Steps in the Conduct Process
- An allegation of a student violation of College policy is initiated by an individual ("complainant") filing a complaint with the Dean, or by the Dean of Students in response to an incident or report. Note: The process for investigating and adjudicating cases involving sexual harassment or assault is described in the Sexual Misconduct Policy.
- The Dean may do some preliminary investigation of the charges, shall contact the individual(s) in writing and instruct the accused student(s) (respondent) to make an appointment with a designated Administrative Hearing Officer who shall be the Dean of Students or a designated member of the Student Affairs staff. Students will be notified of the charges and conduct procedures via email.
- The Dean of Students may issue interim sanctions pending the outcome of a hearing. These sanctions may include loss/change of housing, no contact directive, or temporary suspension if there is compelling reason to believe that the action is in the best interests of the College or to protect the safety of the student or of others.
- The respondent shall admit or deny responsibility for the alleged actions in writing during the meeting with the designated Administrative Hearing Officer. If the respondent fails to schedule an administrative hearing within the designated time the administrative hearing officer will determine responsibility in the student’s absence based on the preponderance of evidence available.
- If the respondent accepts responsibility for the conduct charges sanctions shall be determined by the designated Administrative Hearing Officer or the Dean.
- If the respondent denies responsibility for the conduct charges the respondent shall select the option of having an administrative hearing or a hearing by the Conduct Board. The Dean reserves the right to direct matters to the Conduct Board instead of an administrative hearing. If the Dean determines a timely hearing by the Conduct Board is not possible, the process shall be an administrative hearing.
- Students will be notified of the outcome of the case and any sanctions levied via email letter. Complainants will also be notified of the outcome of the case and of any sanctions that are related to their complaint. If the complainant is deceased as a result of the crime or offense, Cornell College will provide the results of the disciplinary hearing to the complainant's next of kin, if so requested. The investigation is considered open until students have received written notification of the decision of the Administrative Hearing Officer or Conduct Board.
- An appeal may be filed in writing to the Dean of Students by either the respondent or the complainant within three class days or 30 days, whichever occurs first, after the student is notified of the decision. Conditions under which appeals may be considered are described in the section on Appeals.
Administrative Hearing Procedures
- Administrative hearings shall be conducted by an Administrative Hearing Officer. The Administrative Hearing Officer may be the same staff member with whom the student has met to discuss the charges, and the hearing may proceed immediately. Students may also request that a case be assigned to a different Administrative Hearing Officer and the hearing be scheduled for a later date.
- The Administrative Hearing Officer shall conduct an investigation into the matter and shall attempt to find all the relevant facts in the case.
- The Administrative Hearing Officer shall notify the respondent in writing of the decision and of any sanctions.