Hearings are closed unless the appealing student requests that the hearing be open. Often, hearings involve matters of academic record or issues related to one’s health that individuals prefer not to be aired in a public forum.
Hearings are conducted in an informal fashion designed to facilitate revealing the facts of the matter without becoming unduly burdensome by constraining rules. A recording is made of the testimonial phase of all hearings. The recording is not turned on for the Appeals Board’s deliberations.
Hearings are not adversarial; rather, they are intentionally informal to facilitate fact-finding by the Appeals Board.
The student has the burden of proof in an appeal of a violation of the student’s academic rights. The faculty member has the burden of proof in a case challenging an academic offense violation.
During the hearing, the appealing student is asked to describe what he or she is appealing and the basis for the appeal. An attempt is made to allow the student to complete this opening statement without interruption other than for clarifying questions. At the conclusion of the student’s statement, members of the Appeals Board are given an opportunity to direct questions to the student.
Upon the conclusion of this phase of the hearing, the faculty member is asked to provide his or her perspective on the matter. Members of the Appeals Board may then direct questions to the faculty member.
Once that is completed, the Appeals Board members may then direct additional questions to the student, and the student is offered the opportunity to present further evidence. Customarily, the student is asked to answer the question, “What is your preferred outcome or result from this process?” The hearing is adjourned and the Appeals Board deliberates the case with a decision reached before calling the next case.
Neither the faculty member nor the student may direct questions toward the other during the hearing. Only the Hearing Officer and members of the Appeals Board may ask questions of the student or faculty member. If a student or faculty member wishes to recommend a question to be asked of the other, the suggestion can be relayed to the Hearing Officer.
It is difficult to determine how long a hearing will take. A very inaccurate estimate is one hour.
If a key question is raised during the hearing and information is not available to resolve the question, the hearing can be continued.
If multiple cases are heard on a particular day, the Hearing Officer decides which case is heard first.