Student Conduct Board Hearings
The Senior Associate Dean for Student Life may refer offenses that involve possible separation from the University or a transcript remark to the Student Conduct Board (SCB) for a hearing. The Conduct Board will review the evidence, hear testimony, and receive information. The Conduct Board further determines whether the respondent(s) is responsible for violations of the Code of Student Conduct, and, as appropriate, recommends a sanction.
SCB Membership. The membership of the Conduct Board will consist of four (4) faculty members selected by the Faculty Nominating Committee; four (4) undergraduate deans selected by the Dean of the College; six (6) undergraduate students selected annually by the undergraduate student government; four (4) graduate students selected annually by the graduate student government; four (4) medical students selected annually by the medical student government; two (2) deans from the Graduate School appointed by the Dean of the Graduate School; two (2) deans from the School of Medicine appointed by the Dean of Medicine and Biological Sciences; and a chair of the Conduct Board appointed by the Vice President for Campus Life and Student Services. The appropriate student governance bodies will appoint members for the upcoming academic year. If a student governance body fails to appoint members, the Vice President for Campus Life and Student Services or his/her designee may select students to fill the positions. If there is a vacancy among the members of the SCB, the Vice President for Campus Life and Student Services or his/her designee may appoint a temporary member. All student members are subject to the approval of the Senior Associate Dean for Student Life.
Hearing Panels. The composition of the hearing panel will correspond, in general, to the University status (undergraduate, graduate, and medical) of the charged student(s). Each panel will consist of a member of the faculty, a dean, and a student.
The SCB Hearing Process
Quorum. For SCB hearings, three members of the Conduct Board constitute a quorum. If the Conduct Board is unable to attain a quorum within a reasonable period of time, the President or his/her designee may appoint temporary members as needed.
The Chair. The chair of the SCB is responsible for conducting the hearing and decides upon matters related to witnesses, evidence, and procedures. The chair may exclude from a hearing any person in attendance who disrupts a hearing. The chair may consult with the Student Conduct Board and University officials, as necessary.
1. Advisors. In a SCB hearing, the respondent(s) and complaining witness(es) may have advisors chosen from within the University community. The advisor may make statements and generally assist the respondent(s) and complaining witness(es) during the hearing. The advisor must be a full-time Brown faculty or staff member, and the advisor may not be an attorney.
2. Advocate for Complaining Witness. During a SCB hearing involving a charge of sexual misconduct, the complaining witness may be accompanied by a University Advocate. The Advocate is present only for the purpose of providing support to the complaining witness and will not participate in the hearing.
3. Attorneys. If a SCB hearing involves allegations that could constitute a capital/life offense under Rhode Island criminal law, the respondent may be accompanied by an attorney. The attorney may not participate in the hearing. The attorney is present to safeguard the respondent’s rights at any subsequent criminal proceeding and may advise the respondent only with respect to his/her testimony. Any attorney in attendance will comply with all guidelines for the SCB hearing process.
If the respondent desires to be accompanied by an attorney, the respondent will provide the case administrator with the attorney’s name, address, and phone number at least four (4) days prior to the date of the hearing.
If an attorney is to accompany the respondent, the complaining witness may request to have an attorney present as an observer, and, if so, will provide the case administrator with the attorney’s name, address, and phone number at least two (2) days prior to the date of the hearing.
4. President’s Designee(s). The President may designate University officials to attend a hearing consistent with their duties and responsibilities to the University.
SCB Pre-Hearing Procedures
Notice. At least seven (7) days before the hearing, the case administrator will provide the respondent(s) with written notification of the charges, the time and place of the hearing, and a copy of the case materials. The complaining witness also receives the case materials.
Expedited Hearing(s). If the Senior Associate Dean for Student Life determines that an expedited hearing is necessary (e.g., end of the academic year), the notice may be provided fewer than seven (7) days before the hearing.
Requests for Witnesses. The respondent(s) and complaining witness(es) will provide the case administrator with a written list of witnesses they would like to appear at the hearing at least four (4) days prior to the hearing by 9:00 AM. All witnesses will provide a written statement at least four (4) days prior to the hearing by 9:00 AM. If after the four-day deadline, either party believes that there is new information which may substantially influence the outcome of the hearing, he or she will request of the case administrator that the information be admitted to the hearing. The case administrator will also notify the parties of any other witnesses who have been called to appear at the hearing.
Advisors. The respondent(s) and complaining witness(es) will also specify whether an advisor will be assisting him or her, and if so, the name of the person chosen.
SCB Hearing Procedures
SCB hearings proceed as follows:
1. The chair reads the charge(s) and informs the respondent(s) of the right to remain silent.
2. The case administrator is available to answer questions about the case materials.
3. The respondent or his/her advisor may make an opening statement.
4. The complaining witness or his/her advisor may make an opening statement.
5. The Conduct Board examines the evidence and the testimony of any witnesses. The respondent(s) and the complaining witness(es) may ask questions of all witnesses. The chair may require that all questions be directed through the chair. At the discretion of the chair, witnesses may be recalled.
6. The complaining witness or his/her advisor may make a closing statement.
7. The respondent or his/her advisor may make a closing statement.
Deliberations. Following the closing statements, the Conduct Board adjourns into closed session (1) to determine if the respondent(s) is responsible for violation(s) of the Code of Student Conduct and, if so, (2) to recommend an appropriate sanction up to Expulsion from the University; including any accompanying terms (see “Sanctions” and “Accompanying Terms for Sanctions”) to the Senior Associate Dean for Student Life. Prior to the recommendation of a sanction, the case administrator informs the SCB of any prior disciplinary finding(s) against the respondent. The decision(s) of the Conduct Board will be made by majority vote and will be forwarded to the Senior Associate Dean for Student Life. Within five (5) days of the conclusion of the hearing, the Senior Associate Dean for Student Life will notify the respondent(s), and the complaining witness(es) as permitted by applicable regulations, of the outcome of the case.
Power of Review in the President. After the appeal process has concluded, the President may review at his/her own initiative the decisions of the SCB. The President has the authority to affirm, reverse, or modify the decisions and/or change the sanction. If the President decides to review the case, he/she will notify the respondent(s), the complaining witness(es), the Senior Associate Dean for Student Life, the case administrator, and the chair of the Conduct Board of his/her intent to review and his/her final determinations in the case. There will be no appeal from a decision rendered by the President.