A. General Policy
An environment in which the privileges of citizenship are protected and the obligations of citizenship are understood fosters freedom of discussion, inquiry, and expression. Accordingly, the University community has developed standards of behavior for students and student organizations.
Students and student organizations are subject to disciplinary action according to the provisions of the Code and/or any other applicable University rules or regulations.
Each student is responsible for becoming familiar with the various regulations of the University and meeting the various requirements outlined below. Written policies are described in University publications such as this Handbook and the Schools’ catalogs and handbooks. Each student, in accepting admission, indicates a willingness to subscribe to and be governed by the rules and regulations of this institution, and for university officials to take such disciplinary action, including dismissal, as may be deemed appropriate for failure to abide by such rules and regulations.
Each student is responsible for their own integrity and for reporting possible violations of this Code by other students. Faculty, staff, and students shall take all reasonable steps to prevent violations and are responsible for reporting violations.
B. Disciplinary Jurisdiction
The Code of Professional and Academic Conduct shall apply to conduct that occurs on University premises, at University sponsored activities, and to off-campus conduct that adversely affects the professional and ethical standards of each school and/or the University and/or pursuit of its objectives. On a case-by-case basis the Dean and their designee of each respective School, in their sole discretion, shall determine whether the Code should be applied to conduct occurring off premises.
All students are expected to comply with the professional and ethical standards of each school which they are enrolled Each student shall be responsible for their conduct from the time of the application for admission through the actual awarding of a degree, even though conduct may occur before classes begin or after classes end, as well as during the academic year and periods between terms of actual enrollment. The Code shall apply to persons who withdraw after alleged violation of the Code, who are not officially enrolled for a particular term but have a continuing relationship with the University, or who have been notified of their acceptance.
Academic issues, such as grading and promotion, are addressed under the respective School’s policies and procedures where the student is enrolled.
C. Violation of Law and the TTUHSC El Paso Discipline
A disciplinary proceeding may be instituted against a student regardless of whether conduct allegedly violates both the criminal and/or civil law and/or this Code (that is, if multiple violations result from the same factual situation) without regard to the pendency of civil or criminal litigation in court or criminal arrest or prosecution.
Proceedings under this Code may be carried out before, simultaneously, or following civil and/or criminal proceedings. Determinations made or sanctions imposed under the Code shall not be subject to change because criminal charges arising out of the same facts giving rise to violation of University rules were dismissed, reduced, or resolved in favor of or against the criminal and/or civil law defendant.
State law will be strictly enforced at all times on all property controlled by the University and is inclusive of all clinical and teaching sites and its components.
Any student or student organization found to have committed the following misconduct is subject to disciplinary sanction(s), condition(s) and/or restriction(s). Misconduct or prohibited behavior includes, but is not limited to:
1. Alcoholic Beverages
- The use, possession, sale, delivery or distribution of alcoholic beverages, except as expressly permitted by university policy (HSCEP OP 10.03 Alcohol and Illegal Drugs) as allowed by law.
- Being under the influence of alcohol and/or intoxication except as allowed by law.
2. Narcotics or Drugs
- Use, possession, sale, delivery or distribution of any narcotic, drug or medicine prescribed to someone else, chemical compound or other controlled substance or drug-related paraphernalia, except as expressly permitted by the laws of the State of Texas or university policy (see HSCEP OP 10.03 Alcohol and Illegal Drugs).
- Being under the influence of narcotics or drugs, except as permitted by law.
- The failure of a drug test, whether required by TTUHSC El Paso or any health care facility to which a student is assigned or has any type of patient care, contact or responsibility (see HSCEP OP 77.15, Working with Affiliated Entities - Student Drug Screenings).
3. Firearms, Weapons and Explosives
- Use or possession of firearms, ammunition, explosive weapons, illegal knives, and other deadly weapons are prohibited on university property, except as specifically authorized by federal, state, or local laws.
- HSCEP OP 10.30 outlines regulations for the carrying of concealed handguns by licensed holders.
- As a health-related educational institution, TTUHSC El Paso facilitates a complex composition of activities, which include education, patient care, research, and community engagement. As such, TTUHSC El Paso campuses must accommodate the unique needs of diverse stakeholders, including patients, learners of all types, faculty, staff, contractors, and visitors. Within the context of this unique and complex composition, TTUHSC El Paso is committed to the following principles for the campus environment:
- TTUHSC El Paso will comply with all necessary laws and regulatory requirements regarding safety and security on its campuses;
- Within reasonable effort, TTUHSC El Paso will create an environment in which all stakeholders can conduct their business with a sense of personal and collective safety and security;
- TTUHSC El Paso will communicate safety policies to stakeholders through all appropriate means.
4. Theft or Unauthorized Use of Property
- Attempted or actual theft of property of the University, students, of members of the University community or campus visitors.
- Possession of property known to be stolen or belonging to another person without the owner’s permission.
