SCAI Misconduct Procedures
A. The University SCAI Officer (Director of SCAI Department)
The University SCAI Officer oversees all aspects of the Kennesaw State University SCAI Department to ensure proper handling of alleged violations of the Student Code of Conduct in addition to promoting campus awareness of issues related to student conduct and academic integrity. Duties of the SCAI Officer include: selecting and training members of the SCAI panel, receiving and processing charges of violations of the Kennesaw State University Student Code of Conduct, keeping records of student cases, coordinating and supervising hearings before the Student Parking Appeals Panel, University Hearing Panel, and hearing officers and revising University policies when necessary. An official designee selected by the SCAI Officer may perform and/or assist with any of these duties.
1. Academic Misconduct: Depending on circumstances, an allegation of misconduct may be resolved by:
a. An informal disciplinary meeting between the student and the instructor (see II.A. below), or:
b. A disciplinary meeting/hearing before the Director of the SCAI Department or his/her designee, or:
c. A University Panel hearing before a panel of faculty/staff and students.
2. Violation of Disciplinary Rules: Depending on circumstances, an allegation of a violation of disciplinary rules (other than violations on residence hall property) against a student may be resolved by:
a. A disciplinary meeting/hearing before the Assistant Director or Director of the SCAI Department or his/her designee, or:
b. A University Panel hearing before a panel of faculty/staff and students.
3. Violation of Disciplinary Rules on Residence Hall Property: Depending on circumstances, an allegation of a violation of disciplinary rules on residence hall property against a student may be resolved by:
a. A disciplinary meeting/hearing between the student and a Residence Life Area Coordinator (AC) or Resident Director (RD) (see II C below). A Residence Life AC or RD may resolve any case where removal from housing, or suspension or expulsion from the University is not imposed as a sanction, or
b. A disciplinary meeting/hearing before the Director /Associate Director for Residence Life or SCAI Assistant Director, or designee. They may resolve any case including those where removal from housing, and/or suspension or expulsion from the University is/are imposed as a sanction, or
c. A University Panel hearing before a panel of faculty/staff and students. In cases arising from on-campus housing areas the accused student may have a hearing before a University hearing panel only 1) when the alleged offense is of such a serious nature that a sanction of removal from housing, suspension, and/or expulsion from the University may be imposed if the student is found responsible and 2) if the student requests a University Panel hearing rather than a disciplinary meeting/hearing with the Director/Associate Director for Residence Life or SCAI Assistant Director, or designee.
C. The University SCAI Panel
The University SCAI Panel includes students, faculty and staff members who receive training in the University Student Code of Conduct and the SCAI policies and procedures. They serve on the SCAI Hearing Panel and act as advisors to persons accused of Code of Conduct violations.
1. Faculty/Staff Appointments
There are twenty-four (24) faculty/staff members who are appointed to the SCAI Panel for two (2) year terms, and may be re-appointed at the expiration of this term by the appropriate University official.
The appointments to the SCAI Panel are as follows:
- Two (2) faculty members appointed by the Dean of the College of the Arts
- Two (2) faculty members appointed by the Dean of the Bagwell College of Education
- Two (2) faculty members appointed by the Dean of the Wellstar College of Health and Human Services
- Two (2) faculty members appointed by the Dean of the College of Humanities and Social Sciences
- Two (2) faculty members appointed by the Dean of the Coles College of Business
- Two (2) faculty members appointed by the Dean of the College of Science and Mathematics
- Two (2) faculty members appointed by the Dean of the University College
- Two (2) faculty member appointed by the Dean of the Graduate College. The appointed faculty member must have graduate school status.
- Two (2) faculty or professional staff members appointed by the Vice President for Academic Affairs
- Two (2) professional staff members appointed by the Vice President for Student Affairs
- Two (2) professional staff members appointed by the Vice President for Operations.
- Two (2) professional staff members appointed by the Athletic Director.
2. Student Panel Members
A minimum of twelve (12) students, selected by the University SCAI Officer, serve on the SCAI Panel. Applications, personal statements, interviews, and references are considered in the selection process. Student panelists serve a one (1) year term and may reapply for membership at the end of each academic year.
3. Duties of SCAI Hearing Panel Members
- To serve on hearing panels when so requested by the SCAI Officer
- To act as advisors to individuals or organizations appearing before the University Hearing Panel
- To participate in education and awareness programs sponsored by the SCAI Department
- To uphold the KSU Student Code of Conduct, the SCAI Panel Code of Ethics, all other campus rules and regulations, and federal and state laws
4. SCAI Panel Code of Ethics
As the University SCAI Department exists to promote justice and fairness, thus serving the individual student, the campus, and the public interest, a panel member's public and official behavior shall be beyond reproach and free from impropriety. Any member of the SCAI panel or any member of the student body, faculty or staff who suspects a panel member of violating the SCAI panel code of ethics should communicate in writing to the University SCAI officer. Once the alleged ethical violation is reported, the SCAI officer will investigate the allegations and confer with the Vice President for Student Affairs or his or her designated representative to determine the appropriate action, which may include dismissal from the SCAI panel and/or other disciplinary sanctions, if necessary.
