The following information and procedures relate to the MTSU disciplinary process as
stated in the Tennessee Board of Regents (TBR) state-wide disciplinary policy.
- Responsibility for Administration. The administration of discipline is a function
of the Dean of Student Life's Office and/or the appropriate adjudicating body.
- Disciplinary Referral. Reports of acts and incidents involving students may be referred
for evaluation and possible disciplinary action by the Department of Public Safety,
residence hall staff members, faculty, students, and other members of the University
community. Reports should be directed to the Assistant Dean for Judicial Affairs and
Mediation Services located in Keathley University Center, Room 208. All referrals
are required to be submitted in writing.
- Preliminary Review and Investigation.
- When an incident involving allegations of student misconduct is brought to the attention
of the appropriate student personnel dean, an investigation shall be conducted. Such
an investigation may include but not be limited to visiting the scene of an alleged
incident, interviewing interested parties, and gathering relevant evidence.
- A student or student organization (hereinafter referred to as "student";) alleged
to have acted in violation of University regulation(s) will be interviewed by the
appropriate staff member. During this conference, the student will be advised as to
which University regulation(s) have allegedly been violated and will be given an opportunity
to explain his/her version of the act or incident, or to otherwise refute the allegations.
The staff member will review the incident taking into account the information provided
by the student. A determination will be made and the student will be advised as to
whether or not sustained disciplinary proceedings are indicated, and if so, whether
a sanction of suspension or expulsion will be sought by the University.
- In the event that the alleged misconduct is such that the University seeks to impose
a penalty of (1) suspension or expulsion of a student from the University, a program,
or a course for disciplinary reasons, or (2) revocation of registration of a student
organization during the term of registration, the appropriate staff members shall
inform the student as follows:
- The student in such a case who desires to contest the charge(s) of misconduct is entitled
to a hearing in accordance with the uniform contested case procedures adopted by the
Tennessee Board of Regents in compliance with the Tennessee Uniform Administrative
Procedures Act ("TUAPA";).
- The student may elect to have the charge(s) against him/her disposed of in accordance
with the University procedures or under the Tennessee Uniform Administrative Procedures
Act in accordance with the Board's uniform contested case procedures.
- Hearing Procedures. The following procedures are available to students who are subject
to disciplinary sanctions:
- Tennessee Uniform Administrative Procedures Act (TUAPA). All cases which may result
in: (a) suspension or expulsion of a student, or student organization, from the institution
for disciplinary reasons; or, (2) revocation of the registration of a student organization,
are subject to the contested case provisions of the Tennessee Uniform Administrative
Procedures Act (TUAPA), T.C.A. Sec. 9-8-301, et. seq., and shall be processed in accord
with the Uniform Contested Case procedures adopted by the Board of Regents unless
the student or student organization, after receiving written notice, waives those
procedures and elects to have the case disposed of in accord with institutional procedures
or waives all right to contest the case under any procedure.
- In all cases involving a hearing under the TUAPA contested case provisions, the president
or his/her designee shall determine, based upon the nature of the case, whether the
hearing shall be before a hearing officer alone or a Hearing Committee presided over
by a hearing officer.
- The case will proceed pursuant to the provisions of the TUAPA and TBR Policy 1:06:00:05 Uniform Procedures for Cases Subject to the Tennessee Uniform
Administrative Procedures Act.
- Students subject to a sanction of suspension or expulsion who waive the option of
a TUAPA hearing shall be accorded a hearing before the appropriate University adjudicating
body. The following institutional hearing procedures shall be observed:
- The respondent shall be advised in writing of the time and place of the hearing at
least five (5) business days in advance of the hearing.
- The respondent shall be advised in writing of the breach of regulations of which he/she
- The respondent shall be advised in writing of the following rights:
- the right to present his/her case;
- the right to be accompanied by an advisor whose participation shall be limited to
advising the respondent. The respondent may also be accompanied by legal counsel;
however, counsel's participation shall be limited to directly advising the student,
i.e., legal counsel may not conduct direct or cross-examination, make opening or closing
statements, or engage in argument. The respondent may be accompanied by more than
one advisor at the discretion of the adjudicating officer or body. The intent of the
respondent to be accompanied by an advisor or counsel shall be indicated to the judicial
coordinator in writing prior to the disciplinary conference;
- the right to call witnesses on his/her behalf. It is the respondent's responsibility
to contact his/her witnesses and inform them of the hearing unless the witness is
also a university witness. University witnesses are contacted by the Office of Judicial
Affairs and Mediation Services;
- the right to confront and question witnesses;
- the respondent shall be advised in writing of the adjudicating body's decision and
of the method of appeal, if applicable.
