Hearing Panel and Hearing Process

Hearing Panel

Upon receipt of Notice of a Hearing, a Hearing Panel will be designated to review all relevant information gathered in the Investigation.  A Hearing Panel is comprised of three (3) individuals, selected from a pool of trained individuals. Any individual designated by the University to serve on a Hearing Panel must have sufficient training or experience to serve in this capacity. A University student may not serve as a panelist.  A Hearing Panel member may decline to participate on the basis of an actual conflict of interest, bias, or lack of impartiality.  A Hearing Chair will conduct and preside over the hearings. The Hearing Chair is not a voting member of any Hearing Panel, but is available to provide consistency in process, informed understanding of Policy definitions and guidance as to available sanctions; the Hearing Chair will also draft the Hearing Panel findings.

Hearing Process

The Hearing will take place in a closed session.  At the Hearing, the investigator will be responsible for presenting the evidence supporting the Investigative Finding of a Policy violation. However, the Hearing Panel will make its own determination by a preponderance of the evidence whether a Policy violation occurred.  In reaching a determination, the Hearing Panel will solicit information from the investigator, the Reporting Party, the Responding Party, and any witnesses as appropriate to ensure a full assessment of the relevant facts. This information shall be provided in the presence of the parties, unless a party waives their right to participate.

During the hearing, each party may be accompanied by a Support Person and one additional person: an Attorney or Non-Attorney Advocate. Upon request, a party or witness may participate by telephone or videoconference from a different physical location or may request that a visual barrier be placed to limit the individual’s exposure to other hearing participants. Questions directed to the parties will be made through the Hearing Chair, who will screen them for relevance. In any such instance, the Hearing Chair may require measures to assure the integrity of the process.

After a consideration of all of the relevant information, the Hearing Panel will make a determination, by a preponderance of the evidence, whether a Policy violation occurred. Preponderance of the evidence means that it is more likely than not that the conduct occurred. The Hearing Panel’s determination must be reached by a majority vote. If so, the Hearing Panel will also impose a sanction.

The text above is designed to provide you with an overview of key information about this section of the Policy.  For full details, view the Policy and Procedures.