To uphold this high standard of behavior, each member of the panel undergoes training regarding his or her obligations as a member of the KSU SCAI panel, and, by a signed statement, pledges to uphold the following code of ethics:
a. Proceedings of the University Hearing Panel and Student Parking Appeals Panel shall be conducted with fitting dignity and decorum and should reflect the importance and seriousness of the hearing.
b. Panel members shall not discuss any case outside of the University SCAI panel membership. In addition, panel members shall not discuss cases with other panel members while the case's final outcome, including all appeals, is still pending, unless specific permission is granted by the SCAI officer
c. No SCAI panel member shall pursue any facts, evidence, or outcome of any case unless acting in an official capacity, with the authorization of the SCAI Department.
d. Panel members shall refrain from listening to, discussing, hearing, or expressing opinions about the merits of any case or pending case except when sitting as a member of a hearing panel to hear or consider that case, serving as an advisor in that case, or discussing the case with the SCAI officer.
e. A panel member shall disqualify himself/herself from cases that might present a conflict of interest or justify the inference that a party could improperly influence him/her or unduly enjoy his/her favor.
f. A panel member shall not be swayed by partisan demands, public clamor or consideration of personal popularity or notoriety, nor be apprehensive of unjust criticism in deciding any case.
g. When considering whether a violation of the KSU Student Code of Conduct has occurred, a panel member serving on the University Hearing Panel shall only consider the facts of the case before the panel, and not the validity of the Code of Conduct regulation.
h. A University Panel member shall consider all relevant factors in recommending disciplinary measures.
i. An advisor is expected to give his/her best possible effort when representing a party before the University Hearing Panel.
j. A panel member shall not solicit for the retention of his or her services as advisor.
k. When assigned to a case, an advisor shall keep the SCAI officer fully informed of all pertinent information regarding that case.
l. An advisor shall not argue the merits of any case or possible case with any panel member except during the hearing.
m. An advisor shall preserve the confidence of the person(s) he or she represents except insofar as this conflicts with the advisor's duty to keep the SCAI officer fully informed of all pertinent information regarding the case. An advisor must inform the person(s) he or she represents of this duty owed to the SCAI officer prior to accepting the position as advisor. Information shared with the SCAI officer may be communicated to all parties to the case.
n. The conduct of the advisor before the University Hearing Panel shall be characterized by candor and fairness.
o. Communication between a student or any other person and a panel member concerning the possible violation of a regulation is not privileged communication.
p. Panel members are not required to report or bring cases to the SCAI Department; however, if asked to act as a witness by an advisor, a panel member is required to cooperate.
q. If called as a witness, a panel member shall be totally objective in his or her testimony and shall refrain from making subjective evaluations or from expressing his or her personal beliefs.
r. A panel member who is a member of an organization brought before the SCAI Department must notify the SCAI officer of his or her affiliation with the organization. While that panel member has the right to silence, as he or she is part of the accused student organization, he or she may not serve on a University Hearing panel that is hearing the case against the organization. However, a panel member who is a member of an organization brought up on SCAI charges may serve as the advisor to the organization, unless that panel member is specifically charged with an individual code of conduct violation or is an officer of the organization.
s. Panel members shall be thoroughly familiar with and adhere to this code of ethics and the policies and procedures of the SCAI Department, and shall refrain from bringing matters of federal and state law into any hearing.
t. A panel member must preserve the confidentiality of all SCAI Department matters, even after they no longer serve on the panel. A breach of this confidentiality by a former student panel member will subject that student to disciplinary charges.
D. SCAI Panels
1. Student Parking Appeals Panel (SPAP)
a. Jurisdiction: The SPAP considers appeals by students of citations issued for alleged violations of the KSU parking rules and regulations.
b. Composition: The panel will consist of three (3) members, preferably as follows:
two (2) student panel members
one (1) faculty or staff panel member
c. Reporting: Decisions of the student parking appeals meetings are reported to the Student Parking Appeals Coordinator. Decisions are then entered into the parking operations database, T2 Flex, within a week of the meeting. A refund, when appropriate, is issued to the student’s Owl Express account, and then deposited into the student’s Higher One account within three to four weeks of the meeting.
d. Further Appeals: The decision of the SPAP is FINAL and may not be appealed.
2. The SCAI Hearing Panel (formerly known as the University Court)
a. Jurisdiction: The SCAI Hearing Panel considers allegations of violations of the KSU Student Code of Conduct which are not resolved either informally or through an administrative hearing before the Director of the SCAI Department (or his or her designee) or by a disciplinary meeting/hearing before Residence Life or other SCAI personnel as outlined in section I B 3, above.
b. Composition: The panel will consist of five (5) members as follows:
- one (1) Chief panel member (student or faculty or staff member)
- two (2) faculty or staff panel members
- two (2) student panel members
c. Reporting: SCAI Hearing Panel decisions regarding alleged Code of Conduct violations and any recommended sanctions are reported to the Director of the SCAI Department (or his or her designee) who will review the recommendation and notify the parties to the case regarding the final decision.
d. Appeals of SCAI Hearing Panel Decisions: A request to appeal a SCAI Hearing Panel decision shall be submitted to the SCAI officer as outlined in Section VII.
A. Academic Misconduct
The University's standards regarding academic misconduct are defined by section II of the KSU Student Code of Conduct. Depending on the circumstances, a faculty member is permitted to choose one of two options when handling incidents involving academic misconduct by a KSU student. These options include (1) an informal resolution procedure or (2) filing formal SCAI Department charges, which shall result in a hearing.
Upon pursuing an allegation of academic misconduct, the faculty member should contact the SCAI Department (770-499-3403) to inform that office of his or her intention to pursue such an allegation and to determine that the student has no prior history of being held responsible for academic misconduct. If the student has previously been found responsible for violating the rules against academic misconduct then the professor should not meet with the student to resolve the matter informally, but instead should file a formal SCAI charge which shall result in a hearing. Or, if there are any circumstances other than prior history of academic misconduct under which a professor would seek to have a student suspended or expelled for academic misconduct then the professor should not arrange to meet the student to resolve the matter informally. Instead the professor should file a formal SCAI charge which shall result in a hearing. The faculty member must complete and sign the Academic Misconduct Incident Report form and forward it to the Department of Student Conduct and Academic Integrity (mail drop #0506) (the student does NOT need to sign the form). If final grades become due before the matter is resolved the faculty member must contact the Registrar's Office, explain the situation, and ask that their office assign the student a grade of "NR" (Not Reported) until the issue is resolved. The SCAI Department then will contact the student and make arrangements for the hearing.
If the student has no prior history of academic misconduct and the professor is not seeking suspension or expulsion, then the professor should arrange to meet with the student(s) who allegedly violated the Code of Conduct. The faculty member should request that either his or her dean, department chair, or program director be present at this meeting, or he or she may request the presence of the SCAI officer, or someone authorized by the SCAI officer.