- Attempted or actual unauthorized use of a credit card, debit card, automated teller machine card, telephone card and/or personal check; alteration, forgery or misrepresentation of any form of identification including, but not limited to, a social security number or driver’s license number.
5. Destruction of Property
Actual or threatened damage to or destruction of university property or property of others, whether done intentionally or with reckless disregard.
6. Endangering Health or Safety
- Physical harm or threat of harm to any person.
- Intentional or reckless conduct or behavior which endangers the physical or mental health or safety of any person, campus visitor, or volunteer including activities that creates reasonable fear of such action;
- Behavior that disrupts the normal operation of the University, including its students, faculty, staff or volunteers; or conduct that otherwise interferes with or creates a hostile or intimidating environment for a member of the University community academic pursuits or work environment. Such conduct does not necessarily have to be in violation of the law to violate this section.
- Sexual Misconduct: a broad term encompassing all forms of gender-based harassment or discrimination and unwelcomed behavior of a sexual nature. Conduct included that involves:
- Deliberate touching of another’s sexual parts without consent
- Deliberate sexual invasion of another without consent; or,
- Deliberate constraint or incapacitation of another, without that person’s knowledge or consent, so as to put another at risk of sexual injury; see Part V Antidiscrimination and Sexual Misconduct (including Title IX).
- Unwelcomed sexual advances, requests for sexual favors, or other verbal or physical conduct of a sexual nature that expressly or implicitly imposes conditions upon, threatens, interferes with, or creates an intimidating, hostile or demeaning environment for an individual’s:
- Academic pursuits;
- University employment;
- Participation in activities sponsored by the University or organizations or groups related to the University; or,
- Opportunities to benefit from other aspects of University life; see see Part V. Anti-discrimination and Sexual Misconduct (including Title IX).
- Stalking or engaging in a pattern of unwanted conduct directed at another person that threatens or endangers the safety, physical or mental health, or life or property of that person, or creates a reasonable fear of such a threat or action. When stalking is sex- or gender based, it falls under sexual misconduct (see d above in this section and Part V. Anti-discrimination and Sexual Misconduct (including Title IX).
- Excessive pressure, threats, or any form of conduct, coercive tactics or mind control techniques used to recruit, initiate, retain or otherwise intimidate a student for membership in an organization.
- Actions involving free expression activities are covered in Parts VIII and IX of this Handbook and governed by HSCEP OP 61.07 Use of TTUHSCEP Premises and Amplification Equipment and HSCEP OP 61.27, Freedom of Expression.
7. Gambling, Wagering or Bookmaking
Gambling, wagering, or bookmaking on University premises is prohibited.
Any intentional, knowing or reckless act directed against a student, occurring on or off campus, by one or more individuals acting alone or collectively that endangers the mental or physical health or safety of a student for the purpose of pledging or associating, being initiated into, affiliating with, holding office in, seeking and/or maintaining membership in any organization whose members are, or include, students. Consent or acquiescence by a student or students subjected to hazing is not a defense in a disciplinary proceeding. Hazing includes, but is not limited to:
- Any type of physical or emotional brutality, or the threat of such activity, such as whipping, beating, striking, branding, electronic shocking, placing of a harmful substance on the body or similar activity;
- Any type of physical activity, such as sleep deprivation, exposure to the elements, confinement in a small space, calisthenics or other activity that subjects the student to an unreasonable risk of harm or that adversely affects the mental or physical health or safety of a student;
- Any activity involving consumption of a food, liquid, alcoholic beverage, liquor, drug or other substance which subjects a student to an unreasonable risk or harm, or which adversely affects the mental, physical health or safety of a student;
- Any activity that intimidates or threatens a student with ostracism that subjects a student to extreme mental stress, shame or humiliation, or that adversely affects the mental health or dignity of a student, or that discourages a student from entering or remaining registered at this university, or that may reasonably be expected to cause a student to leave the organization or the university rather than submit to acts described above;
- Any activity in which a person engages in, solicits, encourages, directs, aids or attempts to aid another, directly or indirectly, in hazing; intentionally, knowingly or recklessly permits hazing to occur; having firsthand knowledge of the planning of a specific hazing incident which has occurred; and fails to report the incident in writing to the specific School’s student conduct office;
- Any activity in which hazing is either condoned or encouraged or actions of any officer or combination of members, pledges, associates or alumni of the organization in committing or assisting in the commission of hazing; or,
- Any act that is unlawful as designated by local, state, or federal government. NOTE: See Texas Education Code, Subchapter F, Sections 37.151-37.157 and Subchapter Z, Section 51.936.
9. False Alarms or Terrorist Threats
Intentionally or recklessly sounding a false alarm of any kind or character; making a false emergency call or terrorist threat; issuing a bomb threat; constructing mock explosive devices; improperly possessing, tampering with or destroying fire equipment, Automatic External Defibrillator (AED) or emergency signs on University premises.
10. Financial Irresponsibility
Failure to meet financial obligations owed to the University, including, but not limited to, the writing of checks on accounts with insufficient funds. See also 3.c above.
