not mobile

Board of Regents Policy Manual

4.8 Immunizations

Print friendly

4.1.1 Institutional Responsibility

Admission, discipline, promotion, graduation, and formulation of all rules and regulations pertaining to students of USG institutions are matters to be handled by the institutions within the framework of regulations of the Board of Regents. Students violating rules and regulations of an institution may be punished, suspended, excluded, or expelled as may be determined by the institution.


4.1.2 Non-Discrimination

The Board of Regents stipulates that no USG student, on the ground of race, color, sex, religion, creed, national origin, age or handicap, be excluded from participation in, be denied the benefits of, or otherwise be subjected to discrimination under any program or activity conducted by the Board of Regents of the University System of Georgia or any of its several institutions now in existence or hereafter established (BoR Minutes, October, 1969, p. 154; 1979-80, p. 15).


4.1.3 Student Voting Privileges

Students are encouraged to vote in all federal, state and local elections. A student whose class schedule would otherwise prevent him or her from voting will be permitted an excused absence for the interval reasonably required for voting (BoR Minutes, 1977-78, p. 245).


4.1.4 Fraternities and Sororities

Each USG institution shall be authorized to decide for itself whether social fraternities and/or sororities shall be established and whether they shall be local only or affiliated with national groups. Each institution also shall be authorized to promulgate rules and regulations concerning the establishment, organization, governance, and discipline of social fraternities and sororities (BoR Minutes, 1964-65, p. 651).


4.1.5 Students with Disabilities

The Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) requires colleges or universities to make necessary modifications to ensure that the institution does not discriminate or have the effect of discrimination against a qualified student with a disability. The USG is committed to providing equal educational opportunities to all students, and offers students with disabilities a variety of services and accommodations to ensure that both facilities and programs are accessible.

The USG has established sets of common standards and procedures for evaluating and administering accommodations for students with disabilities, which can be found in the Academic Affairs Handbook.

The policy is pursuant to the provisions of the Americans with Disabilities Act. The USG is a “public entity” within the meaning of the ADA, 42 U.S.C. § 12131, and 28 C.F.R. § 35.104, and, therefore, subject to Title II of the ADA, and its implementing regulations, 28 C.F.R. Part 35. It is also a “recipient” of “federal financial assistance” within the meaning of Section 504, 29 U.S.C. § 794, and 34 C.F.R. § 104 and is therefore subject to Section 504 and the relevant implementing regulations, 34 C.F.R. Part 104 (BoR Minutes, November 2008).


Every student admitted as an undergraduate in any USG institution must meet the requirements for one of the categories listed below and must meet any additional requirements that may be prescribed by the institution. Applicants should be advised that meeting minimum requirements will not guarantee admission at any institution. Institutions may set additional and/or higher requirements than listed here.

Except as explicitly permitted in this Policy Manual, any exceptions to these admissions policies may be made only with written approval of the USG chief academic officer. Exceptions to these admissions policies will also be reviewed by the Board biennially to ascertain how such action impacts institutions within a given sector.

Students must submit transcripts of all secondary and college work and must follow the application procedures specified by the institution to which they are applying.

4.2.1 Admission Requirements for Programs Leading to the Baccalaureate Degree

These policies apply to first time freshmen as well as to those who have not earned the equivalent of thirty (30) semester hours of transferable college credit.

4.2.1.1 Freshman Requirements

Students applying for freshman admissions to a USG institution must meet the following criteria.

Required High School Curriculum
Completion of the USG’s Required High School Curriculum (“RHSC”) requirements and graduation from a high school accredited by a regional accrediting association (such as the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools) or the Georgia Accrediting Commission or from a public school regulated by a school system and state department of education.

Students applying to any institution must present credit for sixteen (16) specified units. Students who graduate from high school in 2012 or later must present credits for seventeen (17) specified units. The 16 (17 for students who graduate in 2012 or later) specified USG units are:

  1. MATHEMATICS: Four (4) units of Mathematics, including Algebra I, Algebra II, and Geometry. For students who graduate from a Georgia Public School in 2012 or later, the 4 units of Mathematics must include a course at the level of Math 3 or higher.
  2. ENGLISH: Four (4) units of English which have as their emphasis grammar and usage, literature (American, English, World), and advanced composition skills.
  3. SCIENCE: Three (3) units of science, with at least one laboratory course from the life sciences and one laboratory course from the physical sciences. Students who graduate in 2012 or later must have four (4) units of science. Georgia Public high School graduates must have at least one (1) unit of biology, one (1) unit of physical science or physics, and one (1) unit of chemistry, earth systems, environmental science, or an advanced placement science course.
  4. SOCIAL SCIENCE: Three (3) units of social science, with at least one (1) course focusing on United States studies and one (1) course focusing on world studies.
  5. FOREIGN LANGUAGE: Two (2) units in the same foreign language emphasizing speaking, listening, reading, and writing. Two (2) units of American Sign Language may be used to satisfy this requirement.