During the meeting between the faculty member and the accused student(s), the following procedures shall be followed:
1. The faculty member shall inform the student of the allegation of academic misconduct, including some evidence to support the accusation.
2. The faculty member must give the student the opportunity to respond to the accusation. Once the student has a chance to respond, the faculty member shall proceed as follows:
a. If the student DENIES the misconduct:
- The meeting must be concluded. If, at that time, the faculty member still wishes to pursue the academic misconduct allegation(s), proceed to the next step. If, however, the faculty member believes that the student did not commit academic misconduct, then no further action is necessary.
- The student shall be notified by the faculty member that the case is being referred to the Student Conduct and Academic Integrity Department for a hearing, to be conducted in accordance with University procedures (see Sections IV. through VII., below).
- The case then is referred to the SCAI Department, the faculty member must complete and sign the Academic Misconduct Incident Report form and forward it (mail drop #3801) to the SCAI Department (the student does NOT need to sign the form).
- If a final course grade is due, the faculty member must contact the Registrar's Office, explain the situation, and ask that their office assign the student a grade of "NR" (Not Reported) until the issue is resolved.
b. If the student ADMITS the misconduct AND the faculty member IS seeking suspension or expulsion from the University:
- The faculty member shall notify the student that the case is being referred to the Student Conduct and Academic Integrity Department for a hearing to be conducted in accordance with the University procedures, (see sections IV through VII below).
- The faculty member must complete an Academic Misconduct Incident Report form, including the student's admission of the violation. In addition, all relevant documentation (e.g., copy of the test, potentially plagiarized paper, etc.) should be attached to the form, and the faculty member shall indicate that a hearing is requested.
- Both the student and the faculty member must sign the Academic Misconduct Incident Report form, and the faculty member must forward it to the SCAI Department (mail drop #3801).
- The faculty member MAY assign a final grade to the student, and may take the student's admission of academic misconduct into consideration when assigning that grade.
c. If the student freely, without intimidation or coercion, ADMITS the misconduct AND the faculty member is NOT seeking suspension or expulsion from the University
- Prior to deciding upon the sanctions for the misconduct, the faculty member should check with the SCAI Department to see whether the student has a prior record of academic misconduct at Kennesaw State University.
- After consulting with the SCAI Department, the faculty member has the prerogative of determining appropriate sanctions within the academic framework of the class (i.e., lowering the student's grade on the assignment, assigning additional work, lowering the student's overall course grade, etc.).
- The faculty member must complete an Academic Misconduct Incident Report form, including the details of the incident, the student's admission of the violation, relevant documentation (e.g., copy of the test, paper in question, etc.) and the mutually agreed upon remedy.
- Both the student and the faculty member must sign the form, and the faculty member must forward it to the SCAI Department (mail drop #3801).
B. Violation of Disciplinary Rules
A faculty member is responsible for maintaining discipline in the classroom setting to the extent that all students in that class have an opportunity to participate in the learning process. Free exchange of ideas through appropriate dialogue is a necessary and important part of the learning process. Outside the classroom, other areas of the campus provide support services, which are also important to the total learning process. Sometimes a faculty or staff member may be confronted with a situation where the conduct of a particular student or students is so inappropriate that it impedes the natural and necessary learning process.
All incidents of disciplinary violations of the KSU Student Code of Conduct outside of residence hall property shall be reported to the Department of Student Conduct and Academic Integrity (SCAI) in accordance with the procedure outlined below. Faculty, staff, or students who are witnesses to or victims of incidents of alleged violation of the Student Code of Conduct should contact the SCAI Department as soon as possible and submit a General Misconduct Incident Report form.
1. General Disruptive Behavior, Where No Immediate Threat of Danger is Present
a. If the situation is not imminently dangerous, the faculty or staff member may control the immediate situation by requiring the student(s) to meet specific criteria (not speaking during the remainder of the class period, leaving the classroom or office area immediately, etc.), or the faculty member may choose to dismiss the class for the remainder of the period to avoid a confrontation.
b. The faculty or staff member must contact the SCAI Department as soon as possible and submit a General Misconduct Incident Report form, documenting the alleged misconduct and any action taken against the student.
c. Once contacted, the SCAI officer will conduct a preliminary investigation and will advise as to the appropriate course of action in each situation.
2. Seriously Disruptive/Dangerous Conduct
a. In situations where a student's conduct is both disruptive and poses imminent danger to the health and safety of himself/herself or others, immediately contact the KSU Police at (770) 423-6666. The responding officer at the time of notification shall remove the student from the area immediately.
b. Immediately report the incident to the SCAI Department and/or the Office of the Dean for Student Affairs and for possible handling under the "Interim Suspension" policy, described in Section III below.
c. The SCAI officer will investigate the incident and will advise as to the appropriate course of action in each situation.
3. Sexual Assault
When a possible sexual assault has occurred, the victim is encouraged to report it immediately to the KSU Department of Public Safety (770) 423-6666 and the Department of Student Conduct and Academic Integrity (SCAI) (770) 499-3403.
The victim of a sexual assault should take care to preserve any evidence that may be necessary to prove that the assault occurred. Victims are advised to consult law enforcement authorities before showering/bathing, or changing or laundering any clothing that was worn during the assault. However, the fact that the victim of a sexual assault has already bathed, showered, or otherwise compromised potential evidence should in no way dissuade the victim from reporting the assault as such actions may not prevent criminal prosecution or SCAI proceedings from going forward.
Students who report sexual assaults to the KSU Department of Public Safety shall be afforded assistance in seeking counseling and follow-up medical care, making reasonable changes to their on campus housing arrangements or academic situations and reporting to the appropriate criminal authorities after an assault has occurred.