11. Unauthorized Entry, Possession or Use
- Unauthorized entry into or use of University facilities;
- Unauthorized possession or duplication, processing, production, or manufacture of any key or unlocking device or access code for use in any University facility;
- Unauthorized use of the University name, logotype, registered marks or symbols of the University; or,
- Use of the University’s name to advertise or promote events or activities in a manner which suggests sponsorship by the University without prior written permission.
12. Traffic and Parking
- Violation of TTUHSC El Paso Parking and Transportation Services regulations (see HSCEP OP 76.32 Traffic and Parking Regulations; or,
- Obstruction of the free flow of vehicle, pedestrian or other traffic on University premises.
13. Student Recreation Regulations
Violation of rules, which govern behavior in the student lounges, recreational activities or exercise areas.
14. Failure to Comply with Directions/Requests of University Officials
Failure to comply with the reasonable directions or requests of a University official acting in the performance of his or her duties.
15. Student Identification - Failure to present and appropriate use
The failure of a student to present their student identification to any University official upon request to identify them to any University official acting in the performance of their duties. The student identification card is the property of the university. Students shall neither allow their student identification card to be used by other persons, nor shall they alter their student identification in any way. A student must pay a replacement charge for lost, stolen or damaged student identification cards.
16. Abuse, Misuse or Theft of University Computer Data, Programs, Time, Computer or Network Equipment
See HSCEP OP: 56.01 Acceptable Use of Information Technology Resources.
- Unauthorized or non-academic use of computing and/or networking resources;
- Unauthorized installation, accessing, copying, or removing of programs, records or data belonging to the University, another user or copyrighted software without written authorization;
- Attempted or actual breach of the security of another user’s account and/or computing system, depriving another user of access to University computing or networking resources, compromising the privacy of another user or disrupting the intended use of computing or network resources;
- Attempted or actual use of the University’s computing or networking resources for financial gain;
- Attempted or actual transport of University’s programs, records or data to another person or computer without written authorization;
- Attempted or actual destruction or modification of programs, records or data belonging to the University or another user or destruction of the integrity of computer-based information;
- Attempted or actual use of the computing and/or networking facilities to interfere with the normal operation of the University’s computing and/or networking systems; or through such actions, causing a waste of such resources (people, capacity, computer); or,
- Allowing another person, either through one’s personal computer account, or by other means, to accomplish any of the above.
- Attempted or actual addition/modification/removal/circumventing of Institutionally- approved computer security products/processes.
- Participate in any computer-related activity that may cause TTUHSC El Paso to incur legal liability or loss of reputation.
- Violation of any policy defined in the TTUHSC El Paso IT Security Policies see https://elpaso.ttuhsc.edu/it/policies/default.aspx.
17. Providing False, Misleading or Untrue Statements or Misuse of Records
Knowingly providing to the University, or to a University official in the performance of their duties, either verbally, or through forgery, alteration or misuse of any University document, record or instrument of identification.
18. Skateboards, Roller Blades, or Similar Devices
Use of skateboards, roller blades, bikes, scooters, or other similar devices in University buildings or on University premises in such a manner as to constitute a safety hazard or cause damage to University or personal property or which disrupts the normal operation of the University.
19. Student Obligation of Reporting
A student who witnesses academic misconduct or who is approached with an offer to gain unfair advantage or commit academic misconduct is obligated to report that violation to the appropriate authority (See Part II.D). Failure to do so may result in disciplinary action. Faculty and staff are likewise responsible to report academic misconduct in accordance with Part II.D.
20. Academic Misconduct
“Academic misconduct” involves any activity that tends to compromise the academic integrity of the University, or subvert the educational process, including, but not limited to, cheating, plagiarism, falsifying academic records, misrepresenting facts and any act designed to give unfair academic advantage to the student or the attempt to commit such an act. Examples of academic misconduct include, but are not limited to:
“Cheating” includes, but is not limited to:
- Using any aid, sources and/or assistance beyond those authorized by the instructor in taking a course, laboratory, field work, quiz, test or examination; writing papers; preparing reports; solving problems; or carrying out assignments;
- Failing to comply with instructions given by the person administering the test;
- Using, buying, stealing, transporting or soliciting in whole or part the contents of an examination, test key, homework solution or computer program;
- Seeking aid, receiving assistance from, or collaborating (collusion) with another student or individual during a course, quiz, test, examination or in conjunction with other assignments (including, but not limited to writing papers, preparing reports, solving problems or making presentations) unless specifically authorized by the instructor;
- Discussing the contents of an examination with another student who has yet to take the examination;
- Divulging the contents of an examination, for the purpose of preserving questions for use by another, when the instructor has designated that the examination is not to be removed from the examination room, be returned to or kept by the student;
- Substituting for another person, or permitting another person to substitute for oneself to take a course, test or any course-related assignment;
- Paying or offering money or other valuable things to, or coercing another person to obtain an examination, test key, homework solution or computer program, or information about an examination, test key, homework solution or computer program;
- Falsifying research data, laboratory reports and/or other academic work offered for credit;
- Taking, keeping, misplacing or damaging the property of the University, or of another, if the student knows or reasonably should know that an unfair academic advantage would be gained by such conduct;
- Possession, at any time, of current or previous test materials without the instructor’s permission;
- Acquisition or dissemination by any means, without written permission, of tests or other academic material belonging to a member of the University community;
- Alteration of grade records;
- Bribing, or attempting to bribe, a member of the University community or any other individual to alter a grade;
- Falsification, fabrication, or dishonesty in reporting laboratory and/or research results;
- Submitting substantially the same work to satisfy requirements for one course that has been submitted in satisfaction of requirements for another course, without specific permission of the instructor of the course for which the work is being submitted;
- Possession or access to during an exam of prohibited materials, including but not limited to study/review materials, class notes, review questions, or electronic devices.
