Academic Responsibility Conduct Procedures
Every member of the Concordia College community is expected to adhere to the highest standards of academic integrity and honesty. While we expect violations of academic integrity to be infrequent, we acknowledge that violations will occur. The procedures that are described in this document are for processing academic violation complaints against students.
The College recognizes the need for a fundamentally fair conduct system that responds to allegations concerning violations of academic integrity. We presume, therefore, that a conduct system should minimally afford a student the right to receive a written notification of a complaint, an opportunity to respond to the allegations of the complaint, the right to a review of the complaint by objective decision makers, and the right to proportional sanctions if the complaint is accepted or proved. Consequently, we establish the Academic Responsibility Conduct Procedures and the Student Responsibility Board. The Student Responsibility Board will be responsible for hearing all incidents involving alleged violations of academic integrity where responsibility is not admitted.
Faculty members have the authority and the responsibility to detect and investigate alleged violations of academic integrity in their courses. If, in the faculty member's opinion, there is adequate information to confirm that a violation has occurred, the faculty member will respond in the following manner:
1. Communicate the allegation to the student(s), in person, if possible;
2. Provide the student(s) with a written notification of the complaint. This complaint will contain a description of the alleged academic integrity violation and the sanction(s) that will be imposed. Students will also be informed of their rights and established conduct procedures. The student(s) must enter a response to the complaint within 3 business days after having it presented or forfeit the right to a hearing or appeal.
Either the student(s) or the faculty member may request that the department chairperson act as an informal mediator if the student does not accept responsibility for the allegation of an academic integrity violation.
Section A. In incidents where the alleged violation is admitted, the faculty member will impose a sanction proportionate with the violation. If the student is not satisfied with the sanction, he/she may ask the Academic Dean (or his/her designee) to review the sanction. The Dean has sole discretion to accept or amend the recommended sanction(s). The faculty member will file the "Notice of Charges for Violation of Academic Integrity" in the Academic Affairs Office.
Section B. If the alleged violation is not admitted, the Student Responsibility Board will review the incident.
Clause 1. The student must submit a written request for a hearing to the chair of the Student Responsibility Board within 3 business days of receiving the written notification of the complaint. The name of the chairperson will be on the written notification of the complaint.
Clause 2. The student will receive a Notice of Hearing which stipulates the time and place of the hearing at least 2 business days in advance.
Clause 3. The Student Responsibility Board, after reviewing an incident, will decide whether the respondent is responsible or not responsible for the violation. If the student or the faculty member disagrees with the Board's finding concerning responsibility, he/she must follow the appeal procedure outlined in the Appeals section of this document.
Board Membership and Responsibilities
Section A. Members
Clause 1. The Student Responsibility Board will be composed of one student, one faculty member and one member of the administrative staff. Student and faculty membership will be determined by their respective governing bodies. Faculty members will serve three-year terms. The college president will appoint the administrative member. Strong consideration should be given to reappointment of some members in order to maintain operational continuity of the Board. The Academic Dean (or designee) may attend any session of the Student Responsibility Board at which testimony is presented, but may not attend deliberations of the Board.
Clause 2. The college president will appoint the Board chairperson.
Clause 3. The Board will elect one member to be secretary.
Section B. Duties
Clause 1. Duties of Chairperson
- To convene meetings of the Board
- To administer this code and implement hearing procedures
- To contact the student involved in the complaint and inform him/her about the following: the time and place of the hearing, his/her rights, and the specific complaint filed against him/her
- To provide the student with a written statement of the Board's procedures and the names of the Board members
- To make any other necessary administrative decisions regarding the hearing
Clause 2. Duties of Secretary
- To maintain a written record of all persons in attendance at the hearing, all persons providing information, items submitted as information, and Board decisions. The secretary will also make a recording of the entire hearing
- To verify in the written record that the voting on decisions was consistent with the provisions of this document
- To deposit with the Academic Affairs Office all records of the hearing within one business day following the hearing
- To notify the student of the Board's decision in writing
Clause 3. Duties of Board Members
- To decide complaints with objectivity and in accord with fundamentally fair procedures, as defined above
- To decide complaints on the standard of "more likely than not"
- To keep proceedings confidential
Section C. Voting
Clause 1. Each member will have one vote in every decision.
Clause 2. For action to be binding, at least two members present at the hearing must concur in the decision
Rights of the Individual Issued a Complaint (Respondent)
Section A. In the event a student is issued a complaint for violating a standard of academic conduct, he/she will be informed of the following rights in writing. They are:
Clause 1. The right to a fundamentally fair review of the complaint.
Clause 2. The right to testify on his/her own behalf.
Clause 3. The right to present information and witnesses.
Clause 4. The right to request a written summary of the information supporting the decision to issue a complaint.
Clause 5. The right not to be found in violation of college policy unless information provided meets the standard of "more likely than not".
Clause 6. The right to appeal a finding regarding responsibility.
Clause 7. The right to be notified in writing of a scheduled hearing no less than two business days in advance.
Clause 8. The right to be assisted by an advocate (a student or one other member of the college community) in preparing a response to a complaint before the Board. Advocates are not allowed to address the Board unless granted permission by the chairperson.