In addition to these minimum requirements, students are encouraged to take additional academic units in high school to improve their probability for admission and success.

Freshman Index
Effective Fall semester 2011, presidents of state and two-year colleges at their option shall require one of the following: a) submission of SAT/ACT test scores and meeting of the Freshman Index, as described below; or b) a minimum high school grade point average (HSGPA) and mandatory placement testing in lieu of SAT/ACT test scores for admissions.

A designated score on the Freshman Index (“FI”), which is based on a combination of a student’s SAT I or ACT assessment scores and high school grade point average (HSGPA). The Freshman Index is:

  1. FI = 500 x (HSGPA) + SAT Verbal/Critical Reading + SAT I Math (or)
  2. FI = 500 x (HSGPA) + (ACT Composite x 42) + 88

The minimum FI required for admission to a:

  1. Research university is 2500;
  2. Regional university is 2040;
  3. State university is 1940; and,
  4. State or two-year college is 1830.

In addition to the FI, students must have a minimum SAT I Verbal score of 430 and Mathematics score of 400 (or ACT equivalent) for admission to a university (research, regional, or state).

Students without these minimum scores but with SAT I scores of at least 330 Verbal and 310 Mathematics may be considered for admission to a two-year college, but will be required to exempt or exit Learning Support in the areas of deficiency.

Institutions may set higher requirements for admission. Students meeting the minimum FI requirements are not guaranteed admission.

(BoR Minutes, Aug. 2010; Aug. 2014)

4.2.1.2 Exceptions to Freshman Admission Requirements for Special Groups of Students

Students may also be admitted as freshmen based on alternative evidence of college readiness. The following are modified or additional requirements for specific groups of applicants.

Limited Admissions Category
In recognition of the fact that a limited number of students do not meet established standards but do demonstrate special potential for success, institutions are authorized to grant admission to a limited number of such students. Institutions will use multiple measures whenever possible, such as interviews, portfolios, and records of experiential achievements, for students being considered for Limited Admission.

The number of students who may be granted Limited Admissions will be restricted based on institutional sectors, with two-year colleges allowed the highest percentage for Limited Admissions. Nontraditional freshmen will not be included in the Limited Admissions percentage allowed for each institution.

The FI required for Limited Admission to a:

  1. Research university is 2020;
  2. Regional university, 1830; and
  3. State university, 1790.

In addition to the FI, Limited Admissions, students must have a minimum SAT Verbal/Critical Reading score of 430 and Mathematics score of 400 (or ACT equivalent) for admission to a university (research, regional, or state). Students with SAT I (or ACT equivalent) scores of at least 330 Verbal and 310 Math may be considered for Limited Admission to a two-year college, but will be required to exempt or exit Learning Support in the areas of deficiency according to USG procedure (see Academic and Student Affairs Handbook 2.9.1) (BoR Minutes, Aug. 2014).

At research, regional, and state universities, students granted Limited Admission must also have completed the sixteen (16)-unit Required High School Curriculum, and students who graduate in 2012 or later must have completed seventeen (17) units. At state and two-year colleges, students may be considered for Limited Admission if they have a high school diploma or GED and meet the minimum SAT/ACT score requirements. A GED is acceptable only if the student’s high school class has graduated. Certificates of attendance or special education diplomas are not acceptable.

Students who enter under the Limited Admissions category, including Presidential Exceptions as noted below, must make up any Required High School Curriculum units deficiencies in accordance with USG procedures. They must also be screened, as applicable, for placement in Learning Support courses using USG placement criteria and must meet criteria for exemption or exit of Learning Support in English (reading/writing) and mathematics.

For students transferring from a Commission on Colleges (COC)-accredited Technical College System of Georgia (TCSG) technical college, comparable scores from the TCSG technical college may be used according to guidelines issued by the Executive Vice Chancellor and Chief Academic Officer.

Presidential Exceptions
Presidents of USG institutions may grant exceptions to the Required High School Curriculum units and FI requirements for Limited Admissions if the student shows promise for academic success in college and has at least a high school diploma or GED credential. Institutions will be required to report to the USG chief academic officer on those students granted Presidential Exceptions. Presidential Exceptions must be included as part of the institution’s maximum percentage for Limited Admissions.