- ) Serving as, or enlisting the assistance of, a substitute for a student in any graded assignments;
- Engaging in activities that unfairly place other students at a disadvantage, such as taking, hiding or altering resource material;
- “Plagiarism” includes, but is not limited to, the appropriation, buying, receiving as a gift, or obtaining by any other means another’s work (such as words, ideas, expressions, illustrations, or product of another), in whole or in part, and the submission of it as one’s own work offered for an academic credit or requirement. When a student presents the works of another (published or unpublished) in their academic work, the student shall fully acknowledge the sources according to methods prescribed by their instructor.
- “Falsifying academic records” includes, but is not limited to, altering or assisting in the altering, of any official record of the University and/or submitting false information or omitting requested information that is required for, or related to, any academic record of the University. Academic records include, but are not limited to, applications for admission, awarding of degree, diplomas, grade reports, official and unofficial transcripts, test scores, attendance and excused absence documents, grade reports, patient records, test papers, registration materials, any official forms, documents, or items related to academic performance.
- “Misrepresenting facts” to the University or an agent of the University includes, but is not limited to, providing false academic information on resumes, false information relating to absences or accommodations, providing false or misleading information in an effort to receive a postponement or an extension on a test, quiz, or other assignment for the purpose of obtaining an academic or financial benefit for oneself or another individual, or providing false or misleading information in an effort to injure another student academically or financially.
- Violation of course rules as contained in the course syllabus or other information provided to the student;
21. Violation of Published University and School Policies, Rules, or Regulations
Violation of any published University policies, rules, or regulations that govern student or student organization behavior, including, but not limited to, applicable publications for each TTUHSC El Paso School, such as student handbooks, catalogs, professional and ethical standards and course syllabi.
22. Violation of Federal, State, and/or Local Law
Misconduct which constitutes a violation of any provisions of federal, state and/or local laws.
23. Recording or distribution without knowledge.
Using electronic or other means to make or distribute a video, audio, or photographic record of any person in a location where there is a reasonable expectation of privacy without the person’s prior knowledge, when such a recording is likely to cause injury, distress, or damage to reputation. This includes, but is not limited to, taking video, audio, or photographic records in shower/locker rooms and restrooms. The storing, sharing, and/or distributing of such unauthorized records by any means is also prohibited.
24. Abuse of the Student Conduct Board Administrator or System
- Failure by a Respondent(s) to comply with or respond to a notification to appear before the Student Conduct Board or the Student Conduct Administrator during any stage of a disciplinary proceeding. Failure to comply with or respond to a notice issued as part of a Student Conduct procedure and/or failure to appear will not prevent the Student Conduct Board from reviewing the complaint;
- Falsification, distortion or misrepresentation of information in Student Conduct proceedings;
- Disruption or interference with the orderly conduct of a Student Conduct proceeding;
- Filing an allegation known to be without merit or cause;
- Discouraging or attempting to discourage an individual’s proper participation in, or use of, the Student Conduct system;
- Influencing or attempting to influence the impartiality of a member of the Student Conduct Board prior to and/or during its proceeding;
- Harm, threat of harm, or intimidation either verbally, physically or written of a member of a Student Conduct Board prior to, during and/or after its proceeding;
- Failure to comply with the sanction(s), condition(s) and/or restriction(s) imposed under this Code or by a Student Conduct Board;
- Influencing or attempting to influence another person to commit an abuse of the Student Conduct system; or,
- Retaliation against any person or group who files a complaint accordance with the Code of Professional and Academic Conduct or files a grievance under the applicable institutional or School grievance policy.
Any intentional adverse action against any individual who makes and allegation, files a report, services as a witness, assists a respondent or participates in any university investigation or proceeding.
26. Other violations
- Creating or contributing to behaviors which jeopardize the relationship of the University and the greater community, including failure to comply with public health mandates.
- Interference with any educational process or other university sponsored activities, including disruptions in the classroom or other learning environments.
- Acts of fraud or attempted fraud, including but not limited to acts of fraud committed by forgery, by alternation or misuse of TTUHSC El Paso documents, records, or by other means.
