Student Behavioral Conduct Policy

SCOPE

This policy applies to all Excelsior College students, including applicants and non-matriculated exam/course takers. Excelsior College may take into consideration student behavior that has occurred off campus that would have violated the student behavioral conduct policy had it occurred on campus.

STATEMENT OF POLICY

Excelsior College is committed to fostering an environment that values honesty, trust, fairness, respect, responsibility, and courage. Each student is responsible for their conduct and is expected to be familiar and comply with applicable College policies and applicable law. 

The Student Rights and Responsibilities Office oversees the student behavioral conduct process and works collaboratively with administrators, faculty, staff, and students to address students behavioral conduct (non-academic) issues that impact the College community.  Any incident reports filed are confidential and will only be shared with those involved in the case.  

This policy covers non-academic incidents. When a situation involves other policies or offices, a collaborative investigation will take place.

Incidents involving staff or faculty are not overseen by the Student Rights and Responsibilities Office and will be forwarded to the Office of Human Resources. 

Incidents involving Title IX or claims of discrimination are not overseen by the Student Rights and Responsibilities Office and will be forwarded to the appropriate department. Please refer to the Anti-Discrimination Policy, the Prevention of Bias-related Crime on the Excelsior College Campus policy and the Sex and Gender-based Misconduct Policy (Title IX).

Incidents involving academic integrity are not overseen by the Student Rights and Responsibilities Office and will be forwarded to the appropriate school or Registrar. Please refer to the Academic Integrity Policy.

Student Behavioral Standards of Conduct include but are not limited to: 

Disruptive Behavior: Engaging in conduct that persistently or substantially interferes with College practices, processes, and functions.

Harassment (non-sexual): Unwelcome conduct directed against a person or group of persons which is severe or persistent. 

Falsification or alteration of non-academic documents: Intentionally modifying documents for the purpose of misleading another person.  Such documentation includes, but is not limited to, financial aid documents, medical records, or legal documents, etc. 

Bullying: Intentional behavior that is meant to harm, threaten, or intimidate others.   

Copyright Infringement: Engaging in unauthorized use (reproducing, distributing, etc.) of copyrighted material, in any medium.  (An example of copyright infringement includes unauthorized use of the College logo.)  

Misrepresentation: Falsely or misleadingly portraying one’s authorization to act on behalf of the College, another entity, or individual. 

Violation of College Policies or applicable laws: Failure to comply with reasonable and appropriate direction or requests given by College administration, staff, and instructional faculty. 

Use of Excelsior College electronic platforms to: 

  • Advertise services or products for personal gain 
  • Link an Excelsior College website to other sites without authorization 
  • Download illegal or inappropriate material 


Share proprietary, or confidential information about Excelsior College sponsored activities, or attempt to hack, alter, damage, or destroy the integrity of electronic information, software or hardware associated with the Excelsior College electronic systems.  Proprietary material is any material, in whatever medium, in which Excelsior College has an ownership interest, including Excelsior course materials. Confidential information is all non-public information or material disclosed, either orally or in writing, or otherwise obtained by recipients, about Excelsior, its students, faculty or staff.  

DEFINITIONS

Advocate: Any external person asked by the respondent, and who agrees, to assist in the student behavioral conduct hearing process. The advocate may attend, but is not permitted to participate in, the hearing. The student must speak on their own behalf during the hearing. 

Complainant: An individual who brings forward a complaint under this policy.

Hearing Board: Adjudicates student behavioral conduct complaints that allege a violation of the College’s Student Conduct Policy.

Hearing Officer: A member of the Hearing Board who is responsible for ensuring that the hearing proceeds in an organized fashion, and that the process is fair and provides due process to the parties.

Preponderance of the Evidence: Information which supports that the alleged violation(s) has “more likely than not” occurred and was committed by the respondent.

Reasonable Grounds: Particularized and objective basis, supported by specific and articulable facts, for suspecting a person of misconduct.

Respondent: Any individual against whom allegations of misconduct have been made as defined by College policy.

Sanctions: Discipline imposed for any violation in which the respondent is found responsible. Sanctions are intended to modify the student’s future behavior as well as build an awareness of personal responsibility and community standards.  

Student Conduct Liaison: Excelsior College employees who are current Excelsior students or alumni and who agree to serve as support resources for complainants and respondents navigating the behavioral conduct process.

PROCEDURES

Filing an Incident Report 
Students, staff, instructional faculty, and community members who believe they have witnessed, experienced, or otherwise been impacted by a violation of College policy governing student behavioral conduct may report the violation by filing an incident report.  

Investigation of Alleged Violations
Incident forms will be reviewed by the Student Rights & Responsibilities office. If an incident form is incomplete, or if additional information is needed, the complainant, if known will be notified, and the form will be returned to them. If the incident form is not completed or additional information is not provided within 10 business days, the complainant will be notified that the incident has been closed. The complainant can reopen the incident within 30 business days of the closure.  