KSU recognizes and upholds the rights of victims of sexual assault, including:
a. The right to have any and all sexual assaults against them treated with seriousness; the right, as victims to be treated with dignity; and the right for campus organizations that assist victims to be accorded recognition.
b. The right to have sexual assaults investigated and adjudicated by the duly constituted criminal and civil authorities of the governmental entity in which the crimes occurred; and the right to the full and prompt cooperation and assistance of campus personnel in notifying the proper authorities. The foregoing shall be in addition to any campus disciplinary (SCAI) proceedings.
c. The right to be free from any kind of pressure from campus personnel that victims (1) not report crimes committed against them to civil and criminal authorities or to campus law enforcement and disciplinary officials; or (2) report crimes as lesser offenses than the victims perceive them to be.
d. The right to be free from any kind of suggestion that campus sexual assault victims not report, or underreport, crimes because (1) the victims are somehow responsible for the commission of crimes against them; (2) victims were contributorily negligent or assumed the risk of being assaulted; or (3) by reporting crimes they would incur unwanted personal publicity.
e. The same right to advisement and assistance, or ability to have others present, in any campus disciplinary proceeding that the institution permits the accused and the right to be notified of the outcome of such proceeding.
f. The right to full and prompt cooperation from campus personnel in obtaining, securing and maintaining evidence (including a medical examination) as may be necessary to the proof of criminal sexual assault in subsequent legal proceedings.
g. The right to be made aware of and assisted in exercising any options as provided by state and federal laws or regulations with regard to mandatory testing of sexual assault suspects for communicable diseases and with regard to notification to victims of the results of such testing.
h. The right to counseling from any mental health services previously established by the institution, or by other victim-service entities, or by victims themselves.
i. After campus sexual assaults have been reported, the victims of such crimes shall have the right to require that campus personnel take the necessary steps or actions reasonably feasible to prevent any unnecessary or unwanted contact or proximity with alleged assailants, including transfer of classes or reasonable changes in on-campus housing arrangements if requested by the victims.
C. Violation of Disciplinary Rules on Residence Hall Property
Depending on the circumstances, an AC or RD is permitted to choose one of two options when handling incidents involving an allegation of a violation of the residential code/student code of conduct on residence hall property (including all grounds and associated parking areas) by any KSU student. These options include (1) an informal resolution procedure with the AC or RD or designee (see below) if the alleged violation is not one where removal from housing, or suspension or expulsion from the university would be imposed, or (2) filing formal SCAI charges, which shall result in the case being referred to and heard by either the Director or Associate Director for Residence Life or the SCAI Assistant Director (or designee) serving as a hearing officer or by a University SCAI Hearing panel hearing.
If the AC or RD chooses to pursue an informal resolution of misconduct, he or she should arrange to meet with the student who allegedly violated the code of conduct. While it is better for the accused student to be present at his or her meeting with the AC or RD, if notice has been given to the student by the student’s KSU email account of the date, time, and place of the meeting and the student does not attend, then the AC or RD may make a decision based on the evidence gathered without the student’s input.
If the student is present, during the meeting between the AC or RD and the accused student, the following shall take place.
1. The AC or RD shall inform the student of the alleged misconduct, including some evidence to support the accusation.
2. The AC or RD must give the student the opportunity to respond to the accusation. Once the student has a chance to respond, the AC or RD shall proceed as follows:
- If the AC or RD finds the student responsible for the violation(s) based upon a preponderance of the evidence, or if the student freely, without coercion, accepts responsibility for the misconduct (with or without a written explanation) for the misconduct, then:
- Prior to deciding upon the sanctions for the misconduct, the AC or RD should check to see whether the student has a prior record of misconduct at Kennesaw State University.
- The AC or RD has the prerogative of determining appropriate sanctions within the framework of the Disciplinary Measures listed in the KSU Student Code of Conduct, with the following limitations. In no case may the AC or RD impose expulsion or suspension from the university, or removal from on-campus housing. Those particular sanctions may only be imposed after the filing of SCAI charges, and only if a student has been found responsible for violating the KSU Student Code of Conduct or Residential Code of Conduct after completion of a hearing by either the Director or Associate Director for Residence Life or the SCAI Assistant Director (or designee) or a university court hearing.
- The AC or RD must assure that appropriate information about the matter and the hearing is entered into the SCAI records software system.
Alternatively, if the AC or RD chooses to file formal SCAI charges, which shall result in the case being referred to and heard by either the Director or Associate Director for Residence Life or the SCAI Assistant Director (or designee) serving as a hearing officer, or by a University SCAI Hearing Panel because the charge is of such a serious nature that the student faces possible removal from on-campus housing, and/or suspension or expulsion from the university, the following shall take place.
1. The hearing officer shall contact the student who allegedly violated the code of conduct by the student’s KSU email account and inform him or her of the alleged misconduct and set a date, time and place for an administrative hearing/disciplinary meeting before the hearing officer. In the same communication, the hearing officer must also inform the accused student of his or her right to request a University SCAI Hearing panel and request an advisor in lieu of the disciplinary meeting with the hearing officer giving the accused student a deadline by which time the student must request such a panel hearing.
2. If the accused student is eligible to request a University SCAI Hearing panel and does so in a timely manner, then the case will be referred to the Director of the SCAI Department who shall set up the SCAI Hearing panel in accordance with sections IV, V, and VI of these SCAI policies and procedures.
3. If the student does not request a SCAI Panel hearing by the deadline, then the disciplinary meeting with the hearing officer shall take place. While it is better for the accused student to be present at his or her meeting with the hearing officer, if notice has been given to the student by KSU email of the date, time, and place of the meeting and the student does not attend, then the hearing officer may make a decision based on the evidence gathered without the student’s input.
4. If the student is present, then during the meeting between the hearing officer and the accused student, the following shall take place. The hearing officer shall inform the student of the alleged misconduct, including some evidence to support the accusation.
5. The hearing officer must give the student the opportunity to respond to the accusation. Once the student has a chance to respond, the hearing officer shall proceed as follows:
- If the hearing officer finds the student responsible for the violation(s) based upon a preponderance of the evidence, or if the student freely, without coercion, accepts responsibility for the misconduct (with or without a written explanation) for the misconduct, then:
- Prior to deciding upon the sanctions for the misconduct, the hearing officer should check to see whether the student has a prior record of misconduct at Kennesaw State University.