E. Other Professional and Ethical School Standards
In addition to the Misconduct identified in Part II.D, each TTUHSC El Paso School publishes its professional and ethical standards. School handbooks and catalogs should be consulted for these standards; alleged violations may be referred for institutional Student Conduct review. School committees review the alleged conduct under the professionalism, ethical, and licensure requirements related to their academic discipline.
F. Student Conduct Procedure
1. Nature of Proceedings
These proceedings are part of an educational process whereby the University applies its values to establishing the best possible learning environment for its students. These proceedings are not intended to follow, or be restricted by, courtroom or judicial procedures, including the rules of evidence. In addition, these proceedings are not intended for grading and promotions issues, which should be addressed under respective School policies.
2. Procedural Deviations
If the Student Conduct Board has not yet been appointed, or in the absence of the Chair of the Student Conduct Board, the parties and the Student Conduct Administrator may agree in advance and in writing to deviations from procedure. If a Student Conduct Board has been appointed, the parties and the Chair of the Student Conduct Board may mutually agree to procedural deviations, such as deadlines for submission of evidence and hearing dates and times.
NOTE: Any notices that are sent by email will be considered to have been received on the third calendar day after the date of emailing, excluding any intervening Saturday, Sunday or holiday.
3. Filing a Complaint
- Any faculty, staff, or student of TTUHSC El Paso may file a complaint against a student(s) or a student organization(s) for violation(s) of the Code of Professional and Academic Conduct. When appropriate, a preliminary investigation/discussion with a supervisor (program director, chair, etc.) should be done prior to filing a complaint. If a basis for the complaint against a student, Attachment A should be completed and delivered by the Complainant to the Student Conduct Administrator. Attachment B should be used for complaints against student organizations. A Complaint shall be submitted no later than twenty (20) business days from the date of the event or when the complainant becomes aware of the event. Complaints filed more than twenty business days after the event shall include a justification for the delay.
- When a Complaint is filed, the Student Conduct Administrator will provide the Respondent (Accused Student) with the Complaint form filed by the Complainant and will notify the Respondent(s) in writing that they shall appear before the Student Conduct Administrator to discuss the Complaint within five (5) business days from the date of the letter. It is recommended that the Respondent(s) meet with the Student Conduct Administrator prior to the Student Conduct Board.
- If the Respondent(s) agrees, the Student Conduct Administrator may conduct an administrative review to determine if the complaint may be handled prior to a formal hearing. Any administrative review decision must be in writing and agreed to by all of the parties (complainant and respondent). Such disposition shall be final and there shall be no subsequent proceedings. The Student Conduct Administrator will send a written notification of the resolution to all parties involved.
- If the Respondent admits violating institutional rules and agrees to the sanctions recommended by the Student Conduct Administrator, the Student Conduct Board is not convened and sanctions imposed by the Student Conduct Administrator are final.
- If the Complaint is not handled administratively under Part II.F.3.c above, the Student Conduct Administrator will meet with the Respondent to determine if the Respondent(s) admits or denies violating institutional rules.
- If the Respondent admits violating institutional rules, but sanctions are not agreed to, a Student Conduct Board hearing shall be conducted in accordance with Part II.F.4 but shall be limited to recommending the appropriate sanction(s) Part II.G.
- If the Respondent Respondent(s)denies violating University rules, the Student Conduct Administrator refers the allegations for a hearing before the Student Conduct Board under Part II.F.4 below
- A Student Conduct Board hearing shall be scheduled within twenty (20) business days after the Respondent(s) has met with the Student Conduct Administrator under Part II.F.3.d. In cases in which an examination period intervenes between the time of the notice to the Respondent and the Student Conduct Board hearing date, such hearing will be held during the first week in which classes are again in session. In the case of inclement weather, the chair of the Student Conduct Board will notify all parties of any cancellations or schedule changes.
4. Student Conduct Board Hearings
- Closed Hearing
- Student Conduct Board hearing will be conducted in closed session with the complainant(s), respondent(s) or student organization representative(s), and Student Conduct Board members, and Student Conduct Administrator present. Requests for an advisor for the Respondent(s) and witnesses should be made in advance to the Student Conduct Administrator.
- Hearing Notice
At least fifteen (15) business days prior to the Student Conduct Board hearing, the Chair of the Student Conduct Board will provide written notice to the parties of the following:
a. Date, time and place for the hearing;
b. Names of the members of the Student Conduct Board;
c. Summary statement of the charge(s), or a copy of the complaint; and
d. Request in writing that at least five (5) business days prior to the Student Conduct Board Hearing, the Respondent and the Complainant submit the information outlined in Part II. F.4.d below
- Respondent(s) and/or Complainant may challenge in writing the impartiality of any member of the Student Conduct Board up to three (3) business days after receiving the Hearing Notice by submitting their reasons for the challenge to the Student Conduct Administrator.
