Penalties

Penalties when Respondent is a Student

The below is information intended to provide information regarding penalties for cases when the respondent is a student.  The Sex Discrimination and Sexual Misconduct policy is the official procedure by which the process is implemented, and Rights, Rules, Responsibilities section 1.3.12 should be consulted for information regarding investigation and disciplinary procedures for cases when the respondent is a student.  

In cases involving student respondents, if a majority of the panel finds, using the preponderance of the evidence standard, that the Sex Discrimination and Sexual Misconduct policy has been violated, the panel’s report and the case file will be forwarded to dean of undergraduate students Kathleen Deignan and deputy dean of the Graduate School Cole Crittenden.  Deans Deignan and Crittenden will jointly determine the appropriate penalty.  For more information, see Rights, Rules, Responsibilities section 1.3.12 #2.

In determining an appropriate penalty:  (1) The most important consideration is the relative seriousness of the infraction.  Consideration is given to the specific standards of conduct that were violated and the impact of the respondent’s actions on the individuals personally affected, the University community, and the University’s values.  (2) Precedent cases inform the decision and are normally determinative, as the fair and equitable application of sanctions for similar conduct is essential to preserving the actual and perceived fairness of our disciplinary system. Although each case is unique, Information regarding Penalties in Sexual Misconduct Cases provides examples of the types of penalties that have been issued in prior cases, and the University’s annual Sex Discrimination and Sexual Misconduct disciplinary reports provide information regarding outcomes in particular years.  (3) A respondent’s previous disciplinary record (a violation of any sort) is taken into account when considering a sanction for the current violation.  (4) Lack of honesty during the investigation and/or adjudication process can be a factor in certain circumstances, such as when it involves the manufacturing of or tampering with evidence.  If a respondent is found responsible for multiple violations, this will be reflected in the penalty.

Depending on the seriousness of the misconduct as compared to past cases and the respondent’s previous disciplinary history (if any), Deans Deignan and Crittenden may:

  • Issue a dean’s warning (a dean’s warning does not affect a student’s status at the University, nor will it appear on any official record; it is intended to deter any further violations);

  • Place the respondent on disciplinary probation (disciplinary probation is a serious admonition that can range upwards from three months in duration, depending on the seriousness of the infraction; disciplinary probation appears on a student’s permanent record at the University (but not on the transcript) and may be disclosed by the University in response to requests approved by the student or as otherwise legally required; any subsequent behavioral or academic violation—especially but not exclusively during a student’s probationary period—will be viewed in a very serious light and could result in an appearance before the Committee on Discipline or a Sexual Misconduct Panel, with a possible penalty of involuntary separation from the University);

  • Suspend the respondent (with or without conditions);

  • Withhold a graduating student respondent’s degree; or

  • Expel the respondent. 

To these penalties, as appropriate, they may add the notation of censure, campus service hours, restrictions on access to resources (usually in the form of a No Contact Order), educational programming, or removal from or relocation within University housing.  For more information, see Rights, Rules, Responsibilities section 1.1.7.

In addition to the penalty, respondents found responsible for violations are required to complete the Community Integrity Program (“CIP”).  CIP is a time-limited, individualized psychoeducational curriculum administered by a clinical psychologist.  It serves to assist individuals in exploring harmful attitudes and behaviors, with an aim to empower individuals to actively contribute to a healthier and safer campus community.

In the case of expulsion, suspension, or withheld degree, the notation of the penalty is made on the transcript and will not be expunged.  The reason for the sanction (e.g., sexual misconduct) is not recorded on the transcript and the sanction notation itself is listed in the “remarks” section of the transcript at the bottom of the page.

If prospective employers/graduate schools/institutions inquire about a sexual misconduct violation by a student respondent, the Office of the Dean of Undergraduate Students or the Graduate School will only provide prospective employers/graduate schools/institutions with information regarding a student’s disciplinary history after receiving express written authorization from the student to do so.  Upon receiving such authorization from the student, the Office of the Dean of Undergraduate Students or the Graduate School will disclose the nature of the violation and the penalty.

Penalties when Respondent is a Faculty or Staff Member

The below information intended to provide information regarding penalties for cases when the respondent is a faculty or staff member.  The Sex Discrimination and Sexual Misconduct policy is the official procedure by which the process is implemented, and Rights, Rules, Responsibilities section 1.3.13 should be consulted for information regarding investigation and disciplinary procedures for cases when the respondent is a student.  

In cases involving faculty or staff respondents, if a majority of the panelists finds, using to the preponderance of the evidence standard, that the Sex Discrimination and Sexual Misconduct policy has been violated, the panel’s report and case file will be forwarded to Dean of the Faculty Sanjeev Kulkarni (for faculty respondents) or the vice president for human resources Lianne Sullivan-Crowley (for staff respondents).  Dean Kulkarni (for faculty respondents) or vice president Sullivan-Crowley (for staff respondents) will determine the appropriate penalty.  For more information, see Rights, Rules, Responsibilities section 1.3.13 #2.

In determining an appropriate penalty:  (1) The most important consideration is the relative seriousness of the infraction.  Consideration is given to the specific standards of conduct that were violated and the impact of the respondent’s actions on the individuals personally affected, the University community, and the University’s values.  (2) Precedent cases inform the decision and are normally determinative, as the fair and equitable application of sanctions for similar conduct is essential to preserving the actual and perceived fairness of our disciplinary system.  Although each case is unique, Information regarding Penalties in Sexual Misconduct Cases provides examples of the types of penalties that have been issued in prior cases, and the University’s annual Sex Discrimination and Sexual Misconduct disciplinary reports provide information regarding outcomes in particular years. (3) A respondent’s previous disciplinary record (a violation of any sort) is taken into account when considering a sanction for the current violation.  (4) Lack of honesty during the investigation and/or adjudication process can be a factor in certain circumstances, such as when it involves the manufacturing of or tampering with evidence.  If a respondent is found responsible for multiple violations, this will be reflected in the penalty.

Information regarding penalties that are applicable to faculty respondent is provided in the Rules and Procedures of the Faculty.  Information regarding penalties that are applicable to staff respondents is provided in the Human Resources Policy and Procedures Manual.  For more information, see Rights, Rules, Responsibilities section 1.1.7.

For faculty or staff respondents, in any situation where there is an investigation and finding of sexual misconduct and a faculty or staff member leaves the University, it is the University’s practice to disclose that information in response to an inquiry made by potential employers to the Offices of the Dean of the Faculty or Human Resources.

In addition, the University has certain reporting obligations with respect to sexual misconduct involving NSF-funded principal investigators (PI) or co-PIs.  For more information regarding these obligations, see Implementation of NSF’s Notification Requirements Regarding Harassment and Sexual Assault.