Alternative Requirements for Home-Schooled Students and Graduates of Non-Accredited High Schools
Applicants from home schools or graduates of non-accredited high schools may validate the Required High School Curriculum in an alternative way. SAT scores and satisfactory documentation of equivalent competence in each of the areas at the college-preparatory level may be used in lieu of the FI and Required High School Curriculum unit requirements.

A student whose SAT Composite (Verbal/Critical Reading plus Mathematics) (or ACT equivalent) score is at or above the average SAT score of the previous year’s fall semester first-time freshmen admitted to the USG institution to which he/she is applying and who has completed the equivalent of each of the areas as documented by a portfolio of work and/or other evidence that substantiates completion of the Required High School Curriculum qualifies for consideration for admission.

Students in this category must also meet the minimum SAT Verbal/Critical Reading requirement and the minimum SAT Mathematics requirement (or ACT equivalent) for the sector to which they apply.

Applicants who achieve designated scores on each of the following SAT II Subject Tests in an area will be considered to have demonstrated equivalent competence and do not need to submit additional documentation in that area: English Writing, Literature, Math IC or Math IIC, American History & Social Studies, World History, Biology, and one of the following: Chemistry or Physics.

Students admitted in this category with satisfactory documentation of competence in all areas will not be counted in the institution’s Limited Admissions (including Presidential Exceptions) category. Those with qualifying SAT I scores and documentation of partial completion of the Required High School Curriculum may be admitted on the same basis and with the same conditions as other students with deficiencies.

Admission of Students with Outstanding Scores
Students who demonstrate very high academic ability by achieving a composite SAT Composite (Verbal/Critical Reading plus Math) score in the upper five percent (5%) of national college-bound seniors according to the most recent report from the College Board and who show other evidence of college readiness may be admitted under this section. An ACT score which is equivalent to this SAT score may also be used.

Institutions must carefully evaluate such students to determine their ability to benefit from college coursework.

Students admitted in this section will not count in an institution’s Limited Admissions exceptions.

Admission of International Students
Freshman international students may be admitted in another admissions category or may be admitted in a separate category for international students under established USG procedures. If these students do not meet the alternative USG admission procedures, they might be considered as Presidential Exceptions.

Admission of Students with Disabilities
Because the core curriculum of each institution requires students to complete college-level courses in English, mathematics, social science, and science, all students must complete the Required High School Curriculum in these areas. Students with disabilities that preclude the acquisition of a foreign language may petition for admission without this requirement according to procedures established by the USG.

Students with disabilities are expected to meet the sector’s minimum SAT or ACT score requirements, but should request the appropriate testing accommodations from the agencies administering the SAT or ACT.

Dual Enrollment/Joint Enrollment/Early Admission of High School Students
The USG recognizes the need to provide academically talented high school students with opportunities for acceleration of their formal academic programs. This recognition has led to the development of three organized programs:

  1. A dual enrollment program in which a student, while continuing his/her enrollment in high school, enrolls in a course(s) for both high school and college credit.
  2. A joint enrollment program in which a student, while continuing his/her enrollment in high school as a junior or senior, enrolls in courses for college credit.
  3. An early admissions program in which the student enrolls as a full-time college student following completion of the junior year in high school.

The minimum admissions standards for the dual enrollment, joint enrollment, and early admissions programs have been developed to allow certain students to receive both high school and college credit for some courses. Procedures for admission, course selection, and instruction can be found in Section 3.0 of the Academic Affairs Handbook (BoR Minutes, Sept. 2004).

Residential Programs
The USG offers residential programs for gifted, talented, and motivated students at two institutions: the Advanced Academy of Georgia at the University of West Georgia, and the Georgia Academy of Mathematics, Engineering, and Sciences at Middle Georgia State College. Admissions and program requirements are established by the individual institutions (BoR Minutes, Sept. 2004; Aug. 2014).

Early College
Early Colleges enhance students’ opportunities to accelerate their education by participating in a joint high school/college program. Each Early College represents an approved partnership between a Georgia public school system and a USG institution. Students in USG-recognized Early Colleges are eligible for enrollment in college courses while they are enrolled in the Early College (BoR Minutes, Sept. 2004).