Anonymous incident reports may alert the College to an existing problem, but these reports may not provide sufficient information to allow the College to initiate an investigation and may limit the College’s ability to effectively address this matter. If there is sufficient information provided an investigation will be initiated.

The Student Rights and Responsibilities office will have 10 business days to investigate the incident once a completed form and any required additional information has been received. The complainant, respondent, and any witnesses will be interviewed by the staff in the Student Rights & Responsibilities office regarding the incident.  
If the evidence does not establish reasonable grounds to suspect misconduct, then the incident will be closed, and the complainant and respondent will be notified in writing of the findings. 

If the evidence does provide reasonable grounds to suspect misconduct, then the respondent will be sent a written notice of the allegations against them, be provided with a date and time for a hearing to take place, a list of Student Behavioral Conduct Liaisons, and information about the hearing process. The complainant will be sent a written notice with the allegations against the respondent, date and time for the hearing, a list of behavioral conduct liaisons, and information regarding the hearing process. 

The complainant and the respondent may opt to use the services of a Student Behavioral Conduct Liaison who will assist them with navigating the procedural aspects of the student behavioral conduct process. The Student Behavioral Conduct Liaison is an Excelsior College employee who is or has been an Excelsior College student. 

The Student Conduct Liaison will:

  • Help the complainant or respondent understand the Excelsior College Student Behavioral Conduct policy, the related processes, and Hearing Board procedures.
  • Explain to the complainant that they may be required to provide additional information to the Hearing Board
  • Help students understand the decisions and sanctions rendered by the Hearing Board.
  • Explain the appeal process following the hearing and issuance of a decision.

Note: The Student Conduct Liaison does not attend the hearing or serve as an advocate for their assigned complainants or respondents. Rather, the Student Conduct Liaison is an informational resource to complainants and respondents. 

Hearing
Upon reasonable grounds of misconduct, the Director of the Student Rights and Responsibilities Office will convene the Hearing Board (within 14 business days of its determination to proceed with a hearing) and provide the preliminary investigation findings to the Hearing Board. The Director of the Student Rights and Responsibilities Office will attend the hearing but will not be a member of the Hearing Board.

The complainant and respondent may have an external advocate attend the hearing. The external advocate may direct any questions about the process to the applicable Student Liaison. The advocate may advise the complainant or respondent prior to the hearing, can attend the hearing, but is not authorized to speak during the hearing.  
The Hearing Board consists of the following members:  

  • Associate Dean, or Faculty Office Representative  
  • At-large Staff Member from Academic Program  
  • Advisor, One Stop, or Registrar Representative  
  • Alumni/Student  
  • Staff Member from a Non-Academic Unit  

The hearing process is designed to be non-adversarial and educational. The role of the Hearing Board is to make a determination or recommendation, using a preponderance of the evidence standard, that a violation of College policy/Student Behavioral Standards of Conduct did or did not occur, that the respondent was or was not responsible for the violation, to determine appropriate sanctions that will facilitate learning and acceptance of responsibility, as well as deter repeat violations. 

The Hearing Officer is responsible for ensuring that the hearing follows the established hearing procedures. Members of the hearing board may question the complainant and/or respondent during the hearing. 

If the respondent is found responsible for violating College policy/Student Behavioral Standards of Conduct, the hearing board will impose or recommend an appropriate behavioral sanction based on the severity of the incident. Any recommendations for behavioral dismissal will be forwarded to the Dean of the respective School in which the student is enrolled for a decision.  

Once the hearing board has made a determination, the respondent will be sent a written notification of findings and any sanctions imposed. The complainant will be sent a written notification that the incident has been closed. 

Sanctions 
The following sanctions may be imposed by the College for a violation of the Student Behavioral Standards of Conduct. 

  • Behavioral Warning: Written notice of violation which is notated in the student’s internal record. 
  • Behavioral Suspension: Temporary loss of student services for a specified length of time. Services include, but are not limited to, advising services, course/exam registration, removal from courses / exams, etc.
  • Behavioral Dismissal: Permanent separation of the student from the College. 

Appeal Process 
A respondent found responsible by the Hearing Board for violating College policy may appeal within 20 business days of notification of findings for the following reasons only. Appeals filed for reasons other than those specified below will not be heard. 

  • Documented evidence that the College’s established Student Behavioral Conduct Hearing Processes were not followed. 
  • Documented material evidence related to the case that is newly brought forward within 20 business days of notification of findings. 

The Provost, or designee, will review and decide on the appeal and notify the respondent within 20 business days from the date the appeal was received.


keywords: netiquette, electronic use policy, guidelines for online interaction