Any member of the Student Conduct Board whose participation is challenged shall be required to establish to the Student Conduct Board Administrator or his or her designee that the member can serve with fairness and objectivity. If the member cannot establish his or her fairness and objectivity to the satisfaction of the Student Conduct Board Administrator, the member in question shall be removed and a substitute will be appointed by the Student Conduct Administrator. If such member is removed the Student Conduct Administrator, may in his or her sole discretion choose to reschedule the hearing.
B. Evidence Submission
At least ten (10) business days prior to the date scheduled for the Student Conduct Board hearing, the Complainant and the Respondent(s) must submit to the Chair of the Student Conduct Board the following information,
if applicable. Requests for extensions or late submission to file information/evidence with the Student Conduct Board shall be submitted to the Chair of the Student Conduct Board for approval.
a. All pertinent records and exhibits;
b. Written statements must be notarized (including Impact or Position Statements);
c. A list of all witnesses, if any, who will be speaking on behalf of the Respondent(s) or Complainant; and
d. The name of the advisor, if any, who may be present in an advisory capacity at the hearing. See Part II.F.4. i below.
4. Evidence Exchange
At least five (5) business days prior to the hearing, the Chair will provide each party with the information, if any, submitted by the other party.
5. Separate or Joint Hearing
A Student Conduct Board Hearing involving two or more Accused Students, may be conducted separately or jointly as determined by the Student Conduct Administrator. A Respondent(s) may request in writing to the Student Conduct Administrator a separate hearing up to three (3) business days after receiving the notice of hearing. The Student Conduct Board Administrator shall notify the student within three (3) business days the determination of the request.
The University shall record all Student Conduct Board hearings. No recording will be made of the Board’s discussion or deliberations. The record is University property. Pursuant to the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act of 1974 (FERPA), as amended, the student will be allowed to review, but not to copy, the hearing record. 34 C.F.R. § 99.10 (2003). Neither the Complainant, the Respondent(s) nor any witnesses are permitted to make any independent record of the proceedings.
7. Hearing Attendance
The Complainant, Respondent(s) and their respective advisor, if any, shall be allowed to attend the portion of the Student Conduct Board Hearing at which information is received, excluding deliberations.
The advisor must be a faculty, staff, or student of TTUHSC El Paso. However, a Respondent(s) may be allowed to have an attorney serve as his or her advisor, at his or her own expense, to participate only in the same manner as any other advisor. If an advisor for the Respondent(s) is an attorney, an attorney from the Office of General Counsel may attend the Student Conduct Board Hearing on behalf of the University. TTUHSC El Paso will provide legal counsel for the Student Conduct Board as the Student Conduct Board Chair deems it necessary.
An advisor may confer with and advise the respondent(s) but may not advocate for the student in a hearing. The Complainant and/or the Respondent(s) is responsible for presenting his or her own information. A student should select as an advisor a person whose schedule allows attendance at the scheduled date and time for the Student Conduct Board hearing, as delays will not be allowed due to the scheduling conflicts of an advisor, except at the discretion of the Chair upon written request five (5) business days in advance of the date scheduled for the Student Conduct Board Hearing.
Members of the Student Conduct Board may question all witnesses, followed by the parties. Questioning by the Complainant and the Respondent(s)Respondent(s)may be limited in the sole discretion of the Chair of the Student Conduct Board for such issues as preserving the civility of the hearing, avoiding redundant and irrelevant questioning, and/or providing for the efficient administration of the Hearing. Witnesses are permitted to attend the Student Conduct Board Hearing only during the time they are providing testimony, they are being questioned by the complainant, the accused or the committee unless the Student Conduct Board Chair, in their sole discretion determines otherwise.
a. Parties’ Witnesses
The Complainant and the Respondent(s) may arrange for witnesses to present pertinent information to the Student Conduct Board. The Complainant and the Respondent(s) are responsible for arranging for the voluntary attendance of his or her own witnesses.
b. Board Witnesses
In its sole discretion, the Student Conduct Board may call other witnesses not identified by the Respondent(s) or the Complainant. If prior to the hearing the Student Conduct Board anticipates calling additional witnesses, the Board shall notify the Chair of the Student Conduct Board. The Chair of the Student Conduct Board will then arrange for the voluntary attendance of the witnesses identified by the Student Conduct Board. The Chair of the Student Conduct Board shall notify the Respondent(s) and the Complainant of the additional witnesses. If any witness called by the Student Conduct Board intends to present written information to the Board, the Chair of the Student Conduct Board is responsible for forwarding such information to the Complainant, the Respondent(s) and the Student Conduct Board prior to the Hearing. No Board members shall have communication with any witnesses, except in the hearing with the Respondent(s) and Complainant present.
10. Procedural Questions
All procedural questions are subject to the final decision of the Chair of the Student Conduct Board. If a Student Conduct Board has not yet been appointed, the Student Conduct Administrator will issue a final decision in response to procedural questions.
