Student Conduct Procedures

When a student is suspected of committing a crime or campus policy violation, the incident is normally addressed by University Police and the Dean of Students. The following is a review of disciplinary procedures normally used by the Dean of Students to address criminal behavior or violations of the student code of conduct.

ASSIGNMENT OF CASE:  Serious cases are normally assigned to a three person university judicial panel for a formal disciplinary hearing. Individuals who may attend the hearing include – (1) three university administrators who serve on the panel; (2) the alleged suspect or respondent who violated the policy; and (3) the chosen advisor for the respondent. Other individuals who may attend are witnesses invited by the respondent or the university and will be called in as needed. Disciplinary hearings are closed to the public, and individual student conduct records are private and fall under the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA).

NOTE:  Less serious offenses are normally addressed by an administrative hearing officer through an informal hearing process. Housing incidents that are not serious in nature are usually addressed by housing hearing officers or the residence hall judicial board.

NOTICE OF HEARING:  A notice of hearing is sent to the respondent’s UCA e-mail account (or hand delivered by UCA PD or housing staff) at least 72 hours prior to the hearing.  The meeting will be arranged using the respondent’s class schedule and at a time that does not interfere with academic obligations. When notice is sent, the respondent receives (1) written notification of the date, time and location of the hearing; (2) a statement of university charges; (3) in most instances a copy of the incident report and any additional documentation received by the university; and (4) a link to hearing procedures and student rights in the process.

USE OF WRITTEN STATEMENTS:  It is preferable for the respondent and witnesses to attend the hearing to present information to the hearing officer or administrative panel.  If witnesses are unable to attend, written statements may be provided and used in the decision-making process.

NON ATTENDANCE AT HEARING:  If the respondent and/or complainant fail to appear at the hearing after being properly notified, the hearing may be held in their absence and a decision rendered accordingly based on information presented. If the respondent fails to appear at the hearing, the respondent automatically waives the right to appeal the decision and associated sanctions.

HEARING PROCEEDINGS:  The hearing proceedings are basically informal and are outlined below –

  • Introductions of all parties are made, panel chair ensures respondent understands their rights in the process and charges are discussed with an allowance for questions from the respondent.

  • The panel chair asks the respondent to tell the panel about the incident, and panel members may ask questions of the respondent.

  • If there are witnesses, they are normally brought in one at a time, but can remain in the room with permission of the respondent.  After they give their statement, the panel members may ask questions of the witnesses.  The respondent may also ask questions of witnesses.

  • The respondent is allowed to make a closing statement or tell the panel anything they feel should  have been discussed but was not.

  • All parties are then dismissed so the panel can deliberate.

PANEL DECISION:  The judicial panel reviews all the information presented, including any written statements that may be provided.  The panel then determines in violation or not in violation for each charge.  Decisions are made using the preponderance of evidence standard of proof.

NOTIFICATION OF DECISION:  The respondent will be notified in writing, usually via email, of the judicial panel’s decision. Notice is usually provided the day following the disciplinary hearing, when feasible.

DISCIPLINARY SANCTIONS:  Respondents found to be in violation of university policy are subject to university disciplinary sanctions that may include one or a combination of the following:

  • Disciplinary warning or probation or housing probation.

  • Relocation from one housing unit to another, or removal from student housing.

  • Removal from an academic class.

  • Counseling (usually suggested as part of a required sanction), anger management course, or attendance at an educational seminar.

  • Alcohol or drug education program.

  • Other educational projects including research paper or other assigned project.

  • Community service or work project.

  • Restitution for theft or damages.

  • Restriction of activities including limited visitation, restriction from participating in campus activities, no contact orders, and/or ban from campus facilities.

  • Parent notification for entering freshmen under the age of 21 for alcohol or drug offenses.

  • Immediate suspension (immediate removal), suspension (temporary removal) or expulsion (permanent removal) from the University.

