Middlebury Institute of International Studies at Monterey

Last Updated June 2017

Overview

This section describes the disciplinary process that is normally followed when violations of MIIS’ Student Life and/or other MIIS policies are alleged. Where other MIIS policies specify separate processes, those processes will apply. (See, e.g., the Anti-Harassment/Discrimination Policy; the Policy Against Sexual Misconduct, Domestic and Dating Violence and Misconduct, and Stalking; and the Academic Honesty Policy.)

The associate dean of student services (ADSS) or the designees of this administrator issues letters of warning, reprimands, probationary status, or letters of official discipline when it is determined that student life policies have been violated. The ADSS may also issue additional restrictions of MIIS’ privileges, including but not limited to participation in student life activities, clubs, student council or guest privileges, and assign educational sanctions, including but not limited to reparative community service, as appropriate. Students may appeal the issuance of a letter of official discipline by ADSS to the Conduct Judicial Board; they may not appeal unofficial sanctions.

The ADSS may additionally issue sanctions of suspension or expulsion through the Disposition without Hearing process (see Judicial Board and Other Procedures), as well as other academic sanctions as noted below (see Sanctions: Academic Offenses). In the case of suspension or expulsion, the ADSS will consult with the Vice President for Academic Affairs and Dean of the Institute (VPAA/DOI) prior to issuing the sanction. The dean of enrollment, advising and student services may issue sanctions of suspension through the Disposition without a Final Determination process (see Anti-Harassment/Discrimination Policy). The VPAA/DOI and other officials have additional sanctioning authority in emergency circumstances; see the section Institute Initiated Leave of Absence, Emergency Withdrawal, Suspension or Expulsion in the Student Conduct Policy Overview.

Except where other policies designate a different process, the Conduct Judicial Board generally reviews cases in which allegations of non-academic and academic policy violations may result in a sanction of a letter of official discipline, suspension or expulsion, and/or cases that have had an especially broad or negative impact on the community. See “Section A. The Judicial System” for more information on the Conduct Judicial Board.

"No-Contact" Orders

When a verbal or physical altercation, sexual misconduct, domestic or dating violence or misconduct, stalking, harassment, discrimination, retaliation, or hazing has been alleged, or when otherwise deemed appropriate under the circumstances, the ADSS or the human relations officers (HROs), have the authority to issue No Contact Orders to the persons involved, whether or not disciplinary action is taken. A No Contact Order is used to restrict encounters and communications between individuals. While a No Contact Order is not a disciplinary sanction, and will not appear on a student’s disciplinary record, refusal to adhere to the order after written or verbal notification of its terms is prohibited and may result in disciplinary action.

Legal Proceedings

MIIS’ disciplinary action is distinct from and not dependent upon the outcome of any legal proceedings involving a student, although conduct that forms the basis for legal proceedings may also warrant disciplinary action by MIIS, and conviction of a crime may in itself justify disciplinary action. If MIIS determines that a complaint will not be heard on campus, there may be an avenue for redress through legal action (civil and/or criminal).

MIIS may offer assistance to a student facing civil or criminal legal proceedings by apprising the student of sources of legal counsel, for example, but MIIS will endeavor not to interfere in any such proceedings. Students should also be aware that MIIS officials and other students may, like all persons, be compelled to give testimony or evidence if subject to the subpoena power of a court.

While students are enrolled at MIIS, they must inform MIIS of any occasion on which they are charged with a felony by state or federal authorities. Failure to do so may itself result in disciplinary action.

Conduct Judicial Board and Other Procedures

All parties will be provided procedural rights as outlined below or as outlined in our Policy Against Sexual Misconduct, Domestic and Dating Violence and Misconduct, and Stalking, or Anti-Harassment/Discrimination Policy, as applicable. Alleged violations of the Policy Against Sexual Misconduct, Domestic and Dating Violence and Misconduct, and Stalking and the Anti-Harassment/Discrimination Policy are adjudicated through separate processes; please consult those policies for more information. Since MIIS lacks full judicial authority, such as the power to subpoena or place witnesses under oath, a student's rights cannot be coextensive with or identical to the rights afforded in a civil or criminal legal proceeding. However, the procedures outlined below and in the Policy Against Sexual Misconduct, Domestic and Dating Violence and Misconduct and Stalking and the Anti-Harassment/Discrimination Policy are designed to provide fundamental fairness and to protect students from arbitrary or capricious disciplinary action. The Conduct Judicial Board, the ADSS, the HROs and other disciplinary authorities at MIIS shall conduct their proceedings in the spirit of these principles. If exceptional circumstances dictate variation from these procedures, the variation will not invalidate a decision unless it prevented fundamental fairness.

