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FAQs

The process is outlined in the student conduct process section of the website. When a student is alleged to have violated a Standard of Conduct, the student will receive an email requesting that they call to schedule an appointment with our office. During that appointment the process is explained in great detail so that a student understands their rights, what charges they face, and what courses of action they may take. 
 A student receives an email when they are alleged to have violated one or more of the University of Tennessee’s Standards of Conduct or if they are a witness. If a student is alleged to have violated a Standard of Conduct, then the email sent to the student will contain information regarding which specific standard(s) the student may have violated. Additionally, the email may include a scheduled appointment time within the Office of Student Conduct & Community Standards. Attached to this email is a list of student rights that apply throughout the student conduct process. 
A list of student rights for the student conduct process can be found in the Code of Conduct
 In order to maintain a safe living and learning community, both on and off-campus behavior of students can be considered. A more comprehensive and detailed explanation of jurisdiction and student responsibility on and off-campus can be found in the Student Code of Conduct 
 It is not necessary to hire an attorney. However, an attorney may serve as an advisor, but may not speak on behalf of the student during a hearing. 

 The standard of evidence used in the student conduct process is preponderance of the evidence. This means that the determination of responsibility is based on whether the evidence shows that it is “more likely than not” that a violation occurred. The student is presumed to be innocent and the burden of proof rests with the University, such that the University must prove by a preponderance of the evidence that a violation occurred. 

 The student conduct process and the criminal justice system process are separate from one another. As a student of the University of Tennessee, one must uphold the Code of Conduct. 
 Due to the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA), the university is prohibited from releasing any student’s educational record. Records kept by the Office of Student Conduct & Community Standards are educational records. This limit on disclosure extends to parents and family members of students over the age of eighteen. FERPA allows educational institutions to release certain information about students, including notifying parents or guardians if a student has violated the alcohol or drug policy of an institution. In 2008, the State of Tennessee passed a law requiring public institutions of higher education to notify parents or guardians of students under the age of twenty-one if their student violated the institution’s drug or alcohol policy. The University of Tennessee complies with this policy by mailing a letter to the address on file with the Office of the University Registrar as the Parent/Guardian Address. The university does not disclose the specific details of the violation, nor the resulting action taken by the university.

The best way to find out if your student has been to our office is to ask them yourself. Establishing an open line of communication can aid in your student’s self-growth.

If you would like to discuss or receive a copy of a student’s educational record, the student must fill out and submit a release for each individual to whom the educational record can be shared. A release is valid for one (1) year from the day on which it is submitted. 

 Disciplinary probation means that a student is permitted to remain at the University on a probationary status. If a student is found responsible for a similar violation during probation, the student may be suspended. Other conditions of probation are specific to the individual case and may include loss of eligibility to serve as a student organization officer or to participate in specified student activities. The Director of the Office of Student Conduct & Community Standards, who is charged with the responsibility of supervising those on probation, may also specify the terms of probation.

Probation can be for a specific period of time, typically a semester or year, or it can be indefinite. Indefinite probation is for a period of time no less than a year, and no longer than a student is enrolled. If a student ceases to be enrolled and later returns, the probation would continue. Indefinite probation is terminated at the discretion of the Director of the Office of Student Conduct & Community Standards or his/her designee. 

 None of the sanctions specifically affect a student’s financial aid status. If a student is suspended from the university then they would need to reapply for financial aid when they reapply for admission. Scholarships, grants, and loans awarded by the university or other organizations may have policies related to student conduct that could affect their status. Contact the Office of Financial Aid for general information related to many university scholarships, grants, and loans. You may also wish to contact the organization or department issuing the financial aid for more specific information related to how the financial aid award may be affected by student conduct. 
 We always recommend that students first communicate with their instructor about the incident. Students should also communicate with the department head about the incident to see if the incident can be resolved without going through a formal appeal process. The academic dishonesty process is outlined in detail under the students tab of our website. 

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