Handbook of Operating Procedures

HOOP Policy 186 - Appendix B – Student Disciplinary Hearing Process

In cases involving sexual misconduct as defined in HOOP 59, Sexual Misconduct, the Title IX Coordinator will serve in place of the Dean for purposes of a student disciplinary hearing.     

     1. Notice of Hearing

In cases other than those in which immediate interim disciplinary action has been taken, the accused student will be given at least 10 calendar days' notice of the date, time and place for the hearing, the name of the hearing officer, a written statement of the allegation(s), including the identity of the complaining witness/complainant, and a summary statement of the evidence supporting such allegation(s). The hearing notice will provide instructions and set a deadline by which the student must notify the Executive Vice President for Academic and Research Affairs ("EVPARA") if the student intends to appear through counsel or other designated representative. The hearing notice will be delivered in person or mailed to the student at the address appearing in the registrar's records. A hearing notice sent by mail will be considered to have been received on the third calendar day after the date of mailing, excluding any intervening Sunday. The date for a hearing may be postponed by the hearing officer for good cause or by agreement of the parties and the EVPARA.

     2. Impartiality of Hearing Officer

A hearing officer will be selected by the EVPARA.  The accused student may challenge the impartiality of the hearing officer up to 7 calendar days prior to the hearing by submitting the reasons for the challenge in writing to the hearing officer through the office of the EVPARA. The hearing officer is the sole judge of whether he or she can serve with impartiality. If the hearing officer disqualifies him- or herself, a new hearing officer will be appointed by the EVPARA.  The appointment of a new hearing officer may have an impact on the hearing date.

     3. Burden of Proof

On a hearing of the allegations, the Dean has the burden of going forward with the evidence and proving the allegations by the greater weight of credible evidence (a “preponderance of the evidence” standard). 

     4. Duties of Hearing Officer

The hearing officer is responsible for conducting the hearing in an orderly manner and controlling the conduct of the witnesses and participants in the hearing. The hearing officer will rule on all procedural matters and on objections regarding exhibits and testimony of witnesses.  The hearing officer may also question witnesses and is entitled to have the advice and assistance of counsel from the UT System Office of General Counsel (“OGC”), who may attend but may not actively participate in the hearing. Within 10 calendar days of the conclusion of the hearing, the hearing officer will render and send to the Dean and the accused student, and in cases involving sexual misconduct as defined in HOOP 59, the complaining witness/complainant, a written decision that contains findings of fact, a conclusion whether the accused student committed one or more of the alleged violations, and any disciplinary actions imposed by the hearing officer.

     5. Conduct of Hearing

The hearing will generally be conducted as follows:

At least 7 calendar days prior to the hearing, each party shall provide the hearing officer and the other party a list of witnesses, a brief summary of the testimony to be given by each such witness, and a copy of documents to be introduced at the hearing.

Each party has the right to appear, present testimony of witnesses and documentary evidence, cross-examine witnesses, and be advised by legal counsel or other designated representative. If the accused student's advisor is an attorney, the Dean's advisor may be an attorney from the UT System OGC. The accused student must provide written notice of the advisor’s name, address, telephone number (and in the case of an attorney, a Texas State Bar license number) to the EVPARA no later than 7 calendar days prior to the hearing. An advisor may confer with and advise the Dean or accused student, but an advisor may not question witnesses, may not address the hearing officer, the Dean, the complaining witness/complainant, or another representative, and may not introduce evidence, make objections or present argument to the hearing officer.

During the hearing, the Dean may recommend and/or request one or more specific disciplinary actions be imposed by the hearing officer and may base the recommendation on any reasonable factors the Dean deems relevant. The accused student is entitled to respond to the Dean's recommendation.

The hearing will be recorded. If either party, and in cases involving sexual misconduct as defined in HOOP 59 the complaining witness/complainant, wishes to appeal the hearing officer's decision, the official record will consist of the recording of the hearing, the documents received in evidence and the written finding of facts and conclusions of the hearing officer. At the request of the President, the recording of the hearing will be transcribed and the parties will receive a transcript.