Skip to content

Program Review

In 2013, the Division of Student Life conducted an external program review regarding the student judicial process. As part of the program review, an invited group of experienced professionals traveled to campus to assess the judicial process, which ultimately resulted in the below recommendations.

Philosophy

A new philosophy for Student Judicial Affairs that embraces developmental processes and outcomes for holding students accountable for misconduct followed by mission and goals for the office that support that philosophy should be implemented. The Office of the Dean of Students and the Division of Student life should take the lead in helping OSJA craft that philosophy. Having a Director for the office that embraces such a philosophy is important.

Status: Complete

Student Conduct should be educational and not adversarial which would make it a less intimidating process.

Status: In Progress – New Process

As part of the discussion, the CAS Standards for student conduct programs should be used as a guide in addition to the ”Model Student Conduct Code” by Edward Stoner, II.

Status: In Progress – New Process

Change the name of the office from Student Judicial Affairs to something that reflects the new philosophy of the field of student conduct. The national organization for the student conduct field, the Association for Student Conduct Administration, changed its name from the Association for Student Judicial Affairs to accurately reflect the purpose and intent of student conduct administration.

Status: Complete

Evaluate the University’s jurisdictional statement to ensure that it is fair and consistent with the University’s mission and goals.  Consider the degree to which incidents that occur off-campus will be addressed.

Status: In Progress – New Process

Policy and Procedures

There needs to be a very serious review of the procedures and restructuring of the current system to move away from a legalistic model to an educational student conduct model.

Status: In Progress – New Process

There needs to be a realignment of duties for the Director, Associate Director, and Judicial Advisors. Research position descriptions at institutions similar to University of Tennessee in various states In addition to reading the “Model Student Conduct Code” by Edward Stoner, to assist with the realignment of duties.

Status: In Progress

The current practice of meeting regularly with students on disciplinary probation should be revisited to determine a more practical and effective approach. In most cases, the goals of the probation meeting can be accomplished in one meeting.

Status: Complete

The judicial advisors are a very important part of the process but should not be utilized as mock attorneys and should also consider changing the job title to accurately reflect an educational student conduct model.

Status: Complete

Current practices should be restructured to ensure that cases are heard in a timely manner. Housing professional staff and graduate assistants should be given the authority to hear certain cases in their areas, which would reduce the caseload for OSJA staff members.

Status: Complete

Allow the Rec Sports staff members to handle the minor violations of their policies as it was done in the past to reduce the caseload for OSJA.

Status: Recommendation Not Agreed Upon

The paperwork provided to the students should be streamlined. OSJA can achieve the same goal with less paperwork, especially with full utilization of its database system (Maxient).

Status: Complete

The sanction of indefinite suspension should be eliminated. The current sanction of suspension is sufficient and has the same impact of the indefinite suspension without the uncertainty and undue distress. For instance, a student can be placed on suspension for two years and be allowed to petition for enrollment after the two years as long as he/she has met certain conditions as prescribed by OSJA.

Status: In Progress – New Process

The number of members on the Student Life Council should be evaluated to determine if a smaller membership can achieve the same goals of the current Council.

Status: In Progress – New Process

Re-evaluate the purpose and goals of the Greek Judicial Board to determine the effectiveness of the Board and how this group may be utilized more if the decision is to continue with a Greek Judicial Board.

Status: In Progress – New Process

There should be educational requirements associated with the social probationary status. Organizations could be required to sponsor seminars on topics associated with their violations – for example, conducting a risk management seminar for all fraternities and sororities when a group is found responsible for a party with too many people in attendance.

Status: Complete

Consider recording on a student’s disciplinary record all sanctions issued by OSJA or a hearing panel. Create a record retention policy, after which time disciplinary records are destroyed (except those Incidents in which a student has been suspended or expelled, which should be kept indefinitely). Do not create a policy allowing for expungement of records.

Status: In Progress – New Process

Personnel

The current number of staff in OSJA is sufficient with the realignment of duties and responsibilities. However, the number of judicial advisors can be reduced to less than two and an entry-level full-time position may be created.