If the Student Conduct Board concludes that all pertinent information has been received, the Student Conduct Board shall adjourn the Hearing to discuss, deliberate and prepare Findings and Recommendations. The Student Conduct Board will determine by a simple majority (more than half of the votes cast) of members present at a duly called meeting vote whether the Respondent(s) has violated any section of the Code which the student is charged with violating. If the Student Conduct Board finds a violation(s) of the Code, the Student Conduct Board may also recommend all or any of the sanctions identified in Part II.G below.
12. Failure to Appear
The Respondent(s) is expected to attend and participate in the Student Conduct Board Hearing. If the Respondent(s) or the Complainant elects not to attend a hearing after appropriate written notice Section II.F.4.b above, the charges will be reviewed as scheduled on the basis of the information available, and a recommendation will be made by the Board. Although no inference may be drawn against a Respondent(s) for failing to attend a hearing or remaining silent, the hearing will proceed and the conclusion will be based on the evidence presented. No decision shall be based solely on the failure of the Respondent(s) to attend the hearing or answer the charges.
13. Findings, Recommendations and Rationale
The Chair is responsible to prepare the Student Conduct Board’s Findings, Recommendations and Rationale in writing. If the Findings, Recommendations and Rationale are not unanimous, opinion(s) may be written by those who differ with the Majority’s report. The Chair will forward the Findings, Recommendations and Rationale, including differing opinion(s), within five (5) business days to the Assistant Vice President for SSSE for review.
14. Review of Findings and Recommendations
The Assistant Vice President for SSSE will review the Findings and Recommendations of the record from the Student Conduct Hearing, recording and supporting documents, and transmit the final outcome in writing within five (5) business days from receipt to the Respondent(s), the Complainant and the Chair of the Student Conduct Board.
Within five (5) business days of receipt of the decision of the Student Conduct Board, if either party believes that the due process procedures have been violated, an appeal may be made, in writing, to the Vice President for Academic Affairs (VPAA). The VPAA will review the case and notify all parties of their decision within ten business days. If a written appeal is not submitted within ten business days following receipt of the Student Conduct Board decision letter, the right to appeal is thereby waived and said decision is final.
The Respondent(s) or Complainant may only raise, and the VPAA shall only consider, the following:
a. Whether a procedural deviation occurred that substantially affected the outcome of the case;
b. Whether there is new information sufficient to alter the Findings or other relevant facts not available or mentioned in the original hearing, because such information and/or facts were not known to the person appealing at the time of the original Student Conduct Board hearing.
c. The VPAA will review the Findings and Recommendations and, at their sole discretion, the record from the Student Conduct Board hearing and supporting documents, and transmit their decision in writing to the Respondent(s), the Complainant, the Student Conduct Administrator, the Chair of the Student Conduct Board, and the Assistant Vice President of SSSE. The VPAA’s decision shall be final.
Any student found to have engaged in misconduct may be assigned sanction(s). The sanctions are designed to educate students in critical reflection of their choices, as well as educate and develop students thought a process of accountability that promotes integrity, responsibility, growth and a culture of care.
Sanctions which may be recommended by the Student Conduct Board, and imposed by the Assistant Vice President for SSSE, upon any student found to have violated this Code of Professional and Academic Conduct include, but are not limited to, the following:
1. Student Sanctions
- Failing Grade or Cancellation of Credit
Failing grade for an examination or assignment or for a course, and/or cancellation of all, or any portion, of a prior course credit.
A notice in writing to the student that the student is in violation or has violated institutional regulations. At the Student Conduct Board’s’ discretion, the censure may remain permanently in the student’s disciplinary file or be removed at graduation if certain conditions are met.
A written reprimand for violation of specified regulations. Probation is for a designated period of time and includes the likelihood of more severe disciplinary sanctions if the student is found to violate any institutional regulation(s) during the probationary period.
- Professional Growth Plan
Development of goals, timelines, interventions and requirements for improved behavior and interactions with faculty, staff, students and patients. Details related to consequences if plan is not followed.
e. Loss of Privileges
Denial of specified privileges for a designated period of time.
Compensation for loss, damage or injury. This may take the form of appropriate service and/or monetary or material replacement.
g. Educational Requirements
Assignments may be made at the discretion of the Student Conduct Board, such as work assignments, essays, training, and community service to the University.
Separation of the student from University for a defined (or specific) period of time, after which the student is eligible to return. Conditions for reenrollment or readmission must be specified. (During the time of disciplinary suspension, notice is placed in the student’s permanent file see 77.05 Student Leaves of Absence and Suspensions.)
i. Institutional Dismissal
Student Conduct Board decisions of dismissal of the student from the institution without the option to apply for readmission to any School in the University. The student’s transcript will include a notation of dismissal for non-academic and non-financial reasons and the date of the action or appeal decision.
j. Contact Restrictions
Compliance with orders or no contact that limited access in time and space to TTUHSC EP areas, digital environments or forms of contact with particular persons or groups.
k. Revocation of Admission
Admission to the University may be revoked for fraud, misrepresentation or other violations of University standards.
l. Revocation of Degree
A degree awarded by the University may be revoked for fraud, misrepresentation or other serious violations committed by a student prior to graduation.
m. Withholding Degree
The University may withhold awarding a degree otherwise earned until the completion of the process set forth in a Student Conduct Board or Student Conduct Administer decision.
n. Multiple Sanctions
More than one of the sanctions listed above may be imposed for any single violation.
o. Not eligible for re-enrollment
The Student Conduct Board will specify whether the student is eligible for re-enrollment.
p. Suspension of Rights or Privileges
Including but not limited to suspension of participation in co-curricular or extra-curricular activities or access to specific campus spaces.
q. Other Sanctions
Any other sanction(s) which may be appropriate under the particular circumstances of the violation.