Students who fail to complete educational sanctions are subject to a disciplinary fee and possible placement of hold on educational records pending the completion of the assigned sanction. More detailed information about possible sanctions may be found in the UCA Student Handbook.

IMMEDIATE SUSPENSION: A student is subject to immediate suspension from student housing or the university pending official student conduct procedures when conduct jeopardizes the safety of the student, other members of the university community and/or institutional property. A hearing will be scheduled as soon as possible, but no later than three (3) working days after the immediate suspension is issued.

APPEAL:  The respondent has the right to appeal the disciplinary outcome. The respondent has three (3) working days for lower level violations and twenty-five (25) calendar days for serious violations resulting in suspension/expulsion to file an appeal.  For more information about the appeal processes, click here.

NOTE:  Neither the complainant nor victim has the right to appeal a disciplinary outcome, with the exception of sexual misconduct, domestic violence, dating violence and stalking incidents. Victims are permitted to file an appeal in these cases.

DECISION GOES INTO EFFECT: If a respondent plans to appeal, assigned sanctions for lower level violations do not go into effect until the appeal process is completed, unless stipulated otherwise by the Dean of Students. If a respondent plans to appeal, assigned sanctions for serious violations resulting in suspension/expulsion go into effect immediately, unless stipulated otherwise by the Vice President for Student Affairs. Again, all decisions made regarding student conduct are recommendations to the Vice President for Student Affairs.

UNIVERSITY DISCIPLINARY RECORDS: University disciplinary records are considered educational records and are subject to the Federal Educational Rights and Privacy Act, or FERPA. They are basically confidential and kept on file in the Dean of Students Office located in 308 Student Health Center. They are not a part of the student’s academic transcript.  Individuals who have access to disciplinary records include – (1) accused students or respondents; (2) university students, faculty and staff who are responsible for adjudicating violations of university policy; (3) faculty or staff who have legitimate educational interests; (4) other institutions in which students wish to enroll, upon institutional requests; (5) prospective employers (such as law enforcement agencies) only if permission is granted by the respondent; (6) parents or legal guardians if the respondent is an entering freshman (under the age of 21) and he/she violates the alcohol or drug policy at UCA; and (7) appropriate authorities when records are subpoenaed by a court of law.

NOTE:  Police records are public records and are subject to FOI laws. This is why students who are involved in criminal activity may have their names printed in the campus, local or state newspapers or other media. Disciplinary actions taken by the University are basically confidential and subject to FERPA. FERPA does permit, however, the release of disciplinary record information to the public, including media, without student consent for crimes of violence, including non-forcible sex offenses, when respondents have been found in violation of the offense. The decision to release this information is made on a case by case basis.

OFF CAMPUS INCIDENTS:  The University generally does not address off campus behaviors but does have the right to do.  Adjudication for off campus behavior is most likely to occur when (1) the behavior is part of an off campus recognized student organization activity or otherwise affiliated event (2) the behavior poses a significant risk to the health, safety and welfare of the university community or (3) Conway PD notifies the university about or asks for assistance in addressing criminal behavior by students.

CRIMINAL VS. DISCIPLINARY PROCEEDINGS:  Students who are charged with a crime and university violation are subject to both criminal prosecution and university disciplinary proceedings.  The University may and usually does take disciplinary action before criminal proceedings. One proceeding generally does not impact the other.  Rules of evidence and decision-making standards for criminal and student disciplinary proceedings are not the same. Information shared in university disciplinary proceedings is not made available for criminal court proceedings unless the information is subpoenaed, which is extremely rare.

SEXUAL ASSAULT & DOMESTIC VIOLENCE INCIDENTS:  Sexual assault (including sexual harassment incidents), domestic violence, dating violence and stalking incidents are addressed by the UCA Office of Title IX. For information regarding these incidents, please go to


CONTACT INFORMATION:  For more information about student conduct procedures and sanctions, please contact Kelly Owens, Dean of Students, Student Health Center Room 308, 501 450-3133 or