Student Disciplinary Process: Overview
This section provides a basic overview describing what occurs when a student has been accused of violating the "Code".
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 Conduct Process Flowchart
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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.
Academic Integrity cases usually begin 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 instructor will then submit all materials to the Office of Student Conduct using the online Report of an Academic Integrity Violation (RAIV).
The student will receive an official letter from the Office of Student Conduct that will outline the alleged violation(s) and recommended sanction(s). The student will be instructed to complete the Report of an Academic Integrity (RAIV) Response Form and will be required to choose between Option 1 or Option 2. The student will have up to two days, unless requesting additional time, to consider an option to resolve the case.
If the student signs Option 1, there are four outcomes:
- the student is accepting responsibility for the allegation involved;
- the student is accepting the recommended sanction provided by the professor;
- the student has waived the right to appeal the decision; and
- the student will be placed on Academic Integrity Probation.
Academic Integrity Probation states that a student may be suspended or expelled if that student is found responsible for a subsequent academic integrity violation.
If a student chooses Option 1, the Office of Student Conduct will resolve the case and inform the student and instructor of the decision in an outcome letter. There is no option to appeal through Option 1.
If a student is choosing Option 2, the student is either denying responsibility for the alleged behavior, declining to accept the faculty member’s recommended sanction(s), or is choosing to not waive a right to a hearing facilitated by the Office of Student Conduct. Under the Student Discipline Procedures, students can request up to two days to think about how to resolve the alleged incident. At the end of the two days, if the student has not completed the RAIV Response Form, the Office of Student Conduct will proceed with the student conduct process resulting in a formal hearing being scheduled.
Soon after the paperwork is received, the student will be notified to set up a meeting with a staff member 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 responsibly and accept the recommended sanctions provided by the staff member (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.
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 Officer (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.