Due Process for Hearings
Courts have held that student disciplinary proceedings at private educational institutions such as Wilmington University are not subject to the rights and privileges of the United States and individual State Constitutions. In our educational environment, the goal is to settle issues as informally as possible with “Fairness” as the guiding principle. Wilmington University believes the following elements of due process are applicable to the student disciplinary proceeding.
That the student:
- Be notified in writing of the allegations against him/her and the basis for these charges.
- Be given an opportunity for a hearing by the Student Disciplinary Committee.
- Be notified of the date, place, and time of hearing.
- Be given an opportunity to be heard and present witnesses on his/her own behalf.
- Not be the recipient of disciplinary action which is not supported by the evidence.
The following policies, while not required to ensure due process are established for purposes of clarity and fairness.
- The accused may be accompanied by an advisor of his/her own choosing from among the members of the University community. The advisor acts in that capacity alone and may not participate in the hearing or speak for the accused. Legal counsel is only permitted when the accused student has been charged with a related criminal offense. Counsel is present to advise the accused student and may not speak for accused or participate in the hearing.
- A recording and/or written transcript of the hearing should be made. The cost of the transcript must be paid in advance of it being prepared. The cost of having a written transcript prepared shall be borne by the student. The transcript shall be prepared under the direction of the Office of Student Affairs.
- Records of a disciplinary action shall be kept as confidential as is appropriate under the circumstances. Disclosure is generally made to the Registrar, Bursar, instructors, victims if a student is suspended, dismissed, or expelled, or otherwise has restrictions placed upon them. As a general rule, disclosure of disciplinary actions to disinterested third parties shall be released only with a signed request by the student, valid subpoena (subject to FERPA guidelines or Court Order). The disclosure could include:
- Specific violation and/or notices of prior misconduct;
- Decisions of the Student Disciplinary Committee or negotiated
- Disciplinary action;
- Notice of reinstatement, if appropriate.