Hearing Types and Procedures

General provisions for all hearing types Hearing types and procedures

General Provisions that Apply to all Hearing Types

  1. Closed Hearing.  All hearings will be closed.  [top]

  2. Qualification and Responsibilities of Hearing Body Members. Student members of hearing bodies must be currently enrolled and in good standing, that is, not on academic warning or currently under any University sanction.  All administrative and faculty members will be full-time employees of the University.  All members will be required to maintain confidentiality related to all aspects of the hearing process.  The Dean of Students is responsible for removing any member who violates confidentiality and may refer the matter for disciplinary action.  If the specific member(s) of a Student Conduct Board panel cannot be identified, the Dean of Students may recommend to the President that the panel* in question be disbanded.    [top]

  3. Disqualification and Exclusion Any member of a hearing body who believes that he or she is prejudiced by association with the case, the participants, or by information or belief will disqualify him or herself from hearing the case.  A respondent or complainant may request, in writing, that a member of a hearing body be disqualified from hearing a case.  The request will be made by 9:00 AM no more than two (2) days after receiving the charge letter and will include an explanation as to why the member is unable to render an impartial decision in the case.  [top]

  4. Standard of Evidence.  In determining whether or not an offense has been committed, a hearing body or officer will base its determinations on the standard of preponderance of evidence.      [top]

  5. Multiple Students.  Cases in which more than one student is charged with violating the Code of Student Conduct and which depend on common facts or set of evidence may either be considered jointly in a single hearing or be assigned to separate, individual hearings as determined by the Dean of Students.   [top]

  6. Case Administrator.  A case administrator is a University official designated by the Dean of Students to manage these procedures.  Additionally, the case administrator will respond to requests from respondents and complainants during the pre-hearing phases of the student conduct procedures and will chair any upper-level hearings.   [top]

  7. Investigator. For cases which are more complex, the University will use an investigator model to conduct the investigation. This will include interviews with the primary parties and any relevant witnesses. These interviews may be conducted by Student Life Deans or an appointed investigator as circumstances warrant. Complainant(s) and respondent(s) will have an opportunity to provide information to the investigator and to be kept informed of information used in the investigation to the extent possible, consistent with FERPA and confidentiality constraints. 

    If the complaint is not complex in nature, it will be investigated by collecting statements from complainant(s), respondent(s), and any relevant witnesses. These complaints have the ability to be investigated the same as above; however, that will not always be the case and will be determined based on severity, circumstances, and resources available.   [top]

  8. Respondent.  The respondent is the charged student(s) and is entitled to be present during the course of the hearing. The respondent will not be present during other meetings designed to gather information from complainants or witnesses. A hearing officer or body may decide to proceed with a hearing if a respondent fails to appear despite proper notification.  [top]

  9. Complainant.  The complainant(s) is the person who has filed a complaint.  The complainant is entitled to be present during the course of the hearing concerning their complaint. The complainant will not be present during other meetings designed to gather information from respondents or witnesses. For matters heard by the Student Conduct Board or by an Administrative Hearing Officer in which there is no complainant, a University official other than the case administrator will serve in that capacity.   [top]

  10. Witnesses.  Members of the University community, including respondents, are expected to appear at a hearing if they have knowledge or information regarding the incident in question and they have been notified to appear. Individuals who are not members of the University community will generally be permitted to appear at a hearing only if they have direct knowledge or information regarding an incident that is not otherwise available.  [top]

  11. Amnesty for Personal Ingestion of Alcohol or Other Drugs. Brown University generally will offer amnesty to a reporting student, whether as a complainant or a witness, for the personal ingestion of alcohol or other drugs in violation of Brown University Code of Student Conduct.

  12. Appeals. Within five (5) days of notification of the hearing outcome, the respondent(s) may appeal in writing the decisions in the case, setting out the reason(s) for the appeal.  Appeals will be submitted to the Vice President for Campus Life and Student Services or his/her designee.  Appeals will normally be considered only when: (1) there is relevant new evidence that was not reasonably available to be presented to the original hearing authority and that in the judgment of the Appeal Officer the introduction of the information may have changed the finding by the original hearing authority; or (2) when a substantial procedural error by the University or hearing body/officer is demonstrated and in the reasonable judgment of the appeal officer such error is sufficient enough that it may have affected the decision of the original hearing authority.   If the appeal officer determines that the appeal has merit, he/she may reduce the severity or terms of a sanction or may remand the matter to an appropriate hearing officer or body.