- The hearing officer has the prerogative of determining appropriate sanctions within the framework of the Disciplinary Measures listed in the KSU Student Code of Conduct.
- The hearing officer must assure that appropriate information about the matter and the hearing is entered into the SCAI records software system.
D. Sanctions for Code of Conduct Violations
A student or student organization found in violation of the KSU Student Code of Conduct may be sanctioned as outlined by this section. Sanctions for KSU Student Code of Conduct violations may be combined.
1. Types of Sanctions, in General
a. Expulsion: Permanent severance of student's relationship with the University.
b. Probated Expulsion: Further violations of major offenses, as specified by the University Hearing Panel or hearing officer, shall result in expulsion.
c. Suspension: Temporary severance of a student's relationship with the University.
d. Probated Suspension: Notice that further violations of major offenses, as specified by the University Hearing Panel or hearing officer, shall result in suspension.
e. Reprimand: Oral or written disapproval issued to the student
f. Disciplinary Probation: Notice to the student that any further major disciplinary violations may result in suspension; this action might also include, but not be limited to, the following: the setting of restrictions on social activities, the issuing of a reprimand, and restitution.
g. Restrictions: Exclusion from enjoying or participating in social activities, or from holding office in University clubs or organizations.
h. Restitution: Reimbursement for damage or misappropriation of property; this may take the form of appropriate service or other compensation.
i. Community Service: Assignment to work a specific number of hours at or through a community service agency.
j. Other Educational or Developmental Remedies: Imposed by the University Hearing Panel or any hearing officer.
k. Retraction of University degree or course credit previously awarded: The University may retract a degree or course credit previously awarded if the University Hearing panel or hearing officer recommends this sanction and both the Provost/VPAA and Registrar accept the recommendation.
2. Academic Misconduct - minimum sanction
Any accused student found to have violated KSU regulations concerning academic honesty by a hearing before the SCAI Hearing Panel or before the Director of SCAI, or his or her designee, shall be suspended for at least one semester unless he or she has convinced the hearing officer or body that there exist substantial mitigating circumstances to his or her offense.
It is the responsibility of the faculty member to determine the appropriate grade to be assigned to a student once the SCAI Hearing Panel or hearing officer finds that the student violated the Student Code of Conduct's provisions regarding academic misconduct.
3. Student Organizations
In addition to D. 1. e, h, i, and k listed in the above referenced sanctions, student organizations found in violation of the Student Code of Conduct may be subject to the following disciplinary action:
a. Restriction of social or other activities sponsored by the organization.
b. Suspension of the organization's registration with Student Life.
c. Probated suspension of the organization's registration with Student Life.
d. Revocation of the organization's registration with Student Life.
e. Probated revocation of the organization's registration with Student Life.
Interim suspension measures may be employed against a student by the Vice President for Student Affairs, or his or her designated representative, when he or she shall determine, based on clear and convincing evidence, that the student has engaged, or threatens to engage, in behavior which:
1. is seriously disruptive or significantly impedes the normal activities or academic endeavors of others, or
2. poses an immediate, significant threat of physical danger to others, or
3. poses an immediate, significant threat of danger to him/herself and is of such serious nature that it must be handled more expeditiously than University student conduct procedures allow.
For interim suspension purposes, the designated representative of the Vice President for Student Affairs may be the Dean of Student Affairs, the Director of Student Success Services, or the Director of Residence Life.
B. Possible Actions by the University
Interim suspension may include any or all of the following:
1. restriction from participation in any academic course, program, or activity
2. restriction from participation in any student activity on or off campus
3. restriction from use of any or all University facilities
4. restriction from entering the campus or any designated portion thereof.
A student placed on interim suspension shall remain as such, pending a hearing by the SCAI Hearing Panel or other appropriate administrative hearing. Every effort will be made to resolve the situation as quickly as possible.
D. Interim Suspension Procedure
1. The Vice President for Student Affairs or his or her designee shall conduct such investigation as is necessary to obtain all the facts surrounding the situation.
2. The Vice President for Student Affairs or his or her designee may determine that immediate interim suspension of the student from the institution or from university housing is necessary and appropriate based upon clear and convincing evidence.
- If such a determination is made, the Vice President for Student Affairs or his or her designee shall notify the student, the SCAI officer, the KSU Department of Public Safety, and the student's teachers, when appropriate, that the student has been temporarily suspended from the institution pending the outcome of a hearing.
- The SCAI officer will then initiate the process for an appropriate hearing to be held as soon as practical.
3. The Vice President for Student Affairs or his or her designee may elect not to suspend the student, but to refer the matter to the SCAI Department for further action.
A. Filing of a Charge
1. The accuser and the student may choose to resolve the matter by an informal hearing or meeting when there is an accusation of academic misconduct (See IIA, above) or an accusation of residential code violation(s) (see IIC, above). When so resolved, a completed Academic Misconduct Incident Report form signed by both the accuser and the accused student (when required) shall be forwarded to the SCAI office (mail drop #3801) or the appropriate staff member shall enter relevant data in the SCAI records software system. All charges not resolved informally, either because of ineligibility or inability of the parties to agree to an informal resolution shall proceed according to the following guidelines to initiate a formal SCAI hearing.
2. The accuser files a written complaint with the SCAI officer using the appropriate form, or a SCAI or Residence Life staff member enters a code of conduct charge(s) against a student in the SCAI record-keeping software:
a. Academic Misconduct Incident Report form for allegations of academic misconduct.
b. General Misconduct Incident Report form for all other allegations of KSU Student Code of Conduct violations except those occurring on residence hall property.
c. Residential Incident Report (usually an entry in the SCAI record-keeping software) for all other allegations of non-academic KSU Student Code of Conduct violations occurring on KSU residence hall property.
The applicable report or entry in the record-keeping software shall:
a. state the facts underlying the alleged violation of the Kennesaw State University Student Code of Conduct,
b. state the specific University regulations alleged to have been violated,
c. include any relevant evidence and/or list of witnesses to the alleged violation.
