Student Disciplinary Process
The disciplinary process essentially involves three major stages:
- (1) Reporting, notice, and investigation
- (2) Referral, deliberation, and resolution
- (3) Implementation
I. Reporting, Notice, and Investigation
- A possible disciplinary offense is reported in writing to OSA Discipline (OSA DISCP). Any member of the University—faculty, staff, or student— may file a complaint or report with OSA DISCP. Such a report or complaint must be filed in writing and signed by the complainant.
- OSA DISCP receives and records the report.
- OSA conducts a preliminary investigation as needed in order to determine whether or not there is reasonable basis for the complaint or report or whether or not a prima facie case exists.
- If after the preliminary investigation OSA DISCP determines that there is a reasonable basis for the complaint or report, OSA DISCP informs the student(s) or parties involved through a written Charge Notice to allow the student(s) under investigation to prepare an answer in their defense.
- After receipt of the answer, OSA DISCP may undertake further inquiries as needed to establish prima facie evidence for a disciplinary case.
II. Referral, Deliberation, and Resolution
- On the basis of its investigation, OSA DISCP determines whether or not there is a prima facie case or if a disciplinary offense was committed and refers the case to the proper deliberating body, along with a recommendation for action. This determination is made and communicated in writing to the proper deliberating body no later than one (1) week after the investigation is concluded.
- Depending on the type of offense, referral shall be made as follows:
(a) Major or type A and B offenses. Major or type A and B offenses are always referred by OSA DISCP to the Disciplinary Board (DB). OSA DISCP serves as the secretariat to the Disciplinary Board in such cases (see No. 9 below).
(b) Minor or type D offenses. OSA DISCP exercises full jurisdiction in cases involving minor or Type D offenses, where the offense may receive a maximum suspension of (3) days. For minor cases, OSA DISCP shall, in consultation with the Managing Director for Student Affairs and the Academic Unit to which the student belongs, resolve the case and impose such sanctions as borne out by the facts adduced.
In cases where the repeated commission of a minor offense may merit a graver sanction, OSA DISCP refers the case to the Disciplinary Board. If the student appeals the decision of OSA DISCP on a minor offense, the case is automatically referred by OSA DISCP to the Disciplinary Board.
(c) Academic or type C offenses. Type C offenses are academic offenses and are treated separately from other disciplinary offenses. The faculty member (and the Academic Unit to which he belongs) shall retain original jurisdiction in deciding whether an offense has been committed and is granted substantial discretion, in consultation with his Department Chair, in determining culpability.
OSA DISCP shall facilitate communication between the student(s) and the faculty member during the disciplinary process and shall communicate the final decision to the student(s). In instances where there is an appeal from a finding of culpability, OSA DISCP shall refer the case to the Disciplinary Board.
The University as an academic institution places a premium on intellectual honesty. Where the offense is found to constitute dishonesty, or where aggravating circumstances attended the offense, OSA DISCP may refer the case to the DB for determination of a sanction graver than the prescribed sanctions set forth in the Student Disciplinary Code.
- In the cases described in No. 7 above, the deliberating body shall determine/find whether or not the student(s) committed an offense and shall impose the specific sanction, if warranted. In all cases, the respondent’s refusal to cooperate shall be noted and may itself constitute a type B offense, but will not hamper disciplinary proceedings, and a decision may be rendered with the evidence at hand. The body may also entertain appeals from the student(s) in the course of the deliberation. Thereafter, the body communicates its decision in writing to OSA DISCP.
- Disciplinary Board. The Disciplinary Board (DB) is an ad hoc body convened to deliberate on major disciplinary cases, where the sanction ranges from suspension of more than three (3) days to exclusion, and/or on decisions on type C or D offenses that are under appeal by the student(s).
(a) The Disciplinary Board, which falls under the supervision of the Management Committee (ManCom), is composed of five voting members: one member from the OpCom of the unit to which the student belongs, three senior faculty members, and a student representative. An OSA DISCP representative must be present at all DB meetings as a non-voting member of the DB. OSA DISCP serves as the secretariat of the DB, facilitating communication between the DB and other parties. It also undertakes additional investigation at the DB’s request.
(b) Voting members of the DB are nominated by the Director for Student Affairs and appointed by ManCom. They shall hold a term of at least one (1) school year.
(c) If a possible conflict of interest may arise because of the composition of the DB, then the members concerned are replaced by the ManCom with other similarly qualified faculty or students, as the case may be.
(d) The DB reviews the available material turned over by OSA DISCP and may request the student(s) concerned or faculty members, staff or officers of the University who may have some information regarding the incident under investigation to appear before the Board to present evidence on his (their) own behalf. It may also direct OSA DISCP to conduct any additional investigation it deems necessary.
(e) A student’s failure to appear before the DB at the appointed hearing—after due notification and without sufficient cause—shall be noted1 and the proceedings shall proceed ex parte without prejudice to the respondent’s appearance at subsequent hearings, and a decision or resolution of the case may be rendered based on the evidence presented and admitted and/or adduced.
(f) The DB exercises full discretion in determining the admissibility or inadmissibility of evidence presented, and may impose limitations on the same as it sees fit, upon reasonable grounds. The DB shall not be bound by any technical rules or procedures, being subject only to the requirements of due process, and the principles of impartiality, justice, and fair play. The DB is also not bound by public rules of evidence and discovery, and neither shall it require any certainty beyond the preponderance of the evidence at hand, in order to arrive at a decision. A decision or resolution of a case shall be grounded on facts, not hearsay, of such degree of certainty as the evidence adduced in the DB would support.
(g) In deliberating cases, the decision of the majority prevails.
(h) When the DB recommends the exclusion of a student, or when it does not recommend exclusion but the offense involved is punishable by exclusion, the ManCom should review the case in question and confirm the sanction recommended by the DB.
(i) Otherwise, the decision of the DB is sent to a ManCom member or someone delegated by the ManCom who reviews the process followed by the DB in reaching its decision. If the ManCom member or designee is satisfied, the decision is communicated to the student through OSA DISCP. If the ManCom member or the person delegated by the ManCom raises questions regarding the process of the DB, then the case is elevated to the ManCom for study. In case of a defective process, the ManCom sends the case back to the DB for further consideration.
(j) Appeals may be entertained by the DB at any point during the deliberation, but the DB’s decision is final and immediately executory in cases falling short of exclusion. In cases where the decision is exclusion, the student(s) concerned may appeal the decision to the ManCom, beyond which there is no further appeal.
- The resolution or decision in a disciplinary case is communicated in writing to all parties concerned—including the parents or guardian(s) as the case may be—by OSA DISCP through a Notice of Disciplinary Sanction. OSA DISCP shall facilitate the implementation of the sanction. Thereafter, OSA DISCP closes the case by completing the case documentation and placing it in the disciplinary archives. A copy of the decision shall also become part of the student’s official record.