Other than dismissal from the University or revocation of a degree, Student Conduct Board decisions shall not be made part of the student’s permanent education record, but shall become part of the student’s disciplinary record which is maintained in the TTUHSC El Paso Student Services and Student Engagement office. Where professionalism matters are involved, a copy of a Student Conduct Board decision may be maintained in the disciplinary file of the respective school.
NOTE: State law mandates that the student’s transcript a) may be withheld pending investigation and b) include a notation regarding ineligibility to return due to disciplinary processes (e.g. withdrawal, dismissal, suspension): See TX HB 49 and 1734 (2019).
2. Student Organization Sanctions
The following sanctions may be imposed upon registered student organizations and/or members thereof:
- Those sanctions as listed in Part II. G.1. above;
- Loss of selected rights and privileges for a specified period of time;
- Organizational deactivation; Loss of all privileges, including University recognition and/or registration, for a specified period of time.
H. Interpretation and Revision
1. General Policy
- Any question of interpretation or application of this Code shall be referred to the Student Conduct Administrator or his or her designee for final determination.
- The Code of Professional and Academic Conduct Review Committee (Review Committee) shall conduct an annual review of the Code and make recommendations to the Academic Council, Vice President for Academic Affairs and President regarding omission, clarifications, constructive changes and other matters relevant to the interpretation and operation of the Code. The Review Committee is composed of the Assistant Vice President for Student Services and Student Engagement (SSSE), the Student Conduct Administrator (if different than the AVP) and Student Affairs representatives from each School. The Assistant Vice President for SSSE may invite recommendations by the President of the Student Government Association. A quorum for the Review Committee is four members.
- “Business day” means a day in which the University normally carries on business or business operations, but excludes weekends and official University holidays.
- “Complainant” means a member of the University community who submits a Complaint alleging that a student or student organization violated the Code of Professional and Academic Conduct. When a student believes that he or she has been a victim of another student’s misconduct, the student who believes that he or she has been a victim will have the same rights under the Code as are provided to the Complainant, even if the victim is not acting as a Complainant.
- “Complaint of Misconduct” or “Complaint” means a formal, written charge against a student(s) or student organization(s) alleging violation(s) of the Code of Professional and Academic Conduct or other published rule, policy, standard or guideline applicable to students at the university.
- “Hold” means the indicator placed on a student’s official academic record which prevents registration, financial aid, university services, and/or the issuance of an unofficial and/or official transcript until the student meets the requirements of the University office placing the hold, as described in this Handbook and/or in School’s catalogs or handbooks.
- “Member of the University community” means any person who is a campus visitor, volunteer including high school students, enrolled student, faculty or staff member, University official, any other person employed by the University.
- “Registered student organization” means any number of students who have complied with the formal requirements for University registration.
- “Respondent” means any student accused of violating the TTUHSC El Paso Code of Professional and Academic Conduct set forth in Part II of this Handbook. This term may also may refer to a registered student organization.
- “Student” means any person enrolled in a degree program and/or for credit courses at the University. In addition, persons who withdraw or who are on a leave of absence (approved interruption of continuous enrollment) but have a continuing relationship with the University are considered to be students. Individuals who have been accepted for admission are also considered students under this Handbook.
- “Student Conduct Administrator” means a TTUHSC El Paso official authorized by the Assistant Vice President for Student Services and Student Engagement (SSSE) to receive complaints and administer the procedures outlined herein. The Student Conduct Administrator will provide technical assistance and support to the Student Conduct Board and may be present at the Student Conduct Board Hearing, but will not be present during the Board’s deliberations.
- “Student Conduct Board Hearing” or “Hearing” refers to an administrative process whereby a student contests the facts upon which charges of inappropriate conduct, violations of the Code of Professional and Academic Conduct and/or sanctions resulting from an alleged violation(s) are based.
- “Student Handbook” or “Handbook” means the TTUHSC El Paso Institutional Student Handbook. Schools also have “Handbooks” that are labeled specifically with the School title in front of “Handbook”.
- “University” means TTUHSC El Paso (inclusive of all teaching and clinical sites and their components).
- “University official” means any person employed by Texas Tech University System, Texas Tech University or TTUHSC El Paso, while performing their assigned administrative or professional responsibilities.
- “University premises” includes all land, buildings, facilities, and other resources owned, leased, managed or operated by the University (including adjacent streets and sidewalks).