AIC Hearing Procedures | Pepperdine University | Seaver College

AIC Hearing Procedures

 

 Pre-Hearing Procedures

1. Students opposing Level One or Level Two sanctions imposed by an instructor or charged with Level Three or Level Four violations will receive a written correspondence from the AIC chairperson detailing the following:

i. Date and time of the hearing. The hearing will be scheduled not less than five business days or more than thirty calendar days after the student has been notified.
ii. The alleged violation(s) of academic integrity.
iii. Possible sanctions for the alleged violation(s).
iv. The URL to the Academic Integrity web site and the hearing procedures.
v. The ability of the student to bring a student, faculty or staff advisor.
vi. The ability of the student to call witnesses and/or submit documents during the hearing.
vii. A statement that the AIC hearing is confidential.
viii. The opportunity to appeal the resulting decision of the AIC.
ix. Contact information for the AIC chairperson.


2. The student may provide a written response to the AIC Chairperson up to 24 hours prior to the AIC hearing.

3. The student and the accusing faculty member(s) shall notify the Chairperson of the committee of the names of the witnesses they choose to have testify on their behalf and provide a copy of all pertinent documents at least twenty-four hours prior to the hearing, and they shall assume responsibility for the presence of their witnesses at the hearing. The committee may, at its sole discretion, limit the number of witnesses and documents considered at the hearing.

4. All hearings will be closed to Seaver College community. Only the members of the committee, the accused student, advisors involved in the hearing, and accusing faculty member(s) involved in the case may be present at the hearing. Authorized witnesses will be present to testify individually and each witness must leave the hearing as soon as his or her testimony is completed.

Hearing Procedures

1. Academic Integrity proceedings are not analogous to criminal court proceedings. No particular model of procedural due process is required. However, the procedures are structured in order to facilitate a reliable determination of the truth and to provide fundamental fairness. Procedures can be informal in cases involving Level One or Level Two violations; more procedural formality is observed in serious disciplinary cases involving Level Three or Level Four violations. In all situations, fairness requires that students be informed of the nature of the charges and be given a fair opportunity to respond to them.

2. The hearing will be called to order at the time specified. The hearing cannot begin without seven committee members and/or alternates (see #5 below), the accused student, and the accusing faculty member(s) (or an appointed representative) in attendance.

3. All testimony and committee decisions, including sanctions, will be digitally recorded. The deliberations of the AIC are not recorded.

4. No member of the hearing committee who is otherwise interested in the particular case brought before the committee, whether bringing charges against the student, or who is placed in a position of developing or prosecuting the case against the student, shall sit in judgment during the proceedings. This committee member will be replaced as stipulated in No. 5 of the procedures.

5. All committee members involved in the case being presented before the committee must recuse themselves from the committee. An alternate committee member shall replace each recused member during the hearing. When possible, the alternate committee member should be from the same academic division as the recused committee member.

6. The hearing will begin with the Chairperson providing a summary of the procedures to be followed at the hearing and the charges asserted against the accused student.

7. The accusing faculty member will present to the committee any evidence the faculty member wishes to have under consideration. The faculty member may call witnesses and/or present documents, if deemed pertinent to the case. At the close of any witness's presentation, the witness may be questioned by the committee on any points of evidence on which the committee is unclear. The witness will then be asked to leave the hearing. The faculty member(s) also may be questioned by the committee on any points of evidence on which the committee is unclear.

8. The accused student will be given an opportunity to rebut the charges. The accused student may call witnesses and/or present documents, if deemed pertinent to the case. At the close of any witness's presentation, the witness may be questioned by the committee on any points of evidence on which the committee is unclear. The witness will then be asked to leave the hearing. At the close of the accused student's presentation, the student may be questioned by the committee on any points of evidence on which the committee is unclear. In addition, the committee may ask the faculty member about points of evidence which are unclear.

9. After all evidence has been presented, the accused student and the accusing faculty member(s) will be asked to leave the hearing room while the committee deliberates. At this time, the committee will review and discuss all the evidence it feels is pertinent to the case. The AIC will make its determination according to the preponderance of the evidence standard (i.e., whether it is more likely than not that the student violated the AI code). When deliberation has been completed, a secret ballot will be taken to decide whether the accused student violated the AI code. The ballots will be counted by the secretary and reported to the committee.

10. The accused student will be found in violation or not in violation of the AI code based upon a vote of at least three-fourths of the members present, with no more than two members dissenting. If the accused student is found in violation of the AI code, the committee will vote on a sanction. The sanction must have a majority vote. Vote is by secret ballot and is counted by the secretary. The results (and original ballots) will be presented to the Associate Dean of Seaver College. The accused student will be asked to return to the hearing room to be informed of the committee's decision.

11. If found in violation, the student will be advised of his/her opportunity to appeal the decision to the Associate Dean of Seaver College. See "Appeal Procedures" below.

12. Formal written notice of the decision will be sent to the student, the accusing faculty member(s), and the Associate Dean of Seaver College.

13. All notes and recordings of the hearings shall be given to the Associate Dean of Seaver College to be kept as specified in the Code of Academic Integrity.

14. To maintain a record of the hearing, the secretary will prepare a single written record of the hearing. The record shall consist minimally of:

i. A statement of the alleged misconduct and violation(s);
ii. A summary of information presented in the hearing, including a chronological sequence of the proceedings;
iii. A summary of the statement of the accused student;
iv. A statement of the decision; and
v. The sanctions issued.

In addition, the secretary will retain a digital recording of the hearing as specified in item 3.

15. Any member of the AIC may attach a statement to the secretary's report of the hearing indicating his or her dissent.

16. If the accused student fails to appear at the hearing, the Committee may make a decision based on the available information. If the AIC chairperson determines that good cause exists for the accused student not appearing at the hearing, a new date may be set for the hearing.

Appeal Procedures

1. A student who wishes to appeal the AIC's decision can submit a written appeal to the Associate Dean of Seaver College. The appeal letter must be submitted within seven calendar days of the date on the written notice of the sanction.

2. The written appeal must specify grounds that would justify consideration. General dissatisfaction with the outcome of the decision or an appeal for mercy is not an appropriate basis for an appeal. The written appeal must specifically address at least one of the following criteria:

i. Insufficient information to support the decision.
ii. New information, sufficient to alter a decision, or other relevant facts not brought out in the original hearing, because such information and/or facts were not known to the person appealing at the time of the original hearing.
iii. Procedural irregularity that undermined the student's ability to present a defense (see "Hearing Procedures" above).
iv. Inappropriateness of the sanction for the violation of the Code of Academic Integrity.

3. The appellate process does not require a hearing, nor does it require the Associate Dean to make personal contact with the student or the Academic Integrity Committee. The Associate Dean may, but is not required to, convene an ad hoc appeals committee to assist in considering the appeal. The Associate Dean is not bound by the decision of the ad hoc appeals committee.

4. The Associate Dean may affirm, reverse, or modify the sanction. The Associate Dean may also return the case to the Academic Integrity Committee for further consideration. The Associate Dean's decision shall be final and effective immediately.