The Dean of Students 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 Student 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 at least 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; and two (2) deans from the School of Medicine appointed by the Dean of Medicine and Biological Sciences. 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 or their 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 or their designee may appoint a temporary member. All student members are subject to the approval of the Dean of Students.
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 student and the other two panel members may be deans and/or members of the faculty.
The SCB Hearing Process
Quorum. For SCB hearings, three (3) 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 Case Administrator. The Case Administrator organizes the hearing procedures, including recruiting the panel, communicating to all parties about hearing date and time, and distributing case materials to all parties. The Case administrator also chairs higher-level hearings and is responsible for conducting the hearing and deciding upon matters related to witnesses, evidence, and procedures. The Case Administrator may exclude from a hearing any person in attendance who disrupts a hearing. The Case Administrator may consult with the Student Conduct Board and other University officials as necessary.
Advisors. In a SCB hearing, the respondent(s) and complainant(s) may have advisors chosen from within the University community. The advisor may make statements and generally assist the respondent(s) and complainant(s) during the hearing. The advisor must be a full-time Brown faculty or staff member but may not be an attorney. Note that a student may have an attorney as an advisor for any Title IX-related allegations.
Attorneys. If a SCB hearing involves Title IX-related allegations or 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 their 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 complainant 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.
- 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 complainant(s) also receives the case materials.
Expedited Hearing(s). If the Dean of Students 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 complainant(s) 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. For cases in which an investigator is not used, all witnesses will provide a written statement and/or any relevant documents 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, they 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. The Case Administrator will make all decisions about witnesses appearing at the hearing.
Advisors. The respondent(s) and complainant(s) 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 Case Administrator (and chair of the SCB panel) 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 their advisor may make an opening statement.
4. The complainant or their advisor may make an opening statement.
5. The Conduct Board examines the evidence and the testimony of any witnesses, including the respondent and complainant. The respondent(s) and the complainant(s) may ask questions of all witnesses who are called to the hearing. It may be required that all questions be directed through the Case Administrator. At the discretion of the Case Administrator, witnesses may be recalled.
6. The complainant or their advisor may make a closing statement.
7. The respondent or their 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) to the Dean of Students. After a determination of responsibility but 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 Dean of Students. Within five (5) days of the conclusion of the hearing, the Dean of Students will notify the respondent(s), and the complainant(s) as permitted by applicable regulations, of the outcome of the case.
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.
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 complainant(s), the Dean of Students, 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.