Status: Complete

The qualifications for professional staff members in student  conduct should require a Master’s Degree in student personnel, counseling, educational administration or a similar area or a Juris Doctorate as long as the candidate has a clear understanding of student development theory and an educational philosophy.

Status: Complete

The candidate pool for judicial advisors should not be limited to just law school students. There are other graduate programs available at the University where graduate students could gain very valuable skills and experience. Graduate students in student personnel, educational administration, and/or counseling programs would be an asset to OSJA as well.

Status: Complete

Training

All individuals responsible for the investigation and hearing of cases regarding sexual harassment and sexual violence need to be trained extensively in this area. It is also required by the Office for Civil Rights in the Department of Education as stated in the Dear Colleague letter written in April, 2011.

Status: Ongoing

OSJA needs to provide a more formalized training for judicial advisors, student disciplinary/academic board members, and other Individuals responsible for the adjudication of student conduct matters.

Status: Complete/Ongoing

The professional staff members of OSJA should attend the Association for Student Conduct Administration annual conference on a regular basis in addition to participating in the webinars and other methods of training related to student conduct in order to remain current with the trends and practices of this field.

Status: Complete/Ongoing

Communication

There needs to be a re-examination of OSJA’s interpretation of FERPA regarding student conduct cases. Staff members in University Housing, the Case Management Team, Office of the Dean of Students, and other members deemed necessary should be informed of a student’s case if it has been determined that there is a legitimate educational interest to know.

Status: Complete

A taskforce should be created to review and revise Hilltopics so that it reads more like an educational process rather than a legal document. Make it visually more appealing (ex: see http://issuu.com/dukeosc/docs/dcsguide2013-14fin al).

Status: In Progress – New Process

Staff members in OSJA should reach out to offices, faculty, and staff that have a vested Interest in student conduct matters to develop more meaningful relationships.

Status: Ongoing

Establish partnerships with other departments in Student Life that can be utilized to assist with the enhancement of the services and programs of OSJA. For instance, there may be offices in Student Life that can serve as locations for students to complete educational sanctions such as service hours, presenting of programs, creating pamphlets/ etc.

Status: Ongoing

Develop a policy that would allow OSJA to communicate with faculty and staff about the outcome of cases in which they serve as the referral source.

Status: In Progress – New Process

Develop a protocol regarding the communication of criminal trespass notices and no contact directives to the offices needed to assist with the enforcement of these orders.

Status: Complete

Identify ways to promote and inform the University community about the program and services of OSJA as well as the statistics for the year.

Status: Complete/Ongoing

Technology

Maxient is designed to provide various users with restricted access based on the level of security. It is recommended that staff members who have or will have some involvement in adjudicating student conduct cases be given access to Maxient.

Status: Complete

Allow resident assistants to create online incident reports rather than have the professional staff members create the report.

Status: Complete

Training should be provided to all additional users for Maxient.

Status: Complete/Ongoing

Maxient allows its users to upload all letters and forms In order to send the letters and/or forms to the student via email. By sending the letters via email, Maxient will notify OSJA that the recipient has retrieved and viewed the letter. Thus, OSJA should upload their letters and forms to take full advantage of this feature.

Status: Complete

Ensure that Maxient is being utilized as a tracking system to monitor open cases, overdue sanctions, and unread incident reports to reduce the number of days it takes to adjudicate a case and lower the risk of cases and/or incidents not being adjudicated.

Status: Complete

Assessment

Assessment has to become one of the top priorities of OSJA in order to determine what is and is not effective related to student conduct programs and services.

Status: Complete

Develop an assessment tool that can be given to all students who go through the student conduct process to provide feedback on his or her experience.  OSJA may want to consider working with the NASCAP (National Assessment of Student Conduct Adjudication Processes) Project (http://nascapproject.com/)

Status: Complete

Review and revise the current student learning outcomes to reflect more of an educational outcome and provide specific measures for the outcomes.

Status: Ongoing

Utilize the reporting capabilities of Maxient to determine the trends and areas of concern as well as the positive impacts such as the recidivism rates or decrease of certain violations. It will help create a picture of the climate for student conduct matters.

Status: Complete

The flagship campus of the University of Tennessee System and partner in the Tennessee Transfer Pathway.