THE JUDICIAL SYSTEM

The judicial system at MIIS consists of two judicial bodies: The Conduct Judicial Board and the Judicial Appeals Board. The judicial process is overseen by the ADSS.

Conduct Judicial Board

Jurisdiction

The Conduct Judicial Board normally adjudicates allegations of significant non-academic and academic conduct infractions.

If the Conduct Judicial Board cannot be convened because MIIS is in recess for the summer or J-term, a student responding to allegations of a disciplinary offense may choose to have the matter resolved through the Disposition without Hearing process (see below), or to postpone a hearing until the Conduct Judicial Board can be convened in the fall or spring. A student who chooses to postpone a hearing under these circumstances and who is subsequently suspended for the fall or spring semester, or expelled, will receive a full reimbursement of tuition and all MIIS fees for that semester.

Conduct issues that do not fall under our Anti-Harassment/Discrimination Policy or our Policy Against Sexual Misconduct, Domestic and Dating Violence and Misconduct or Stalking, and, that occur during our Summer Intensive Language Program (SILP), or one of our intensive English language programs, will be handled according to the conduct policies and procedures established for the relevant program.

Organization

Composition

For the purposes of a non-academic allegation hearing, the Conduct Judicial Board will consist of five members: one staff member, one faculty member, and three students. For the purposes of an academic allegation hearing, the composition of the Board will consist of two student members, two faculty members and the dean of enrollment, advising and student services, who normally serves as the chair. Each member has one vote. To accommodate conflicts of interest and scheduling, at least two staff members, four faculty members, and five students will be selected or appointed each year to rotate service at Conduct Judicial Board hearings.

Selection

MIIS’ VPAA/DOI will appoint the staff representatives to the board on the recommendation of the Staff Advisory Committee. The Academic Policy, Standards, & Instruction Committee (APSIC) will appoint two faculty members, serving as APSIC reps, to the board for academic-related conduct issues. The Faculty Senate will appoint two faculty members for non-academic related conduct issues. The student members will be selected by the procedure described below.

A student must be a full-time, degree-seeking student in at least in their second-semester and in good academic standing, to serve on the Conduct Judicial Board. A student found responsible for a serious academic or non-academic infraction of MIIS rules by any MIIS judicial authority will be ineligible for membership.

The selection committee is encouraged to assemble a board of student members who reflect the diversity of MIIS’ student population in all areas. Whenever possible, at least one student member will have at least one semester of prior experience serving on the Conduct Judicial Board. The ADSS will review the continued eligibility of a student member of the Conduct Judicial Board who has been found to have committed a serious infraction of MIIS rules, and has the authority to require the member to resign.

Nominations of current Student Council members will not be considered during the initial selection process. If vacancies remain, the Student Council has the responsibility to fill the roles on an ad hoc basis from a pool of students on the Student Council Judiciary Committee. Members of this committee will be subject to the same criteria outlined above and will submit to interviews with the staff and faculty members of the selection committee to confirm their eligibility. They will only participate in judiciary hearings in which the other student members of the Conduct Judicial Board are unavailable or otherwise ineligible.

Early in the fall semester, a selection committee will be convened and led by the ADSS including one staff member, one faculty member, and at least two members of the Student Council Judiciary Committee. This selection committee will be responsible for advertising the availability of student positions on the Conduct Judicial Board; collecting nominations from the student body; interviewing nominees; and, after reviewing the final slate of student members with the dean of enrollment, advising and student services, officially confirming their eligibility. Assuming the number of eligible candidates is greater than the number of available positions, the committee will then administer elections for the student body to elect the five student members of the Conduct Judicial Board. However, if there are fewer eligible candidates--or exactly five candidates--the selection committee’s interview process will substitute for official elections. Again, the Student Council Judiciary Committee will fill any remaining vacancies after this selection and election process.