- All hearings shall be closed unless the respondent and the complainant both elect
in writing to have an open hearing.
- Formal rules of evidence shall not be applicable. The adjudicating body may exclude
evidence which in its judgment is immaterial, irrelevant, or unduly repetitious.
- Decisions of the adjudicating body relative to the responsibility of the respondent
involved in an alleged violation shall be by majority vote of members present and
voting. The chair of the adjudicating body votes only in the case of a tie.
- The standard of proof required for a finding of violation of the student code of conduct
shall be the preponderance of the evidence.
- A student subject to suspension or expulsion may choose to have the appropriate staff
member adjudicate the case. The following conditions must be met:
- The student, in writing, requests the procedure and thereby waives his or her right
to have the case heard pursuant to the TUAPA and the institutional hearing process.
- The dean consents to adjudicate the case.
- The student is willing to accept the dean's adjudication as final and waives his/her
right to appeal.
- Students who are subject to imposition of disciplinary sanctions other than suspension
or expulsion will be accorded a disciplinary conference with the appropriate university
official. A preliminary review conference may be converted to a disciplinary conference
at the student's election. The university official may refer any case which is unduly
complex or which contains a genuinely disputed issue of material fact(s) for a hearing
by the appropriate adjudicatory body. The following procedural protections will be
afforded the student at and/or during the disciplinary conference:
- The student shall be advised of the breach of regulations of which he or she is charged.
- The student shall be given an opportunity to call witnesses or present other evidence
on his or her behalf.
- The student may be accompanied by an advisor of his/her choice.
- The student will be advised in writing of the sanctions imposed.
- Mediation. Students involved in conflict(s) with another individual(s) may elect to
have the conflict(s) mediated with the assistance of a third party mediator assigned
by the appropriate university official. Mediation may never be used for disciplinary
matters concerning allegations of sexual violence. The following conditions must be
accepted by the parties:
- All parties involved must agree to the mediation process.
- The resolution that results from the mediation process will be written, must be signed
by all parties, and will bind the parties to abide by the agreed terms until such
terms are completed or an alternative agreement is developed by the parties.
- The agreement reached through mediation is not subject to any appeals process.
- If no form of resolution can be determined by mutual consent, the staff member may
recommend that the matter be referred to the appropriate judicial body.
- Interim Suspension Hearings: Hearings conducted with regard to interim suspensions
imposed pending the outcome of a disciplinary investigation or proceeding shall be
conducted consistent with the minimum requirements of due process applicable to an
institutional hearing, taking into account the need for a timely hearing. The evidence
presented at the hearing shall be limited to that which is relevant to the basis asserted
for imposition of the interim suspension.
- Victim's Rights. Students who are victimized by violations of the University rules
shall be provided with certain rights. Additionally, although the victim's input shall
be sought during the disciplinary process, the right and responsibility for disposition
of any individual complaint is reserved by the University. If a victim withdraws his/her
complaint or refuses to offer testimony during the course of a disciplinary proceeding,
the University reserves the right to proceed with a disposition of the allegations
consistent with these rules. The rights referred to above are as follows:
- The victim shall be advised in writing of the time and place of the hearing at least
five (5) business days in advance.
- The victim shall be given the opportunity to meet with the appropriate staff member
to discuss the disciplinary process.
- The victim shall be given an opportunity to submit a written account of the alleged
- The victim shall have the right to be accompanied at all stages of the discipline
process by an advisor whose participation shall be limited to advising the victim.
The victim may also be accompanied by legal counsel; however, counsel's participation
shall be limited to directly advising the victim, i.e., legal counsel may not conduct
direct or crossexamination, make opening or closing statements, or engage in argument.
The victim may be accompanied by more than one advisor at the discretion of the adjudicating
officer or body. The intent of the victim to be accompanied by an advisor shall be
indicated in writing to the judicial coordinator prior to the disciplinary conference.
- The victim shall be afforded an opportunity to testify as a witness during a disciplinary
- The victim may reserve the right to decline to testify during a disciplinary hearing,
with the knowledge that such action could result in dismissal of allegations of University
rules violations for lack of evidence.
- In addition to the written account of the alleged incident, the victim shall be allowed
to submit a written impact statement to the adjudicating body for their consideration
during the sanction phase of the disciplinary hearing.
