Overview of Process

Overview of Process Informal Hearing

Informal Hearing

"Informal disposition" means resolution without a formal fact-­‐finding hearing, usually by agreement between the student and Student Judicial Affairs.  It may also be a result of unilateral disciplinary action if a student fails to participate in the disciplinary process, or when a sanction is imposed as specified in a prior deferred sanction agreement.  Informal disposition is not required, and in cases that cannot be resolved informally, a fact-­‐finding hearing is held.

Formal Fact Finding Hearing

A formal disciplinary hearing, consistent with the University's educational mission, is a process whereby members of our academic community -­‐ students, faculty, and staff -­‐ meet to make determinations of fact.  It is not a court proceeding.  The goal is to find the truth through a fair, prompt, and effective process, respecting and preserving the rights of the accused student, the University community, the reporting party, and any witnesses.

Potential Sanctions

The following disciplinary sanctions and administrative actions may be applied at UC Merced. Sanctions may be imposed, and administrative actions may be taken, separately or in combination.

  • Dismissal:  Termination of student status for an indefinite period (may not re-­‐enroll in classes without approval from the Chancellor).
  • Suspension:  Termination of student status for a specified period of time (allowed to re-­‐enroll at the end of that period).
  • Interim Suspension:  Exclusion of a student from classes, or other specified activities or areas of campus, before final determination of an alleged violation.
  • Deferred Separation:  A delayed imposition of Suspension or Dismissal.
  • Loss of Privileges:  Exclusion of a student from participation in designated privileges and activities for a specified period of time.
  • Disciplinary Probation:  A status imposed for a specific period of time during which a student must demonstrate conduct that conforms to University standards of conduct (may include restrictions on privileges or eligibility for activities).
  • Censure, Warning, or Name on File:  A written warning that a student has violated a specified University policy and that further violations may result in further disciplinary action.
  • Restitution:  Reimbursement for expenses incurred by the University or other parties resulting from a violation of University policies (may be monetary or appropriate service to repair or compensate for damages).
  • Special Assignment:  An assignment of costs, labor, duties, educational projects or other responsibilities that are appropriate based on the violation and/or student’s role on campus.  Examples include: educational projects, research papers/personal essays, workshop/training, or community service.

Appeals Process

Appeals are available for formal fact-­finding hearings and for those informal or unilateral cases involving the sanctions of Disciplinary Probation or less.
For Undergraduate Students:  All appeals must be filed in writing within 10 days with the Vice Chancellor of Student Affairs and the Director of Student Life and Student Conduct.
For Graduate Students:  All appeals must be filed in writing within 10 days with the designated Dean (or Assistant/Associate Dean) of the school.

Criteria for Appeals

  • The decision lacks substantial basis in fact to support the findings.
  • There is incongruity between the proposed sanction and the findings.
  • There has been unfairness in the hearing proceedings.
  • There is newly discovered important evidence that was not known at the time of the hearing or decision.

Results of appeals:

  • Appeals may be denied, granted in whole or part, or other options as appropriate.
  • For newly discovered evidence, the decision may be referred back to the hearing panel for reconsideration based on the new evidence.
  • Appeals for sanctions may be denied, sanctions may be increased, or other options (as appropriate) may be utilized.

Student Rights & Responsibilities

As a student, you have the RIGHT to:

  • Written notice, listing specific policies allegedly violated.
  • Written notice of the time and date of a meeting and/or hearing.
  • Be presumed not responsible until an informal meeting or hearing, with the university bearing the burden of proof.
  • Have an advisor present to provide support, but not to represent you in any fashion.
  • Request a formal fact finding hearing (instead of an informal disposition meeting).
  • A fair hearing.
  • Remain silent without inference of responsibility.
  • Present documents and witnesses, and question witnesses presented by the university during a formal hearing process.
  • A written decision with a summary of facts presented.
  • Information about the appeals process (for formal hearings only).
  • A copy of The Student Handbook, including section 600.00 Administration of Student Conduct. http://studentlife.ucmerced.edu/sites/studentlife.ucmerced.edu/files/doc...

As a student, you have the RESPONSIBILITY to:

  • Appear on time for your meeting or hearing. If you are late or absent, a review of the case may be conducted in your absence, and you will lose your opportunity to provide input into the outcome of the matter.
  • Be honest, complete and forthright. False, dishonest or misleading statements may lead to further conduct action.
  • Act in a civil manner throughout the entire conductl process.
  • Students may express anger or frustration in an appropriate manner, but they do not have the right to act in an abusive or uncivil manner toward student conduct officers.
  • Complete any assigned sanctions in a thorough and timely manner, according to the dates and timelines provided.
  • Submit all materials and/or witness list at least two days prior to any formal hearing.