Substitution of Members

If there is a need to convene the Conduct Judicial Board and regular members cannot attend a hearing, alternates to the Conduct Judicial Board will be contacted. If for any reason a member of the Conduct Judicial Board has a conflict of interest in a particular proceeding, a replacement will be sought from among the alternate members

Chairs and Co-chairs

Each hearing requires that one Conduct Judicial Board member serve as the hearing chair. The responsibilities of the hearing chair include facilitating the hearing and deliberations process, and making evidentiary and procedural decisions during the hearing as described below. The chair of the Conduct Judicial Board for academic allegation hearings will be the dean of enrollment, advising and student services. There is no co-chair for academic-related hearings.

A faculty member who believes a student has engaged in academic dishonesty shall submit a written statement of the facts supporting the allegations to the ADSS, for transmittal to the Conduct Judicial Board. The faculty member's statement should be sufficiently detailed to enable all parties to prepare for the hearing. Respondents will be provided with access to the professor’s statement, a letter from the ADSS identifying the alleged policy violations to be considered in the hearing, and all related materials that will be shared with the board in advance of the hearing. Normally, the hearing will be scheduled no more than two weeks after the ADSS’ official letter of allegations has been provided to the student. Shorter deadlines may apply in cases involving students at the end of their final term, or with the agreement of the respondent(s). The faculty member initiating allegations shall participate in the hearing to explain them and to ask and answer questions. The faculty member and the respondent may each be accompanied by an adviser of their choosing from the MIIS community.

For non-academic allegation hearings, a staff or faculty co-chair is identified the ADSS on a per hearing basis. The student members of the Conduct Judicial Board may select one student to serve as the student co-chair, on a per-hearing basis. The ADSS will determine based on the composition of board members for each hearing who will serve as the chair for that hearing.

Accountability and Changes in Procedure

The Conduct Judicial Board is accountable to the VPAA/DOI who is responsible for considering and approving all recommended changes to the policy and procedures of the Conduct Judicial Board.

Judicial Appeals Board

Jurisdiction

The Judicial Appeals Board has jurisdiction, as specified in Section D., Appeals Procedures, below, to hear appeals of decisions of the Conduct Judicial Board under certain circumstances.

Organization

Composition 

The Judicial Appeals Board consists of five members: a member of the academic administration, appointed by VPAA/DOI, who serves as co-chair; two faculty board members who did not participate in the original hearing; and two student board members who did not participate in the original hearing. Each member has one vote.

Selection of Members

An attempt will be made to select student and faculty members who did not hear the original case; however, issues of conflict of interest or availability may dictate selecting members at the discretion of the VPAA/DOI. A student member may co-chair the appeal as appropriate.

Substitution of Members

If there is a need to convene the Judicial Appeals Board when both regular and alternate members are unavailable, the administrative co-chair and/or the VPOI/DOI may appoint substitute members. Priority will be given to students and faculty with judicial experience. If for any reason a member of the Judicial Appeals Board has a conflict of interest in a particular proceeding, a replacement will be appointed.

Hearing Procedures

The following procedures apply to hearings before the Conduct Judicial Board, and the Judicial Appeals Board, except as otherwise specifically provided.

1. Allegations

Students will be held accountable for policy violations that take place between the time they first arrive on campus to begin their MIIS program and their graduation, or MIIS’ confirmation of their resignation or expulsion.

The ADSS or designee, in consultation as appropriate, will determine when and whether policy violation allegations will result in judicial hearings, and will identify those MIIS policies that may have been violated. The person or group initiating an allegation is called the complainant; in most cases, MIIS serves as the complainant, although MIIS may choose not to exercise the full rights of a complainant as defined below. The student responding to allegations is called the respondent. All official allegations of policy violations are transmitted to the respondent through the ADSS on behalf of MIIS. Prior to the hearing, the respondent will be notified of the identity of the complainant and the names of any witnesses who will attend the proceedings. Respondents will be provided with a general statement of allegations, including identification of the alleged policy violations under consideration, and will have access to all hearing materials that will be shared with the board in advance of the hearing.

2. Disposition without Hearing

Upon receiving written notification of the allegations, respondents who do not contest them may request that the ADSS adjudicate their final and official disposition rather than pursuing adjudication through a judicial board hearing. In circumstances where the ADSS determines that disposition without hearing is not in the best interests of the MIIS community, the request will be denied and the case will proceed to a hearing. In cases where disposition without hearing is permitted, the ADSS will propose a sanction appropriate to the acknowledged violation which approximates the sanction the ADSS believes the judicial board would assign with the same information. The respondent may accept the sanction, or may reject it, in which case the allegations will be adjudicated by the appropriate judicial board, and the board’s finding and sanction will apply. The ADSS will set a reasonable deadline by which the respondent must choose to accept the sanction or reject it and pursue a hearing.