    For hearings involving Title IX-related charges or charges under Offense XIVb, the complainant shall have the right to appeal on the same terms as the respondent. If it is determined that the complainant’s appeal has merit, the appeal officer may increase the severity or terms of a sanction or may remand the matter to an appropriate hearing officer or body.  [top]

  13. Timing and Deadlines.  “Days” in these procedures refer to business days, not weekends or University holidays.  Any requirement in these procedures must be completed by 3:00 PM on the day specified, unless otherwise noted.  A hearing or deliberations may be conducted on a Saturday, a Sunday, or a University holiday, if necessary.    [top]

  14. Scheduling of a Hearing.  Hearings shall be scheduled to commence within sixty (60) calendar days of the receipt of a complaint or a report of information that forms the basis of the charges against the respondent. However, this time frame may be extended by the Dean of Students upon a written petition by the Case Administrator, the complainant(s), or the respondent(s).  In determining whether to grant an extension, the Dean of Students shall consider the salient factors of the particular case, which may include items such as the complexity and/or severity of the matter to be heard, the number of individuals involved in the particular matter, or whether the academic calendar makes it impractical to commence a hearing within the prescribed sixty (60) calendar days.   [ top]

*A hearing panel is the subset of the hearing body that fulfills the quorum requirement (see “The SCB Hearing Process, Quorum”) and hears a particular case.

Hearing Types and Procedures

The Dean of Students or his/her designee may refer allegations of violations of the Code of Student Conduct to one of the following options for resolution:


  1. Mediation. Mediation is a voluntary, confidential means of resolving conflict.  It brings the parties together with a trained mediator in an informal, neutral setting to discuss their dispute and to find a lasting solution to it.  If a matter is referred to mediation, the timing/deadline requirements outlined in these procedures are suspended.  If any party to a conflict is unwilling to engage in mediation or if the parties are unable to resolve the conflict through mediation, the matter may be referred to a student conduct hearing for resolution.  When parties successfully resolve their dispute through mediation, the mediator will notify the Dean of Students that the matter has been resolved. In some cases, staff members from the Office of Student Conduct & Community Standards or Residential Life will facilitate these meetings. Other times, conflicts may be referred to the Brown University Mediation Project (BUMP) for student-facilitated mediation. 

    Note: Mediation is not available for dispute resolution in the case of allegations of violations of “Offense XIII: Sexual Assault.”      [top]

  2. Warning Letters. Students will receive an official written notice that specifies that a particular behavior(s) may have violated University community standards and/or Principles and, if repeated, such behavior may be subject to the disciplinary process.   [top]

  3. Dean's Conferences. Students will meet with Student Conduct & Community Standards Deans to discuss behavior(s) that is/are of concern to the Brown University should that behavior continue or be repeated. Students will be informed about particular policies in the Code of Student Conduct that may be violated should behavior(s) of concern repeat. Deans may suggest helpful resources for students and address any further concerns. [top]

 Disciplinary (lower-level hearings and resolutions)

  1. Letter Adjudication. Students charged with minor offenses will have the option of either accepting responsibility and a standard sanction or going to a Dean's Hearing.  [top]

  2. Dean’s Hearing. The deans and directors of the university will hear matters involving offenses that do not involve possible separation from the University.  Repeated offenses of any kind, however, may result in a determination that the matter should be resolved though a Student Conduct Board hearing/administrative hearing. Click here for more information about Dean's Hearings. [top]

  3. Student Organization Hearing. Allegations of violations of University policies and regulations by student organizations will be resolved through student organization hearings conducted by the deans and directors of the University.  Click here for more information about Student Organization Hearings. [top]

Disciplinary (higher-level hearings) 

  1. Student Conduct Board Hearing.  The Student Conduct Board, comprised of students, faculty, and deans or administrative officers, will hear matters involving offenses that may involve possible separation from the University and/or a transcript remark.  Click here for more information about Student Conduct Board Hearings. [top]

  2. Administrative Hearing.  An Administrative Hearing will be conducted by a single dean or administrative officer of the University for matters involving offenses that may involve possible separation from the University and/or a transcript remark. Click here for more information about Administrative  Hearings. [top]

For matters serious enough to warrant a Student Conduct Board hearing, the Dean of Students will determine whether the charged student will be given the option to have the matter resolved through an Administrative Hearing or a Student Conduct Board Hearing.  For charges involving Offense XIVb, subjecting another person or group to abusive, threatening, intimidating, harassing, or humiliating actions, including, but not limited to, those based on race, religion, sex/gender, disability, age, economic status, ethnicity, national origin, sexual orientation, gender identity, or gender expression,students will not be offered a choice, the only option being a Student Conduct Board hearing.  In determining whether a student will be offered a choice in other cases, the Dean of Students may take into consideration factors such as the complexity, severity, and community impact of the case.  In some cases, occasionally even cases involving Offense XIVb, the Dean of Students may refer a case directly to an Administrative Hearing if convening a Student Conduct Board Hearing would result in a significant delay in the resolution of the matter (e.g., during academic recesses).  

For matters in which individuals pose a danger to themselves or the immediate well-being of the University community, the President, the Vice President for Campus Life and Student Services, the Dean of the College, the Dean of the Graduate School, the Dean of Medicine and Biological Sciences, and the Dean of Students have the authority to separate a student(s) from the University and to impose any additional conditions deemed necessary.

Throughout these procedures, all references to “Dean of Students” will be understood to include the Dean of Students' designee(s).