Code of Student Conduct - Article 4 - Hearing Process

Section 1. Pre-hearing Procedures:

  1. Complaint or ReferralAny individual may report a student suspected of violating this Code to the Office of the Dean of Students. If another office receives a report of suspected violation, the matter must be forwarded directly to the Dean of Students. If the conduct is allegedly criminal in nature and is appropriately reported to Public Safety, or other applicable law enforcement agency, the Dean’s office shall be notified. Any NJIT employee with knowledge of an alleged incident must notify the Dean of Students Office with the information, regardless of whether a report was made to law enforcement, a supervisor, and or department chair. A university official may act as a complainant on behalf of the university and/or third parties. A complaint should be submitted as soon as possible after the offense, preferably within ten business days. However, there is no time limitation regarding the filing and subsequent commencement of proceedings hereunder.

  2. InvestigationWhen an incident is reported to the Dean of Students, an investigation is undertaken to determine whether further action is necessary. A University Official will be assigned by The Dean of Students to serve as the investigator, when practical and possible. Interviews are held with the person reporting the incident (complainant), the person accused of the violation (respondent) and appropriately identified witnesses to the incident, as the investigator deems relevant. Written statements may be requested by the investigator.

  3. Determination of Charge(s) and Specification(s): The investigator determines whether charges will be brought against the respondent. The investigator prepares a charge sheet, if appropriate. The investigator may serve as the hearing officer if the case is to be heard in at an Administrative Hearing.

  4. Student Conduct Hearing Board Notice of Charge(s) and Hearing: The respondent is advised of the charge(s) by the Office of the Dean of Students, the procedures to be followed and the date, time and location of the hearing. The written summary(ies) of oral evidence, copies of all written evidence, witness lists, and other supporting evidence are provided to both parties at least five business days prior to the hearing.

  5. Hearing WaiverThe respondent has the option to waive the right to a hearing in circumstances where s/he does not dispute the facts of the case giving rise to the charge(s) and admits responsibility for his/her actions provided that the respondent is notified of his/her right to a hearing. To waive a hearing, the respondent must sign a hearing waiver and provide a signed written statement disclosing the facts surrounding the incident, acknowledging responsibility for his/her actions and accepting assigned sanctions. The decision to waive the right to a hearing and the admission of responsibility and sanctions are not appealable.

 

Section 2. Processes for Resolution:

  1. Waiver of Right to a Hearing: When the respondent takes full responsibility for the violation(s) and signs the Waiver of University Judicial Hearing statement, the Dean of Students (or designee) shall determine the sanction(s).

  2. Administrative Hearing by a Hearing Officer: Except for claims involving sexual misconduct, in which case the procedures set forth in that policy will be followed, an administrative hearing regarding the alleged violation will be conducted by the Dean of Students or designee (Hearing Officer). The Hearing Officer, with the consent of the respondent, or when a full board hearing is not reasonably practical determines findings of responsibility and assigns sanction(s) as appropriate.

  3. Student Conduct Hearing Board: A hearing board consisting of trained members of the NJIT community will be convened to determine findings of responsibility and assign sanctions as appropriate. 

 

Section 3. Hearing Procedures:

  1. In order to maintain confidentiality, hearings are conducted in private. Admission of any individual to the hearing shall be at the discretion of the Chair of the Student Conduct Hearing Board or as required by law. 

  2. The complainant and/or the respondent may have an advisor, of his/her choosing, present at the hearing. The advisor shall not participate directly in the proceedings, but may be consulted by the complainant or respondent.

  3. The Chair distributes the submitted evidence to the members of the hearing panel and discusses the procedure to be followed. Time is provided for the members to read the statements.

  4. The Chair calls the complainant(s) and the respondent(s) into the hearing room. Both parties will have the opportunity to challenge a board member if they feel the board member cannot objectively hear the case. The Chair will have the final determination as to whether the board member is dismissed.

  5. The Chair reads the charge(s) and specification(s), if there are any questions regarding procedure, and how the respondent pleads to each of the charge(s) and specification(s). Final decision(s) of procedural matters during the hearing shall be made by the Chair.

  6. Opening statements are given by the complainant and the respondent. These statements are general in nature and may describe the details of the case.

  7. The investigator may be called in to give a summary of their investigation. The complainant, the respondent, and the board will have the opportunity to question the investigator.

  8. The complainant shall state their case and offer any supporting evidence. The respondent may then ask questions of the witness(es), followed by questions of witness(es) by the members of the hearing panel. 

  9. The respondent presents testimony and may bring witness(es) who testify as appropriate. The complainant may then ask questions of the witness(es) followed by the panel should they have questions.

  10. Witness(es) appear individually and do not remain for the testimony of others. Witness(es) must have observed the alleged incident or provide direct, relevant information. 

  11. Closing statements are given by the respondent, complainant, and the investigator. The members of the hearing panel may ask further questions, if necessary.

  12. The information-gathering session is concluded. All non-hearing panel members are excused from the room. The investigator is available, if needed, but not present during the deliberation.

  13. Members of the hearing panel deliberate deciding whether the charge(s) and specification(s) are supported, solely by the evidence presented in the hearing. Each charge and specification is considered separately. The determination is based on preponderance of evidence, meaning it is more likely than not that the respondent violated the Code. If the respondent is found responsible for one or more of the charge(s), the past conduct record of the respondent is reviewed by the Chair. The panel determines the nature of the sanctions.

  14. The Chair sends a letter within 3 business days after the conclusion of the board deliberation to the respondent indicating the date of the hearing, the charge(s) and specification(s) involved, a summary of the findings and the conclusions, including any sanction(s). A copy of the letter and appropriate written material used in the hearing shall be placed in the respondent’s personnel file located in the Office of the Dean of Students.

  15. Hearings for sexual misconduct violations may require additional procedures, including, but not limited to, a physical separation between complainant and respondent.