3. Administration of Hearings

The ADSS serves as a procedural advisor and secretary to the judicial boards. The ADSS assists with scheduling, provides required notices to the parties, witnesses, and board members, identifies the materials to be included in the hearing and provides access to them to the parties and board members as appropriate, identifies and approves witnesses, and otherwise performs administrative functions for the board. The ADSS does not participate in the deliberations of the board, but may be present during deliberations to assist with administrative tasks and provide procedural guidelines.

4. Notification of Hearing

Notification in writing will be given to the respondent, the complainant, and any known witnesses called by the ADSS. Notification will include the time and place of the hearing and must be given to the complainant and respondent at least two business days in advance of the hearing. In most instances, the hearing will be scheduled not more than two weeks after the official transmission of the allegations, except where exigent circumstances require otherwise.

5. Attendance at Hearings

The respondent, complainant, and all required witnesses are expected to be present at the time and place of the scheduled hearing. Failure to appear at a scheduled hearing after proper notice may subject a student to disciplinary penalties up to and including suspension. Judicial proceedings take precedence over academic and nonacademic activities, and students shall be excused from other obligations to participate in the proceedings. Should a respondent who has been properly charged and notified of a scheduled hearing fail to appear, the hearing may proceed and sanctions may be imposed as if the respondent were present.

6. Disqualification

Any member of a judicial body who has a conflict of interest in a particular proceeding is disqualified from sitting on that case. If a member of the Conduct Judicial Board or the Judicial Appeals Board is disqualified, normally an alternate member from the same constituency will be selected to participate.

7. Quorum

Conduct Judicial Board hearings may not be conducted with fewer than three members. Three votes are needed for a finding of responsibility for a policy violation. In the event of a finding of responsibility for a policy violation, sanctions shall be determined by majority vote.

Judicial Appeals Board hearings may not be conducted with fewer than three members, at least one of whom is a student, present. In the event of a finding of responsibility for a policy violation, sanctions shall be determined by majority vote.

8. Audio Recording

All judicial hearings will be audio recorded. The recording is the property of MIIS. In the event of an appeal, the recording will be available for the consideration of the appeal, as well as to the respondent. Copies made for the respondent must be returned once the appeal is filed and may not be used for other purposes.

9. Participation in Judicial Proceedings

Normally, participation in or attendance at judicial hearings shall be limited to students and employees of MIIS. When others are involved in a case or can offer testimony that is directly relevant, the ADSS may permit those individuals to participate in a hearing.

10. Expectations

Honesty is expected on the part of all members of the community who participate in the judicial process. The provision of false or misleading information to a judicial body may itself be grounds for disciplinary action.

11. Support Person

The respondent and the complainant may each bring a support person who is a student or employee of MIIS. This person may be consulted by the respondent/complainant during the hearing, but, unless specifically invited, may not otherwise participate in the proceedings. Prior to the commencement of the hearing, each respondent and complainant shall provide the ADSS with the names of persons serving as their support person. The names will be shared with the both parties.

12. Character Reference

Complainants and respondents may each submit one character reference. If this individual is sharing their reference in person, the individual must be a MIIS student or employee. If the individual is providing a letter of reference and is not appearing in person, they may submit the reference to the ADSS, who will read it to the board on the author’s behalf. Individuals submitting reference letters are not restricted to MIIS community membership. Character references may not exceed ten minutes in length (in-person references) or five pages of double-spaced 12-point text (letters of reference), and may not contain any content that refers directly to the incident under investigation or provide evidential testimony.

13. Independent Expertise

If the case involves a technical matter that falls outside the expertise of the members of the judicial body, the ADSS may invite an appropriate individual who possesses expertise relevant to the matter at hand to provide technical assistance to the board during the hearing.

14. Rights of the Respondent

The respondent has the right to be present throughout the hearing and to hear adverse testimony. In no case should the board consider evidence against a student unless the source, author, and content of any statement or other evidence has been identified to the student, and the student has been given the opportunity to rebut the statement or respond to the evidence. All written evidence intended to be introduced at the hearing must be provided to ADSS prior to the commencement of the hearing. Once the hearing begins, the chair reserves the right not to consider written evidence not provided in advance. Sanctions may only be imposed for the specific allegations of which the student has been notified in writing.