3. Except under extraordinary circumstances, charges must be filed by the end of the semester following the discovery of the occurrence of the alleged violation of the Kennesaw State University Student Code of Conduct.
B. Notification of Pending Charges
1. The SCAI officer or Residence Life staff shall give the accused notice of charges against him or her. If the accused is a student organization, the notice shall be served to any officer of the organization.
2. When the accused student is entitled to a SCAI Panel hearing the accused shall be informed of that option and the availability of an advisor to assist in the preparation and presentation of the case at any SCAI Panel hearing.
3. When it is required, service of written notice may be delivered by hand, electronically, or by mail. Generally, unless circumstances do not allow, written notification will be delivered to a student’s KSU e-mail account.
C. Hearing Involving Multiple Parties/ Motion for Separate Hearing
1. Two or more accused students may be required to participate jointly in a hearing if they are alleged to have participated in the same incident, act, events, or series of related acts. The regulation(s) or factual circumstances alleged need not be identical for the accused students in a hearing held jointly.
2. An accused may file a written motion with the SCAI officer for a separate hearing, citing specific reasons why being heard jointly would unfairly prejudice his or her defense.
3. This motion must be in writing and filed (or postmarked) within three (3) business days of the accused student(s) receipt of the hearing notice.
4. The SCAI officer will decide the motion within five (5) business days of receipt of the request.
D. Notice of Witnesses and Evidence
1. At least five (5) days prior to a SCAI Panel hearing, the accuser and the accused shall submit the following to the SCAI officer:
a. a list of all witnesses the party wishes to appear on his or her behalf, including each witness' address and phone number (if known) AND
b. copies of all documentary or other evidence to be used;
2. The SCAI officer shall supply a party's witness list and copies of evidence to the opposing party at least three (3) days prior to the SCAI Panel hearing.
3. Before witnesses and/or evidence submitted after the deadline may be presented during a hearing, approval must be obtained from the SCAI officer.
E. Time of Hearing / Request for Postponement
1. The SCAI Panel hearing will be held at the date and time agreed upon by the parties and notice will be sent to all parties involved.
2. If either party has a valid reason for postponing the hearing, he or she must notify the SCAI officer no later than 72 hours before the hearing time by filing a written request for postponement.
3. If an official postponement has been requested and approved, the SCAI officer will notify all parties regarding the rescheduled hearing.
4. If the accused has not obtained an official postponement and fails to appear for the hearing, the SCAI Panel will conduct the hearing without the accused.
The following hearing procedures shall be followed in all SCAI Panel cases. These rules shall be interpreted to maintain an informal hearing procedure to the extent that informality will not hinder or obstruct the basic fact-finding function of the panel. Upon permission by the parties and/or the SCAI officer, additional measures, as necessary and appropriate, may be implemented.
A. Rules Followed by the Panel
1. All charges presented to the SCAI Panel will be based on alleged violations of the Kennesaw State University Student Code of Conduct.
2. The Panel will not be bound by formal rules of legal proceedings and may admit any information that may be of value in determining the issues involved.
B. Personal Advisors
The accuser and the accused may each have an advisor appointed from the pool of SCAI panel members. Either a party involved or his or her advisor may present the case at the hearing but not both.
Because SCAI Panel hearings are not formal legal proceedings, lawyers are not permitted as personal advisors. However, an accused student who is represented by an attorney may request that the attorney attend the hearing, for observation purposes only, as outlined in Section V.E.4., below.
Federal and state laws govern the confidentiality of SCAI hearings. Except for such simple announcements as may be required in disciplinary matters, covering the time of the hearing and similar information, public statements and publicity about the complaint by the accused, the accuser, the witnesses, or any member of the SCAI Panel should be avoided.
D. Burden of Proof
The accused shall be presumed not responsible for a violation until it is proven that he/she is responsible. The accuser has the burden of proof to establish responsibility for the violation by a preponderance of the evidence presented that the accused has violated the Student Code of Conduct.
E. Attendance at the Hearing
1. The SCAI Panel may exclude any person who may be reasonably expected to interfere with the hearing or who does interfere with the hearing.
2. Attendance at the hearing shall consist of:
a. Members of the SCAI Panel who are to hear the case
b. The accused student(s) and his or her advisor
c. The accuser and his or her advisor
d. The SCAI officer
e. Other necessary persons, upon prior approval by the SCAI officer and notice to the parties to the case. Objections to the presence of such persons may be submitted to the SCAI officer, in writing, up to 24 hours before the hearing.
f. Other members of the SCAI panel, provided they have completed all of the required training and signed the code of ethics agreement.
3. The accuser and the accused shall be given an opportunity to present necessary witnesses and documentary or other evidence, but all witnesses will be admitted to the hearing only when their personal participation is necessary.
4. Attorneys may not participate in SCAI hearings. However, an accused student who is represented by an attorney may request that his or her attorney be present to observe the hearing, if the request is sent in writing to the SCAI officer at least five (5) business days prior to the hearing. Attorneys who are granted permission to attend a SCAI Panel hearing may not directly participate in the hearing; however, the attorney may confer with his or her client during a recess of the hearing.
F. Evidence and Witnesses
1. The use of evidence and witnesses in a case before the SCAI Panel hearing is subject to the provisions in this section, as well as the deadlines outlined in section IV.D. (above).
2. The accuser and the accused shall have the following rights:
- The right to present evidence and witnesses on his or her behalf.
- The right to question all witnesses who are present.
- The right to remain silent with no inference of responsibility drawn from such silence.
3. The SCAI Panel will place highest value on direct examination of all witnesses; however, if a witness legitimately cannot appear at the hearing, that witness may present evidence using the following methods:
a. alternative live testimony-If approved in advance by the SCAI officer, a witness may arrange to testify via speakerphone, or other technologically feasible means for that witness to communicate during the actual hearing.
b. signed written statement-A signed written statement will be admissible if it meets all of the following conditions:
- the statement pertains to the charges pending before the Panel.
