preparation is similar. Students are expected to be sincere and to tell the truth. An organized and sequential telling of the story and presenting of evidence or information is most helpful. Disciplinary Conferences are more informal by definition and generally do not require a formal presentation. Typically, a focused and honest conversation is sufficient to resolve these types of cases. The same is true for students who choose to accept responsibility and sanctions for a violation through a Mutual Agreement.
Resolution through a Conduct Board or Administrative Hearing is a more formal process. It is expected that students participating in either of these processes make a coherent presentation. This includes the presentation of any witnesses or documents required for a full understanding of the facts of the case. Students who choose to participate in a Conduct Board Hearing are provided a Student Assistant to help organize materials and instruct the student regarding procedures that will be used during the hearing. The Student Assistant does not represent the student they are working with. The student is expected to present their own case. Students who choose to participate in an Administrative Hearing will work with a staff member from the Office of Student Conduct to help them prepare for their hearing.
My Professor has accused me of Academic Misconduct, what should I do?
First, tell the truth. If you did what the Professor has alleged, then be candid and truthful. You still have an opportunity to prove to the faculty member that you have some integrity. If this is the case, then you will have a conversation regarding appropriate sanctions for this behavior. If you did not commit academic misconduct, then tell the faculty member that you did not commit academic misconduct. Never say that you did commit an act simply because that looks like the easiest way to resolve the matter. The faculty member will use a form distributed by the Office of Student Conduct, called the Report of an Academic Integrity Violation. There is a section on the second page of the form that talks specifically about student rights. Please do not sign the form if you do not understand your rights or the implications of signing the form.
Why do I have a hold on my records?
There are many reasons why the Office of Student Conduct may place a hold on a student record. Among these is:
- the student has not contacted this office to resolve outstanding charges
- the student was instructed to get additional information or materials to this office and has not complied
- the student has not completed their sanction by the due date for that case
- the student may currently be either suspended or expelled
- the student may be under Interim Suspension
Will my parents find out about this?
In general, parents of a student less than 21 years of age will be notified of a second offense of the alcohol policy and any violation of the drug policy. First offenses of the alcohol policy may result in notification as well, depending on any aggravating circumstances of the incident. Students may choose to sign a release giving permission for staff in the Office of Student Conduct to have contact with their parents. This is often helpful when students are facing the possibility of suspension or expulsion from the University and are trying to make plans for their immediate future. Most often it is the student who shares this information with their parents. This is a position that we actively encourage. Parental support is a key ingredient in a student’s long term success, no matter what the disciplinary outcome.
I received a criminal citation for Wake County Court. Why do I have a Student Conduct Referral too?
There are some behaviors that could be a violation of the law as well as a violation of University Policy. Receipt of a Student Conduct Referral is an indication that the alleged behavior may have some type of connection with the University, and therefore, needs to be reviewed by staff in the Office of Student Conduct.
Will this have an effect on my financial aid or scholarship?
It is possible that disciplinary procedures could ultimately have an effect on either financial aid or scholarships. In order for students to qualify for financial aid, students must be enrolled and making specific academic progress in a degree seeking program. Students who are suspended or expelled are not making any academic progress at that time, which may impact their financial aid. Many scholarship agencies have expectations regarding the behavior of their recipients. Athletic scholarships and academic achievement scholarships could both be affected by disciplinary action. If you are receiving financial aid or are on scholarship, and you have disciplinary action pending, it is important for you to talk with the appropriate representative of the office dispersing the funds.
Can my attorney represent me?
Attorneys may play a role in the process, but the extent to which an attorney may represent you depends on the nature of the allegations. In cases of alleged academic misconduct, for example, formal legal representation is not permitted. Legal representation is only permitted in certain cases involving allegations of non-academic misconduct. For a more detailed explanation of the circumstances when an attorney may represent you, please review section 6 of the Student Discipline Procedures. You may also contact the Office of Student Conduct with additional questions.
What are my rights in the conduct process?
Your rights and responsibilities are outlined in Section 3 of the Student Discipline Procedures.
How do I appeal a decision / sanction?
Students who choose to accept responsibility and sanctions for a violation through a Report of Academic Integrity Violation (RAIV) or a Mutual Agreement waive their right to appeal those decisions. Other resolutions have one level of appeal as described in the Student Discipline Procedures.
For further information regarding your appeal rights and to download the appeal form, click here.
How does a disciplinary file effect my chances for graduate school or professional school?
This depends on the materials in the student’s file and the educational plans of the student. In general, the more serious the charges and events in the file, and the more intrusive the scrutiny of the graduate program—medical or law schools for example—then the more likely there will be some post-undergraduate effect from the incident(s). Staff in the Office of Student Conduct have sufficient experience to review your file and describe the possible effects, as well as any opportunities you might have to mitigate those effects.
How does a disciplinary file effect other job and leadership opportunities on campus?
Different opportunities have different expectations and restrictions. There are some experiences, such as becoming a Residence Hall Staff Member, which prohibit the student from having any active sanction, such as Disciplinary Probation. In addition, there are prohibitions preventing a student under an active sanction from running for an elected student government position. Some programs, like Study Abroad and University Housing, ask students to submit to a records check as part of the application process. Having a disciplinary record does not automatically disqualify a student from all activities or opportunities, but does impact some experiences. It is important to check with the office or program coordinator for the specific opportunity, before making a commitment.
I can’t finish my sanctions by the deadline, what should I do?
Contact the Office of Student Conduct or the Housing staff member who imposed the sanction immediately. There are some circumstances where a student might qualify for an extension. That decision must be made by the office or the person with the authority to do so. Extensions are not granted by persons who supervise community service work or by staff who do not have specific authority to do so.
How do I get the suspension notation lifted from by transcript?
After the period of suspension has passed the student may petition for the removal of the transcript notation. Suspension notations may be removed upon student petition to the Provost. Factors to be considered in reviewing petitions for notation removal after suspension include:
- The present demeanor of the student;
- The student’s conduct subsequent to the violation; and
- The nature of the violation, including the issue of premeditation and the severity of any resulting damage, injury, or harm.
Can I attend other schools while I am suspended or expelled from NC State?
Each school within the UNC system will make its own determination about whether a student suspended for disciplinary reasons is eligible for enrollment. Students who have been expelled are ineligible to attend any UNC system school. Private schools and public schools outside the state of North Carolina may have different entrance requirements. Students should contact the specific school in question to review their policies and practices.
Can I get a copy of my file?
Yes. Contact a staff member in the Office of Student Conduct to get this information. In some situations students will be expected to pay for the copying costs associated with the file.