15. Evidence Rulings

Rules of evidence applicable in court proceedings do not apply in this process. The evidentiary materials and testimony may include information that the members of the board ultimately deem to be immaterial. The parties are invited to comment on the relevance, weight and substance of the evidence throughout the hearing. The evaluation of evidence by the members of the board includes consideration of its relevance, materiality, and credibility. In cases where evidentiary or procedural questions arise in connection with the hearing, the ADSS will make rulings prior to the hearing, and the chair of the judicial body shall make rulings on that arise in hearings. A decision of the chair may be modified by a majority vote.

16. Burden of Proof

The burden of proof rests with the party bringing the allegation.

17. Basis of Decision

In determining whether a policy has been violated, the board shall base its decision only on evidence introduced at the hearing of that case. Policy violation determinations will be made on the basis of a preponderance of the evidence; that is, after assessing all evidence for its relevance, weight and substance, whether it is more likely than not that the violation occurred.

18. Hearings

All hearings are confidential, and all board members are committed to maintaining the privacy of the involved parties by refusing to disclose or discuss the content of a hearing outside of the confines of the hearing itself. All complainants, respondents, advisors, character references, witnesses and other participants are asked to do the same.

19. Confidential Deliberations

All judicial board deliberations are confidential.

20. Decision

The ADSS will normally provide written notification of the decision to each respondent within two business days of the board’s determination. Failure to meet the time limitations in this section will not invalidate a decision.

21. Record of Proceedings

If a judicial proceeding results in a finding of no responsibility for any policy violation, there will be no record of the allegations or the hearing in the student's permanent official file.

Sanctions

General Nonacademic Offenses

Sanctions for students found responsible for committing non-academic policy violations are listed below. Sanctions are designed to accomplish several goals to deter harmful conduct; to cultivate responsibility and accountability to self and others; to address the underlying harm including the wellbeing or safety of any individual and/or the community; to eliminate any hostile environment, prevent its recurrence, and correct its discriminatory effects on the complainant and others, if applicable; and to provide other appropriate forms of redress.

Sanctions are recorded in the student's file, and are not reflected on the academic transcript, except that MIIS enrollment dates are part of the transcript record. Sanctions that constitute a form of official discipline, as noted below, are included in a student’s permanent record and may/must be disclosed by the respondent and/or by MIIS under certain circumstances.

Sanctions may additionally include loss or restriction of MIIS privileges and/or educational/reparative assignments as appropriate. Prior conduct and judicial history may be taken into account in determining sanctions. Receipt of sanctions may also impact future MIIS opportunities, including but not limited to employment, leadership position selection, or approval for participation in other MIIS programs.

If the conduct occurred during the course and scope of the student’s employment at MIIS, the matter will be referred to the Human Resources Department, as appropriate, for disciplinary sanctions that may include written reprimands, or termination of employment in addition to the sanctions assigned though the judicial process.

Although discipline is cumulative at MIIS, which may result in greater sanctions for repeated or accumulated violations, it is not progressive. That is, depending on the severity of the violation, a student may receive any of the sanctions below, even for a first offense. Sanctions for offenses involving alcohol and/or drugs will be assigned to be consistent with those outlined below and in the Alcohol and Drug Use Policy.

The sanctions below are listed in order of increasing severity.

Unofficial Forms of Discipline

Warnings: A verbal or written warning may be issued when a student has violated MIIS policy. A warning is intended to educate the student about MIIS policies and/or state laws, and the need to adhere to them. A warning is informal, unofficial discipline and is not part of the student's official record. Students who receive a warning can answer negatively if they are asked if they have been subject to official discipline while enrolled in any MIIS program. Warnings are taken into account in determining future disciplinary outcomes and may serve to make further violations of MIIS regulations more serious.

Reprimands: A letter of reprimand may be issued when a student demonstrates an inability or unwillingness to abide by our principles and by repeatedly violating MIIS policy. A letter of reprimand may also be issued when a student has committed a violation of MIIS policy that has had or may have had a negative impact on an individual or on the community. A reprimand registers strongly MIIS’ concern regarding the student’s actions and its firm expectations for immediate improved behavior.