- the statement is submitted to the SCAI officer by the deadline for each party's
- submission of evidence, per section IV.D. (above)
the statement can be verified by the SCAI officer as written by the witness.
4. The SCAI Panel reserves the right to call any witnesses it deems necessary for the performance of its duties.
5. The SCAI Panel shall consider only evidence presented at the hearing. Irrelevant, immaterial, or unduly repetitious evidence shall be excluded.
G. Prior Record of the Accused
1. During a SCAI Panel hearing, evidence of previous findings of violations of the Kennesaw State University Student Code of Conduct by the accused student should be excluded from evidentiary phase of the hearing unless the previous misconduct shows a pattern of similar behavior related to the current charge.
2. In general (see subsection 1, above), in cases where the accused student has a prior campus record, the SCAI Panel will first determine whether the student has violated the Code of Conduct regarding the current charges. If a violation has occurred, the Panel will proceed to the sanctioning phase of the hearing.
3. Once the SCAI Panel finds an accused student in violation of the KSU Student Code of Conduct, the Panel may consider that accused student's prior record when recommending an appropriate sanction.
4. When the SCAI Panel engages in a sanctioning recommendation that includes evidence of a student's prior campus record, the accused student may present a statement, oral or written, to the Panel, regarding that prior record.
At its discretion, the SCAI Panel may grant adjournments to enable either the accuser or the accused to investigate evidence or when in the opinion of the Panel an interruption in the hearing would be desirable.
I. Record of Proceedings / Decision of the SCAI Panel
A recording of the proceedings shall be made and kept in the office of the SCAI officer as the official record of the hearing. The decision of the SCAI Panel will be based solely on the evidence presented at the hearing, will be in writing, and will state each charge of alleged misconduct and the Panel’s finding, as well as any recommended sanctions.
A. Opening of the Case
At the beginning of the hearing the Chief Panel member will:
1. Call the hearing to order.
2. Introduce the panel members.
3. Call the case number and the names of the parties.
4. Read the charges against the accused.
5. Explain the order of proceedings and answer questions regarding that order.
B. Oath of Witnesses
The Chief Panel member of the SCAI Panel shall read the following statement to all persons involved in a SCAI Panel hearing, including witnesses, before the parties begin presenting their respective cases:
ALL PARTICIPANTS IN THIS HEARING ARE REQUIRED TO FULLY COOPERATE AND ANSWER ALL QUESTIONS TRUTHFULLY AND TO THE BEST OF THEIR KNOWLEDGE AND ABILITY. THOSE PARTICIPANTS WHO KNOWINGLY GIVE FALSE TESTIMONY MAY BE CHARGED WITH PERJURY UNDER SECTION IX OF THE KENNESAW STATE UNIVERSITY STUDENT CODE OF CONDUCT
C. Pleas / Admissions of Responsibility
A plea is not required. However, the accused shall have the right to enter a plea before opening statements are presented. If at any time and without coercion or undue influence, the accused student admits to the Code of Conduct violation(s) and no other factual matters are in dispute, the Panel will proceed to a sanctioning phase.
D. Presentation of Evidence
1. The accuser presents an opening statement.
2. The accused presents an opening statement.
3. The accuser presents relevant evidence and witnesses.
4. The accused may question the accuser's witnesses.
5. The Panel may question the accuser's witnesses.
6. The accused presents relevant evidence and witnesses.
7. The accuser may question the witnesses of the accused.
8. The Panel may question the accused's witnesses.
9. The Panel presents any witnesses called by the Panel itself.
10. First the accuser and then the accused may question the Panel’s witnesses.
11. Any witness may be recalled for further questioning by any participant.
12. The accuser presents a final statement.
13. The accused presents a final statement.
E. Deliberation and Recommendation of the SCAI Panel
Upon completion of a hearing, the Panel will deliberate to determine whether it feels that the accused student(s) or student organization has violated the KSU Student Code of Conduct. If the Panel believes that a Student Code of Conduct violation has occurred, it shall recommend an appropriate sanction.
Decisions of the Panel shall be based on a simple majority vote. The Chief Panel member shall vote only in case of a tie. The decision and recommended sanction(s), if any, shall be in writing and signed by all SCAI Panel members who heard the case.
The deliberations of the Panel shall be closed to all except Panel members and the SCAI officer, who shall not vote, but may answer any procedural questions.
F. Reporting the SCAI Panel’s Decision
1. The SCAI Panel shall forward its recommendation to the Director of the SCAI Dept. or his or her designee within 24 hours of time of the decision.
2. If the case arose from within campus housing property the Director of the SCAI Dept. or his or her designee will report the Panel’s recommendation within three business days to the Director for Residence Life.
3. Within five (5) business days of the hearing, the Director of the SCAI Dept. or his or her designated representative will notify the accused of the final decision and sanction(s), if any. The notice will be in writing, and will be sent via KSU e-mail or other allowed method of delivery.
4. A record of the charge, the Panel’s decision and recommended sanction, and the final determination shall be placed in the student's confidential activity file in the office of the SCAI officer.
5. Any further distribution of the information shall be restricted in accordance with confidentiality requirements for student records.
A. Sanctions Take Effect Immediately
All sanctions take effect immediately after the sanction decision is communicated in writing (unless the sanction letter specifies differently), and this is true even when a student or student organization qualifies for and pursues an appeal.
B. Who may Appeal?
1. A student may appeal a decision of the SCAI Panel as confirmed by the Director of the SCAI Department or his or her designee when that decision resulted in a sanction of retraction of a degree or previously awarded course credit, suspension, expulsion (from the University), and/or removal from University housing.
2. A student may appeal the decision of any hearing officer in an administrative hearing (disciplinary meeting) when that decision resulted in a sanction of retraction of a degree or previously awarded course credit, suspension, expulsion (from the university), and/or removal from university housing.
3. An organization may appeal a decision of the SCAI Panel as confirmed by the Director of the SCAI Department when that decision resulted in a recommendation of a sanction of suspension or revocation of the organization’s registration with Student Life.