- Effect of Noncooperation. Students alleged to have violated University rules or regulations
shall be provided notice of the allegation(s). A student who fails to respond to a
notice of allegations within the specified time frame will have a hold placed on his/her
records and transcripts. The hold will be removed at such time as the student has
appropriately responded to a notice of an alleged violation(s) of these rules. In
the event a student fails to cooperate, ignores, or otherwise does not respond after
a reasonable amount of time, he/she may be referred for a hearing before the appropriate
University adjudicating body and shall be deemed to have waived the election of a
hearing pursuant to the TUAPA. In this instance, a decision may be made in the student's
- Retention of Records. Disciplinary files developed will be voided if the student is
not found to be responsible for a rules violation. A permanent file will be maintained
if a student is suspended or expelled as a result of his/her being found to be responsible
for a rules violation. No reference to the suspension or expulsion will be made on
the student's transcript unless the sanction so specifies. Files developed in cases
in which a lesser sanction has been imposed will be retained for a period of five
(5) years after date of action unless sanctions specify that they should be retained
for a longer period. Files developed in cases that are covered under the Clery Act
will be retained for a period of seven (7) years after the date of action per federal
- Procedure for Traffic Court. A student who receives a traffic citation that he/she
believes was issued in error or was the result of actions by the student in response
to a legitimate emergency may appeal such a citation in the SGA Traffic Court. The
student will be afforded the opportunity for a hearing wherein the following procedures
will be observed:
- The student will be advised of the following rights:
- the right to present his or her cause;
- the right to call witnesses in his/her behalf;
- in the case of a moving violation or tow, the right to confront the officer who wrote
the citation and/or authorized the tow.
- The citation(s) issued will be considered sufficient on its face to establish the
violation and will remain sufficient to support a judgment if not contradicted or
- Structure of Judicial System.
- The student judicial system of MTSU is organized as follows:
- The Assistant Dean for Judicial Affairs and Mediation Services and/or the Judicial
Coordinator shall review all disciplinary referrals and shall hear cases that are
not subject to other conditions described herein.
- The Student Judicial Board shall consist of seven (7) members and three (3) alternates
selected from eligible members of the student body. Members shall be selected for
one (1)-year terms, and are eligible to serve additional terms with reapplication
and approval as proscribed herein. The chair and vice-chair of the Student Judicial
Board will be selected by a majority vote of the committee members. Recruitment shall
be campus-wide and the pool of candidates should reflect the diversity of the University
community. The selection process includes an application and interview. Interviews
for the Student Judicial Board will be conducted by a selection committee that shall
be appointed by the Associate Vice President for Student Affairs or his/her designee
and the President of the Student Government Association. The composition of the selection
committee shall represent the diversity of the campus community.
The Student Judicial Board shall hear cases referred to it by the Office of Judicial
Affairs and Mediation Services . In these cases, the board makes its recommendation
to the Dean of Student Life or his/her designee.
- The Student Traffic Court shall hear cases appealing traffic and parking citations.
The decision of the Student Traffic Court will be final in such cases. Student Justices
are appointed for an academic year term by the president of the Student Government
Association with the consent of the Student Senate.
- The University Discipline Committee should be composed of one (1) faculty member from
each undergraduate college, four (4) at-large faculty members, and six (6) students;
four (4) undergraduates and two (2) graduates when possible. The Dean of Students
should serve as an ex-officio member. Faculty representation on this committee should
reflect as closely as is practical the ethnic and gender makeup of the University
community. Faculty members of the University Discipline Committee are appointed for
a two (2) year term by the University president. Student members of the University
Discipline Committee are appointed for a one (1) year term by the University President.
The University Discipline Committee hears cases referred to it by the Office of Judicial
Affairs and Mediation Services and makes its recommendations to the Vice President
for Student Affairs and Vice Provost for Enrollment and Academic Services.
The University Discipline Committee also has exclusive jurisdiction over cases involving
academic misconduct. In these instances, a sub-committee composed only of faculty
members of the University Discipline Committee will hear such matters.
- The Student Appeals Committee should be composed of one(1) faculty member from each
undergraduate college, and four (4) students; three (3) undergraduates and one (1)
graduate, when possible. The Assistant Vice President for Student Affairs, a representative
from the Admissions Office, a representative from Graduate Admissions and a representative
from Undergraduate International Admissions should serve as ex-officio members.