A letter of reprimand is informal, unofficial discipline and is not part of the student’s official record. Students who receive reprimands can answer negatively if they are asked if they have been subject to official discipline while enrolled in any MIIS program. Reprimands are taken into account in determining future disciplinary outcomes and may serve to make further violations of MIIS regulations more serious.

Probationary Status: Students may be placed on probationary status when the number or nature of their MIIS policy violation(s) is sufficiently concerning that an additional policy violation will most likely result in an official form of discipline (please see below). Probationary status provides students with an opportunity to avoid this outcome. They may do so by demonstrating improved conduct, generally reflected in their sustained ability to respect community standards and adhere to MIIS policies.

If students commit new policy violations while on probationary status, an appropriate course of action will be determined. Considerations may include the gravity and impact of the new infraction; the student’s response during and following the new infraction; and the student’s progress during the probationary period.

Probationary status is informal, unofficial discipline and is not part of the student’s official record. Students who are placed on probationary status can answer negatively if they are asked if they have been subject to official discipline while enrolled in any MIIS program. It is important to note that discipline is cumulative at MIIS and further infractions following the successful conclusion of the probationary period may still result in more severe outcomes.

Official Forms of Discipline

Letter of Official Discipline: Students may receive a letter of official discipline when their actions have demonstrated disregard for MIIS’ policies such that an additional infraction of MIIS policy will most likely result in suspension from MIIS. A letter of official discipline is intended to encourage immediate improved behavior and acceptance of responsibility and growth by establishing this incident on the student's permanent record.

Letters of official discipline are a permanent part of the student's official record. Students who receive a letter of official discipline must answer affirmatively if they are asked whether they have been subject to official discipline while enrolled in any MIIS program.

Suspension: Suspension is issued when a student commits a serious policy violation, or repeatedly violates MIIS policy, thereby demonstrating an inability or unwillingness to behave in a manner consistent with MIIS’ principles. The behavior is sufficiently egregious that the student is required to leave the MIIS community for a period of time. It is intended to encourage acceptance of responsibility and growth by establishing this incident on the student's permanent record; to provide the student with an opportunity to consider and address the problematic behavior; and to develop strategies to ensure that the student’s eventual return to MIIS will be successful for the student, for the individuals affected by the student's actions, and for the community.

Suspension may be imposed for any length of time, but is normally imposed for a period no longer than one academic year. In determining the length of suspension, the sanctioning authority will consider the student’s prior conduct history; the gravity of the violation and its impact on the community; the needs of the complainant/affected party; and the need for sufficient time for the student to demonstrate that the concerning behavior has been satisfactorily addressed. When the sanctioning authority feels that suspension for one academic year is insufficient to allow for a student’s successful return to the community, expulsion will be the normal outcome, barring exceptional circumstances.

Students who are suspended for four weeks or longer who wish to return to or be reinstated at MIIS must apply for readmission or reinstatement. Students must apply through the dean of their school/ program. All applicants for readmission or reinstatement after suspension must demonstrate readiness to return to MIIS. Readiness to return is determined by a student’s adherence to the terms of the sanction and the deadlines of the readmission process; by the completion of any additional conditions that may have been established at the time of the student’s departure; and by the provision of satisfactory evidence that the problematic behavior will not recur. If a student is unable to demonstrate readiness to return at the stated conclusion of the period of suspension, the appropriate supervisory authority may deny readmission or reinstatement until it is satisfied that the conditions that led to the student’s departure have been appropriately addressed.

Suspension is a form of official discipline and is a permanent part of the student's record. Students who are suspended must answer affirmatively if they are asked whether they have been subject to official discipline while enrolled in any MIIS program. Students who are suspended must leave campus; are restricted from all MIIS-owned or rented properties; and are prohibited from participating in all MIIS activities or programs, from employment by MIIS, and from using MIIS facilities during the stated period of the suspension. When suspension prohibits students from completing a semester or program they have already begun, the comprehensive fee for that semester or program is not refunded. For international students, suspension may affect immigration status; related questions may be directed to the international student advisor in the Office of International Student and Scholar Services.

Expulsion: For particularly serious offenses, students may be permanently expelled from MIIS. In cases of expulsion from MIIS, no refund of the comprehensive fee or other program fee, as applicable, is made. Expulsion is a form of official discipline and is a permanent part of the student's record. Students who are expelled must answer affirmatively if they are asked whether they have been subject to official discipline while enrolled in any MIIS program.