4.2.1.3 Undergraduate Admission Requirements for Transfer Students

Students with fewer than thirty (30) transferable semester credit hours must meet the freshman admission requirements at the institution to which they are transferring. Students who have earned thirty (30) or more semester hours must have completed any learning support and Required High School Curriculum deficiency requirements if transferring from a USG institution. Depending on the sector of the institution to which students transfer, students must meet the transfer grade point average, as indicated in the following table:

MINIMUM SYSTEM ADMISSION STANDARDS FOR TRANSFER STUDENTS
SECTOR 30-59 *SEMESTER CREDITS 60 OR MORE SEMESTER CREDITS
Research Universities At least 2.30 GPA** and have met all LS and RHSC requirements At least 2.30 GPA
Regional and State Universities At least 2.00 GPA** and have met all LS and RHSC requirements At least 2.00 GPA
State and Associate Degree Colleges Eligible to continue or return to sending institution Eligible to continue or return to sending institution

*Transferable Hours are defined as hours which would be acceptable by the receiving institution according to the USG’s and the receiving institution’s prevailing policies. These hours should include transferable hours earned at all postsecondary institutions attended (BoR Minutes, Aug. 2014).

** Transfer GPA is defined as the GPA calculated on all transferable hours (see previous definition) plus all attempted but unearned hours at regionally accredited institutions in courses applicable to transfer programs at the receiving institution.

Students completing non-transfer associate degrees (e.g., Associate of Applied Science, Associate of Science in various health areas, and Associate of Applied Technology) at regionally accredited institutions will be evaluated on an individual basis to determine their eligibility for admission.

Priority Consideration
In addition to the minimum transfer standards listed above, students must meet higher USG and/or institutional standards to be considered for priority transfer admission. Institutions must give priority consideration for admission to students transferring from another USG institution who meet these established standards. Students meeting these higher standards would be ensured of receiving priority consideration for admission. In addition, transfer students must be given the same consideration as native students in determining program admissibility.

4.2.1.4 Non-Traditional Students

In order to make the USG more accessible to citizens who are not of traditional college-going age and to encourage a higher proportion of Georgians to benefit from life-long learning, institutions may admit as many non-traditional students as is appropriate based on institutional mission, academic programs, and success in retaining and graduating non-traditional students.

The number of non-traditional students an institution enrolls will not be counted against the percent of Limited Admissions allowed each institution. Institutions may set additional criteria for admission of non-traditional students.

Non-Traditional Freshmen
Non-traditional freshmen are defined as individuals who meet all of the following criteria:

  1. Have been out of high school at least five years and whose high school class graduated at least five years ago;
  2. Hold a high school diploma from an accredited or approved high school as specified in Section 4.2.1.1 of this Policy Manual or have satisfactorily completed the GED; and,
  3. Have earned fewer than 30 transferable semester credit hours.

All non-traditional freshmen must be evaluated for Learning Support status in English (reading/writing) and mathematics using USG placement criteria (see Academic and Student Affairs 2.9.1).

For students transferring from a Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges (SACSCOC)-accredited TCSG college, comparable scores from the TCSG college may be used according to guidelines issued by the USG chief academic officer (BoR Minutes, Aug. 2014).

As an alternative, an institution may allow non-traditional freshmen who have within the past seven (7) years posted SAT scores of at least 500 in both Verbal/Critical Reading and Mathematics or ACT scores of at least 21 on both English and Mathematics to exempt the placement test.

Non-Traditional Transfers
Non-traditional transfer students are defined as individuals who meet all of the following criteria:

  1. Have been out of high school at least five years or whose high school class graduated at least five (5) years ago; and,
  2. Have earned thirty (30) or more transferable hours of college credit, as defined in Section 4.2.1.1 of this Policy Manual.

A non-traditional transfer student can be admitted, according to the institution’s policy, if his/her transfer GPA is below the transfer standard for the institution’s sector. These students do not count against the number of Limited Admissions allowed for transfer students at that institution. Institutions should require placement evaluation as appropriate (BoR Minutes, Aug. 2014).

4.2.1.5 Persons Aged 62 or Over

Pursuant to the provisions of the Georgia Constitution, the USG establishes the following rules with respect to enrollment of persons 62 years of age or older in USG programs. To be eligible for enrollment under this provision such persons:

  1. Must be residents of Georgia, 62 years of age or older at the time of registration, and shall present a birth certificate or other comparable written documentation of age to enable the institution to determine eligibility.
  2. May enroll as a regular or auditing student in courses offered for resident credit on a “space available” basis without payment of fees, except for supplies, laboratory or shop fees.
  3. Shall meet all USG and institution undergraduate or graduate admission requirements. However, institutions may exercise discretion in exceptional cases where circumstances indicate that certain requirements such as high school graduation and minimum test scores are inappropriate. In those instances involving discretionary admission institutions will provide diagnostic methods to determine whether or not participation in Learning Support will be required prior to enrollment in regular credit courses. Reasonable prerequisites may be required in certain courses.
  4. Shall have all usual student and institutional records maintained. However, institutions will not report such students for budgetary purposes.
  5. Must meet all USG, institution, and legislated degree requirements if they are degree-seeking students.
  6. May not enroll in dental, medical, veterinary, or law schools under the provisions of this policy.