The Student Appeals Committee shall hear (a) appeals in cases heard by the University
Discipline Committee, (b) appeals in original cases heard by the Student Judicial
Board, (c) adverse decisions regarding the initial or continued registration of student
organizations, (d) appeals of decisions resulting from the interpretation and application
of the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act by institutional agencies and officials,
and (e)appeals of decisions regarding classification of students for fee-paying purposes.
Members of the Student Appeals Committee are appointed by the University president.
- Committee Recommendations. Recommendations by the Student Judicial Board and the University
Discipline Committee will be reviewed by the appropriate approving authority and are
subject to the following alternatives: (1) the recommended sanction may be affirmed,
(2) the decision may be reversed (overruled), or (3) the case may be returned to the
original judicial body for reconsideration of the sanction(s) only (a finding of responsibility
will not be reconsidered).
- All matters involving allegations of impermissible sexual discrimination or harassment
(including, but not limited to, sexual violence), or retaliation will be governed
by the procedures outlined in TBR Guideline P-080 Subject: Discrimination and Harassment
- Complaint and Investigation Procedure and/or MTSU policy that reflects the requirements
of that Guideline.
- Generally. A student who has been suspended or expelled as the result of disciplinary
action has the right to appeal. It is the responsibility of the body of original jurisdiction
to inform the student of the right to appeal and to whom the appeal should be presented.
Disciplinary sanctions imposed through institutional hearings do not become effective
until the sanctions assessed by the judicial body have been approved by the appropriate
approving authority. (See "Committee Recommendations,"; above.) It is not the function
of the appeals process to permit a rehearing of the factual issues presented to the
adjudicating body, but rather it is to ensure that the disciplinary procedure has
been implemented fairly and consistently with these rules.
- Time Limitations. An appeal must be submitted in writing to the Dean of Students within
forty-eight (48) hours of notice to the respondent or victim of the approving authority's
decision to affirm the sanction. The appropriate university official will attempt
to contact the respondent or victim so that he/she may pick up the notification in
person. An official email will also be sent to the student's MTSU email account which
shall serve as notice. A student cannot extend the time limitations by refusing to
acknowledge the notice, ignoring the notice, and/or because he/she does not agree
with the decision.
- Grounds for Appeal. The appeal must specify grounds which would justify consideration.
The written appeal must contain the substantive proof the appellant is basing the
appeal on. Appeals that do not include the specific information that substantiates
the appeal will be immediately denied. General dissatisfaction with the outcome of
the decision shall not be accorded as a basis for consideration of an appeal. An appeal
may be filed based on one or both of the following conditions:
- an error in procedural due process by the body of original jurisdiction which prejudiced
the disciplined student to the extent that he/she was denied a fundamentally fair
hearing as a result of the error; or
- the emergence of new evidence which could not have been previously discovered by the
exercise of due diligence and which, had it been presented at the initial hearing,
would have substantially affected the original decision of the adjudicating body.
- Appellate procedure. The Dean of Students will review the written appeal to determine
if the appellant has met the requirements for filing an appeal. Appeals which do not
allege sufficient grounds shall be denied consideration and dismissed. Appeals which
do allege sufficient grounds will be accepted for consideration and forwarded to the
appellate body. The appellate body shall not conduct a de novo hearing (a re-hearing),
but will consider only the record made by the adjudicating body. The appellate body
may, at its own discretion, permit written or oral statements from the concerned parties
in interest at the time the appeal is considered.
- Action by appellate body. The alternatives available to the appellate body are:
- The recommended sanction may be affirmed;
- The decision may be reversed (overruled); or
- The case may be returned to the original judicial body for reconsideration of the
sanction(s) only (a finding of responsibility will not be reconsidered).
- Authority of the president. The president of the University retains final authority
on all campus matters, including disciplinary decisions. Therefore, any disciplinary
action is subject to final review by the president of the University. At his/her discretion,
the president may determine to intervene in order to negotiate a mutually acceptable
resolution to any disciplinary proceeding, or subsequently, to convert any finding
or sanction imposed to a lesser finding or sanction, or to rescind any previous finding
or sanction, in appropriate cases.
This policy is promulgated pursuant to, and in compliance with, TBR Rule 0240-02-03-.06
Disciplinary Procedures and due Process. To the extent that a conflict exists between
this policy and TBR rule, policy and/or applicable law(s), the TBR rule, policy and/or
law will control. History - Adopted by TBR: 12/8/11. Effective: 1/29/12.