  • Fines or restitution commensurate with the nature of the offense may also be assigned. The monetary cost of the harm done may be taken into account in assessment of a fine or an order of restitution.

  • A sanction of suspension or expulsion is ordinarily stayed pending the outcome of any authorized appeal. However, if the judicial authority which imposed this sanction makes a finding that imminent danger to one or more members of the MIIS community may exist, suspension or expulsion will take effect immediately regardless of the pendency of an appeal. Please also see the section Institute Initiated Leave of Absence, Emergency Withdrawal, Suspension or Expulsion in the Student Conduct Policy Overview.

Academic Offenses

Students found responsible for academic dishonesty offenses are subject to the penalties listed below.

Plagiarism, cheating, or any other type of academic dishonesty violations are normally punishable by suspension. The adjudicating body is responsible for choosing the most appropriate sanction within the parameters noted below.

Students found responsible for academic dishonesty will normally receive an F on the piece of work and/or fail the course in which the offense occurred. The faculty member makes this determination and assigns the grade.

On rare occasions, if compelling reasons exist for not suspending a student found responsible for academic dishonesty, the judicial body may issue no less than a reprimand and invoke another appropriate sanction.

1. Reprimands (Unofficial Discipline)

A letter of reprimand may be issued when a student demonstrates an inability or unwillingness to abide by our policies and by repeatedly violating MIIS policy. A letter of reprimand may also be issued when a student has committed a violation of MIIS policy that has had or may have had a negative impact on an individual or on the community. A reprimand registers strongly MIIS’ concern regarding the student’s actions and its firm expectations for immediate improved behavior.

A letter of reprimand is informal, unofficial discipline and is not part of the student’s official record. Students who receive reprimands can answer negatively if they are asked if they have been subject to official discipline while enrolled in any MIIS program. Reprimands are taken into account in determining future disciplinary outcomes and may serve to make further violations of MIIS regulations more serious.

2. Disciplinary Academic Probation (Official Discipline)

Disciplinary academic probation is an official form of discipline and is a permanent part of the student's record. Students who receive disciplinary academic probation must answer affirmatively if they are asked if they have been subject to official discipline while enrolled in any MIIS program. Disciplinary academic probation extends for the rest of the student's MIIS career. A student found guilty of academic dishonesty while on disciplinary academic probation will be suspended at minimum.

3. Suspension (Official Discipline)

Suspension is issued when a student commits a serious policy violation, or repeatedly violates MIIS policy, thereby demonstrating an inability or unwillingness to behave in a manner consistent with MIIS’ principles. The behavior is sufficiently egregious that the student is required to leave the MIIS community for a period of time. It is intended to encourage acceptance of responsibility and growth by establishing this incident on the student's permanent record; to provide the student with an opportunity to consider and address the problematic behavior; and to develop strategies to ensure that the student’s eventual return to MIIS will be successful for the student, for the individuals affected by the student's actions, and for the community.

Suspension may be imposed for any length of time, but is normally imposed for a period no longer than one academic year. In determining the length of suspension, the sanctioning authority will consider the student’s prior conduct history; the gravity of the violation and its impact on the community; the needs of the complainant/affected party; and the need for sufficient time for the student to demonstrate that the concerning behavior has been satisfactorily addressed. When the sanctioning authority feels that suspension for one academic year is insufficient to allow for a student’s successful return to the community, expulsion will be the normal outcome, barring exceptional circumstances.

Students who are suspended for four weeks or longer who wish to return to or be reinstated at MIIS must apply for readmission or reinstatement. Students must apply though the dean of their school/program. All applicants for readmission or reinstatement after suspension must demonstrate readiness to return to MIIS. Readiness to return is determined by a student’s adherence to the terms of the sanction and the deadlines of the readmission process; by the completion of any additional conditions that may have been established at the time of the student’s departure; and by the provision of satisfactory evidence that the problematic behavior will not recur. If a student is unable to demonstrate readiness to return at the stated conclusion of the period of suspension, the appropriate supervisory authority may deny readmission or reinstatement until it is satisfied that the conditions that led to the student’s departure have been appropriately addressed.