Clause 9. The right to refuse to answer questions/participate in a hearing. The Board may draw reasonable inferences from refusal to answer or participate.
Clause 10. The right to contest the seating of any member of the Board for demonstrated bias. A Board member may also disqualify himself/herself. If a Board member is contested by the respondent, the chairperson of the Board has authority to grant or deny the contest. If the respondent contests the seating of the chairperson, the remaining members of the Board will decide whether or not to grant or deny the contest. Board decisions on disqualification are final. The chairperson of the Board must be notified of any contest at least 2 business days before any scheduled hearing. See Special Provisions.
Clause 11. The right to question any witnesses who appear in person
Section A. The following procedures will be followed in Student Responsibility Board hearings:
Clause 1. Normally, hearings will be scheduled within two weeks after the respondent has requested a hearing.
Clause 2. Any party to a complaint has the right to request with good reason that a hearing be rescheduled. Such requests must be presented to the chairperson at least one business day in advance. The chairperson has sole authority to decide whether or not to grant the request.
Clause 3. If the student issued a complaint fails to appear at a properly scheduled hearing, the Board may proceed with the hearing.
Clause 4. Hearings are closed to the public.
Clause 5. A faculty member or college official bringing a complaint to the Board has the right to present information and witnesses, the right to appeal, the right to question witnesses, and the right to contest the seating of any member of the Board for demonstrated bias. A Board member may also disqualify himself/herself. If a Board member is contested, the chairperson has authority to grant or deny the contest. If the contest involves the chairperson, the remaining Board members will decide whether or not to grant or deny the contest. Board decisions on disqualification are final. The chairperson of the Board must be notified of any contest at least 2 business days before the scheduled hearing. See Special Provisions.
Clause 6. Decision-making deliberations are to be conducted with only members of the Board present. Findings about the complaint should be determined only on truthful statements and information presented at the hearing. Normally, previous violations of policy may not be considered when making a finding. However, an exception to this practice may be made in rare circumstances where the Academic Dean determines it is warranted. Participants in the hearing are expected to present all information in a truthful and complete manner. Lying to the Board is a violation of college policy and would be subject to appropriate disciplinary action.
Clause 7. All records of the hearing proceedings should be maintained in the Academic Affairs Office. The respondent, and in some situations the complainant, have the right to examine these records if an appeal is filed. All records, while being examined, must remain in the custody of the Academic Affairs Office. The recording of hearing proceedings that involved the possibility of suspension or expulsion may be destroyed no less than 2 years after the time permitted for appeal has elapsed. All other hearing recordings may be destroyed no less than 60 days after the time permitted for appeal has elapsed.
Clause 8. Both the respondent and complainant must receive written notification of the Board's decision.
Section A. Following a hearing, the Board will make one of the following findings:
Clause 1. Responsible. The finding where the information and testimony presented (using the standard of "more likely than not") establishes that the complaint was proved.
Clause 2. Not Responsible. The finding where the information and testimony presented (using the standard of "more likely than not") establishes that the complaint was not proved.
Section A. Appeal procedures
Clause 1. Appeals of the Student Responsibility Board's findings may be made to the college president. The respondent, the complainant and/or the Academic Dean have the right to appeal a finding on the basis of established grounds.
Clause 2. All appeals must be submitted in writing to the Academic Affairs Office within 3 business days of receiving notification about the outcome of any hearing. The Academic Affairs Office will transmit the appeal and the records of the Student Responsibility Board hearing to the president and notify the Student Responsibility Board that the appeal is being made. If the Academic Dean is the appellant, he/she must submit a written appeal to the president within the same time period. He/she must also give written notification to the Student Responsibility Board, the student and the complainant.
Section B. All appeals must state the grounds on which the appeal is based and the rationale for making the appeal. Grounds for appeal include:
Clause 1. Information not available at the time of the decision is now available and could affect the decision.
Clause 2. The hearing was conducted with procedural irregularities that could affect the decision.
Clause 3. The information presented did not meet the "more likely than not" standard
Section C. Process of Considering Appeals
Clause 1. The president or designee will determine whether necessary grounds exist to consider an appeal. The president or designee will then prepare a memorandum and send it to the respondent, the complainant, the Student Responsibility Board and the Academic Dean outlining the reasons for his/her decision.
Clause 2. If an appeal is considered, the president or designee will review all the records and make a finding or send the matter back to the Student Responsibility Board (The preference is to send granted appeals back to the Student Responsibility Board.)
Section A. The following provisions may be necessary to facilitate this code:
Clause 1. These procedures will be in effect year round. Consequently, interim appointments to the Student Responsibility Board may be made to accommodate these conduct procedures at times other than the official academic year.
Clause 2. In the event a majority of the Board's members disqualify themselves and/or are disqualified, the president may make interim appointments to the Board. The president may also initiate other interim accommodations deemed necessary to facilitate implementation of these procedures.
 Procedures for investigation and adjudication of faculty members charged with academic integrity violations are found in the Faculty Handbook. When a staff member is charged with a violation of academic integrity, the individual bringing the charge should contact the Office of Human Resources.)