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FAQs

Here are some Frequently Asked Questions. If you cannot find your answer below, please reach out to us by emailing studentconduct@utk.edu.

 

The student conduct process is detailed in the Process Page of the website. When a student is alleged to have violated a Standard of Conduct, the student will receive an email from the Office of Student Conduct and Community Standards (SCCS) informing them of their scheduled Educational Conference. During the Educational Conference, the student is orally informed of the process, their fundamental rights, and the allegations. The student also has an opportunity to respond to allegations, present information, and identify witnesses. If SCCS gathers information that does not indicate the student acted in violation of the Code (meaning a preponderance of the evidence does not support a violation), SCCS will close the matter. If SCCS gathers information indicating the student acted in violation of the Code (meaning a preponderance of the evidence supports a violation), SCCS will move forward in the process and recommend a sanction. At that time, a student generally has the right to accept or contest SCCS’ recommended charge and/or sanction.
The University of Tennessee holds paramount the health, safety, and welfare of students. Accordingly, all University students are expected to alert appropriate officials in the event of a health, safety, or welfare emergency including, without limitation, a situation involving alcohol or other drugs. The student(s) who contact appropriate officials and the impaired student(s) will not be subject to formal disciplinary action unless the individuals have engaged in repeated or a serious violation of the Standards of Conduct. However, the student(s) may be asked to meet with a University staff member to discuss the behavior and adhere to appropriate remedial and/or educational recommendations. For more detailed information please see Student Code of Conduct page 24 Section XI (Policy on Amnesty for Individual Good Samaritans and Students in Need of Emergency Medical Attention)
 A student receives an email when they are alleged to have violated one or more of the University of Tennessee’s Standards of Conduct, if they are a Complainant, or if they are a witness related to an alleged violation. 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 prescheduled appointment time with the Office of Student Conduct & Community Standards or University Housing. A list of the student’s rights that apply throughout the student conduct process will be attached to the email.
Both Respondents and Complainants have fundamental rights that apply throughout the student conduct process. A list of the fundamental rights can be found in the Student Code of Conduct (on page 7). 
 In order to maintain a safe living and learning community, the Code applies to conduct that occurs on University-controlled property and off of University-controlled property in the circumstances detailed in the Student Code of Conduct (on page 3).
According to the fundamental rights, both Complainant and Respondent may choose to be assisted by one Advisor during all stages of the student conduct process. Upon request, the University will provide information regarding a University-trained Advisor, which is a University employee trained by the Student Conduct & Community Standards staff about the student conduct process. At their own expense, the Complainant and Respondent may choose a person not employed by the University to serve as an Advisor (e.g., friend, attorney). The role of an Advisor is limited to assisting, advising, and/or supporting a Complainant or Respondent during the student conduct process. However, in a Uniform Administrative Procedures Act hearing (UAPA Hearing), the Complainant and Respondent are entitled to have an attorney advocate on their behalf.

Please view the complete list of fundamental rights in the Student Code of Conduct (page 7).

 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 show that it is more likely than not that the alleged violation(s) occurred. 

The student conduct process and the criminal justice system process are separate and independent from one another. This means the Office of Student Conduct & Community Standards (SCCS) may investigate behavior that may violate both criminal law and the Student Code of Conduct without regard for the pending or final status of a criminal or civil law case.

Please see page 4 of the Student Code of Conduct for complete information.

  The Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA) generally prohibits the University from releasing any student’s disciplinary records without the student’s written consent (or other relevant FERPA exception). This means the Office of Student Conduct & Community Standards (SCCS) does not routinely notify parents of Code violations for students over the age of eighteen. However, FERPA allows the University to notify parents or guardians if a student violates the University’s alcohol or drug policy (Standards of Conduct 4.18 and 4.19 – page 6 of the Student Code of Conduct), in accordance with Tennessee state law, without the student’s written consent.

In order for SCCS to discuss or share a student’s disciplinary record, at the student’s request, with a parent or other third party, the student must sign and submit a separate FERPA release for each individual to whom the record can be shared. FERPA releases may be submitted to SCCS in person, by mail, or by email at studentconduct@utk.edu. A release is valid for one (1) year from the day it is submitted.

Please review page 24 of the Student Code of Conduct for more information on SCCS record disclosures.

* 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. Typically, the University of Tennessee-Knoxville fulfills the parent notification requirement by mailing written notification on letterhead to the parent/guardian address listed with the Office of the University Registrar. The University may also notify parents through other means when necessary or appropriate.

Yes. A third party may submit a request to the Office of Student Conduct & Community Standards (SCCS) in person, by mail, or by emailing studentconduct@utk.edu. Please allow SCCS at least three (3) business days to respond to a request. For large or complex requests, SCCS may require additional time to respond.

For currently-enrolled students, SCCS will share disciplinary information to third parties where the student has granted permission to the third party to request their records (for example, to apply to graduate school or post-graduation employment) or where the third party is a University official with a legitimate educational interest in the information. SCCS only reports a student has a disciplinary history with the office to an outside third party if the student was previously suspended, expelled, or had their degree withheld or revoked. If a student received a disciplinary sanction other than suspension, expulsion, or the withholding or revocation of a degree, SCCS reports to the outside third party that the student has no reportable disciplinary history with the office.*

For students no longer enrolled at the University, SCCS only reports a student has a disciplinary history with the office to an outside third party if the student was previously suspended, expelled, or had their degree withheld or revoked. If a student received a disciplinary sanction other than suspension, expulsion, or the withholding or revocation of a degree, SCCS reports that the student has no reportable disciplinary history with the office.*

Please see page 24 of the Student Code of Conduct for more information on SCCS record disclosures.

*Please note that there may be other limited instances where SCCS is required by State or Federal law to disclose student record information (for example, in response to a subpoena or other judicial order).

A  Student Conduct and Community Standards (SCCS) sanction is generally thought of as the consequence of violating the Code of Conduct. The purposes of sanctions include, without limitation: (1) to educate the Respondent about appropriate conduct; (2) to promote the personal and professional development of the Respondent; (3) to discourage the Respondent and other students from violating the Standards of Conduct; and (4) to protect other members of the University community. The sanctions imposed on a Respondent should be proportional to the Respondent’s misconduct and appropriate for the particular case based on the gravity of the offense. To learn more specific information on sanctions and their definitions please visit our Sanctions Page.

Please see page 20 of the Student Code of Conduct for direct language regarding sanctions.

No Student Conduct & Community Standards (SCCS) sanction specifically affects a student’s financial aid status. If a student is suspended from the University they must 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.

OneStop Student Services: 865-974-1111 or onestop.utk.edu/financial-aid

SCCS always recommends 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 on our website and in Section X of the Student Code of Conduct on page 22.

Please visit our Academic Dishonesty page to see instructions for students.