Suspension is a form of official discipline and is a permanent part of the student's record. Students who are suspended must answer affirmatively if they are asked whether they have been subject to official discipline while enrolled in any MIIS program. Students who are suspended must leave campus; are restricted from all MIIS-owned or rented properties; and are prohibited from participating in all MIIS activities or programs, from employment by MIIS, and from using MIIS facilities during the stated period of the suspension. When suspension prohibits students from completing a semester or program they have already begun, the comprehensive fee for that semester or program is not refunded. For international students, suspension may affect immigration status; related questions may be directed to the international student advisor in the Office of International Student and Scholar Services.

4. Expulsion (Official Discipline)

For particularly serious offenses, students may be permanently expelled from MIIS. In cases of expulsion from MIIS, no refund of the comprehensive fee or other program fee, as applicable, is made. Expulsion is a form of official discipline and is a permanent part of the student's record. Students who are expelled must answer affirmatively if they are asked whether they have been subject to official discipline while enrolled in any MIIS program.

A sanction of suspension or expulsion is ordinarily stayed pending the outcome of any authorized appeal. However, if the judicial authority which imposed this sanction makes a finding that imminent danger to one or more members of the MIIS community may exist, suspension or expulsion will take effect immediately regardless of the pendency of an appeal. Please also see the section Institute Initiated Leave of Absence, Emergency Withdrawal, Suspension or Expulsion in the Student Conduct Policy Overview.

Appeals Procedures

Appeals are reviewed by different MIIS officials and adjudicators than those who reached the initial decisions.

Appeals of Conduct Judicial Board Outcomes

  1. A student found responsible by the Conduct Judicial Board of violating MIIS policy has the right of appeal to the VPAA/DOI on one or more of the following grounds:

    • discovery of significant new factual material not available to the board with original jurisdiction that could have affected the result; however, prior omission of factual information that the student knew or should reasonably have known about is not a ground for an appeal;

    • procedural error where the error prevented fundamental fairness;
    • abuse of discretion in the issuance of a sanction, meaning that the board imposed a sanction significantly disproportionate to the offense.
  2. If any of the appeal grounds above are present, the VPAA/DOI or designee, in consultation with other relevant individuals (if needed) may identify the appropriate process for further adjudication. In cases where none of the appeals grounds have been met, the VPAA/DOI may deny the appeal.

Procedures

  1. A student found responsible for a Middlebury policy violation by the Conduct Judicial Board, may appeal the decision by submitting a written appeal to the VPAA/DOI within 10 business days of receipt of written notification of the board’s decision. The written notification must include evidence and/or arguments they believe support any of the three grounds for appeal listed above, and their explanation of the evidence or arguments.

  2. The VPAA/DOI shall provide a copy of the written appeal to the ADSS, who will provide the records from the case to the VPAA/DOI. The VPAA/DOI may consult with the ADSS and any other relevant individual regarding the appeal as appropriate.
  3. The VPAA/DOI, in consultation with other relevant individuals (if needed) will make a determination whether the grounds for appeal are present, and if so, what kind of reconsideration is appropriate to address them. This may include reconvening the original board, or referring the matter to the Judicial Appeals Board, as appropriate. This may also include but is not limited to a full rehearing; a limited rehearing; or new outcome and/or sanction deliberations. Notification of the VPAA/DOI's decision will be given to the student within 15 business days of receipt by the VPAA/DOI of the complete records in the case, but failure to meet this notification deadline will not invalidate a decision.
  4. Upon notice from the VPAA/DOI that reconsideration of some kind has been granted, the administrative co-chair of the Judicial Appeals Board will convene the Judicial Appeals Board. It is the responsibility of the VPAA/DOI, in consultation with other relevant individuals (if needed) to determine which aspects of the case merit reconsideration and what procedures should be followed, and to direct the Judicial Appeals Board accordingly. When a full or limited rehearing has been granted, notice will be given to those involved of the date, time, and place of rehearing, which shall be held within ten business days of the notice that the rehearing has been granted, absent exigent circumstances.
  5. For periods of the academic year when MIIS is not in regular session, dates for addressing judicial matters will be scheduled at the discretion of the ADSS.

Finality for All Appeals

  • If reconsideration is not granted, the original decision stands to take effect as of the date specified in the decision letter.
  • All penalties are suspended during an appeal, except in emergency circumstances as discussed above.
  • The board hearing an appeal may reverse a decision or mitigate sanctions, but may not increase a sanction.
  • Decisions by the VPAA/DOI and the board hearing an appeal are final.