4. An organization may appeal a decision of any hearing officer in an administrative hearing when that decision resulted in a recommendation of a sanction of suspension or revocation of the organization’s registration with Student Life.
5. Whenever there is a hearing of any type based on an allegation of sexual misconduct (including sexual assault) the rules on appeals are modified so that either the accused student or the complainant may appeal in writing the finding and/or sanctions under certain circumstances. However, if either one appeals (at any level of appeal), then the other must be notified of the appeal, and the other may or may not choose to make a written statement in response to the appeal. The appeal and the statement in response to the appeal must be joined together and heard by the appeals officer at the same time so that the matter can be resolved in one action. Any appeal decision must be communicated to both parties.
If the student chooses not to make a statement in response to the appeal, he or she may not later object to and appeal any decision by the appeals officer. If the accused student appeals, he or she must base the appeal on one or more of the three grounds listed in section VII D (below). If the complainant appeals he or she must base the appeal on VII D 1 (procedural error), VII D 2 (new evidence), or on an assertion that the record of the original hearing shows by a preponderance of evidence that there was sexual misconduct by the accused student and/or on an assertion that the sanctions imposed were unreasonably lenient based upon the circumstances of the case and the prior record of the accused student.
C. Decision Letter Contents
Every decision letter to a student who has been suspended or expelled from the University or removed from housing, or had a degree or previously awarded course credit retracted, or to an organization whose registration has been suspended or revoked with Student Life, must contain the following information.
1. A statement that the student or organization may be eligible for an appeal if any of the three grounds for appeal indicated in section VIIC (below) exist, and
2. A statement that such an appeal must be submitted in writing within five business days of the receipt of the decision letter to the Director of the Department of Student Conduct and Academic Integrity, and
3. It must provide information on how to contact the Director of the SCAI Department.
D. Only Three Grounds for Appeal
Dissatisfaction with the decision is not proper grounds for an appeal. There are only three grounds for appeal. They are, when a student or organization was found responsible for a code of conduct violation, one of the sanctions listed in section VIIB (above) was imposed, and
1. There were procedural errors in the process (a procedural error occurs when there is not substantial compliance with the SCAI policies and procedures as published on the KSU SCAI website); or
2. Significant new information or evidence becomes available that was not available or known to exist as of the hearing date and that evidence likely would have influenced the original decision; or
3. There were substantive errors in the decision (a substantive error occurs when there was no evidence to justify a finding of responsibility for the Code of Conduct violation or the sanction(s) is/are unreasonably harsh based upon the circumstances of the case and the prior record of the student).
E. How to Appeal
All appeals must be in writing and must be submitted to the Director of the SCAI Department within five business days of the student or student organization’s receipt of the sanctioning decision in writing. The Director of the SCAI Department will forward the appeal to the proper appeals officer. The appeals process does not grant a new hearing at a higher level. All appeals described in this section involve written appeals only. Students or organizations do not meet with or make oral presentations to the person deciding the appeal. There may be times when the person deciding the appeal requests a meeting with parties involved in order to clarify matters related to the appeal, but that is solely within the discretion of the person deciding the appeal.
F. Information Needed by Person Deciding Appeal
The person deciding the appeal or his or her designee will receive the following information:
1. Any recording that may have been made of the hearing (SCAI Panel hearing only).
2. All documents and evidence presented at the hearing.
3. Any notice of hearing letter presented to the student or organization.
4. The decision/sanction letter.
5. Any other documents that pertain to the matter.
G. Appeal Decision
The person deciding the appeal or his or her designee will make one of the following determinations in writing within thirty (30) calendar days of the receipt of the appeal in his or her office.
1. Uphold the original decision of responsibility and make no change in sanction(s).
2. Uphold the original decision of responsibility but modify the sanction(s).
3. Reverse the original decision of responsibility and the sanction(s).
H. Who Will Hear the Appeal?
When a student or student organization qualifies for an appeal, completes the appeal request in writing, and submits the appeal to the SCAI Director within the five business day deadline, the Dean of Student Affairs or his or her designee shall decide the appeal.
I. Further Appeal to the University President
Only a student or student organization that qualified for and completed the appeals process described above and who is not satisfied with the result may appeal to the President of the University.
1. The student or organization must allege one or more of the same three grounds for appeal listed in section VII D (above).
2. The appeal to the President must be in writing and submitted to the Director of the SCAI Department within five business days from his/her/its receipt of the appeal decision in writing.
3. A review by the President is not a matter of right, but is within the discretion of the President.
4. If the President accepts the appeal for review, he or she may choose to ask for a recommendation on the matter from an adviser or advisers or he or she may designate someone to hear the appeal in his or her stead.
5. The presidential review is not a new hearing and a student or organization does not meet with or make oral presentations to the President or adviser(s). There may be times when the President, or his or her advisor(s), requests a meeting with parties involved in order to clarify matters related to the appeal, but that is solely within his/her/their discretion.
6. The President shall, in writing, either decline to accept the appeal or accept the appeal and issue a decision within thirty (30) calendar days of the receipt of the appeal in his/her office.
J. Additional Appeal to Georgia Board of Regents
Any student in the University System aggrieved by a final decision of the president of an institution may apply to the Board of Regents Office of Legal Affairs (“Legal Affairs”) for a review of the decision. Review of the decision is not a matter of right, but is within the sound discretion of Legal Affairs. Each application for review shall be submitted in writing to Legal Affairs within a period of twenty calendar days following the decision of the president. For more information see: http://www.usg.edu/policymanual/section8/C2363
Any student who faces Code of Conduct charges for a disciplinary issue may raise the issue of a diagnosed mental disorder. Alternatively, a student may be accused of a disciplinary violation and it may appear that the student is not capable of understanding the nature or wrongfulness of the action. In either of these situations, the hearing officer shall refer the matter to the SCAI Director who shall submit the matter to the Dean of Student Affairs or his or her designee for handling in accordance with the Voluntary and Involuntary Withdrawal for Medical and/or Psychological Reasons Policy.
[Updated Jan. 13, 2015]