4.2.1.6 Course Credits for International Baccalaureate Diploma Completion

System-wide Implementation Guidelines
In recognition of the fact that a strong predictor of college success is a rigorous high school curriculum, USG institutions will award academic credit for appropriate courses in the USG core curriculum for corresponding subject areas in a completed International Baccalaureate (“IB”) Diploma Program in which the student obtained designated end of course assessment scores.

Both Standard Level (college preparatory) and Higher Level (college comparable) courses will be considered for credit in a completed Diploma Program, as the program does not allow students to take all Higher Level courses. Higher Level end- of-course assessment scores of four or more and Standard Level scores of five or better suggest that the IB Program work is comparable to a college course.

The course credit schema in the table below will be used system-wide, with allowances made for variable credits in each category to account for labs, and on occasion, for depth of material covered in the IB Program subject area that may be comparable to more than one college level course.

Semester Credit Hours Granted
Score Standard Level Higher Level
4 0 3 - 4
5 0 - 4 3 - 8
6 - 7 3 - 8 3 - 12

The particular courses for which students receive college credit may vary from institution to institution, depending on what courses the institution offers. Determinations of course comparability will be made by the respective departments. Institutions shall, however, attempt to have consistency across the USG on common numbered core courses.

The total college course credits awarded for IB assessments may not exceed 24.

All institutions shall have a widely disseminated policy governing the award of course credits for IB assessments. The policy will apply to both resident and non-resident students.

Institutions will collect data on IB students, analyze the data, and recommend revisions to the policy if warranted.

A student may opt not to accept credits if he/she sees that acceptance of credits may disadvantage him/her. Further, if a student believes that the assessment of his/her work from the IB Diploma Program and subsequent awarding of credits for such is in error, he/she may file an appeal with the appropriate department chair and request a re-assessment. As with other academic matters, if the issue is not satisfactorily resolved at the department level, the student may then appeal to the dean of the respective college, with a final appeal to the vice president for academic affairs, whose decision in the matter will be final.

Individual Institution Implementation Guidelines
Along with the system-wide policy, individual institutions may choose to offer additional benefits. After the appropriate core courses are credited, if the student (diploma completer) has additional acceptable IB assessment scores (4 or better for HL, 5 or better for SL) that have not been awarded course credits, individual institutions may award credit for other lower-division courses outside of the core for up to a maximum of 24 credits (total).

Institutions may choose to award other benefits to diploma completers as well (e.g. early registration, parking pass, etc). If that is the case, details will be available on the institution’s website.

Institutions may choose to award credit to students who did not complete the diploma program but were awarded a certificate for completion of a specific subject area for Higher Level courses with an assessment score of 4 or better.


4.2.2 Admission Requirements for Undergraduate Programs Not Leading to the Baccalaureate Degree

4.2.2.1 Admission to Career Programs

Admissions requirements for career certificates and career degrees (Associate of Applied Science degrees and Associate of Science degrees in allied health areas) depend upon the extent to which the general education component is based on Core Curriculum courses.

There are two sets of admissions requirements, as specified in Section 3.02.01 of the Academic Affairs Handbook, for:

  1. Programs with a Core-based general education component allowing more than twelve (12) semester hours of Core curriculum course work; and,
  2. Programs with non-Core general education components allowing twelve (12) or fewer semester hours of Core Curriculum coursework.

Students admitted in the career degree or certificate category who have not completed a career degree may apply for admission to programs that lead to a baccalaureate degree if they meet regular or Limited Admission requirements. Students admitted in this category can be admitted into a program leading to a baccalaureate only if

  1. On admission to the institution they would have met the requirements for regular or Limited Admission; or
  2. They show exceptional promise and are admitted as a Presidential Exception. Students admitted in this category must fulfill all learning support and CPC requirements.

4.2.2.2 Admission of Students to Certificate Programs at Designated Vocational Divisions

Students admitted to vocational divisions at Bainbridge College, Clayton State University, College of Coastal Georgia, and Dalton State College are not required to meet the CPC and FI standards for regular or Limited Admissions; however, they are required to meet the admissions standards established by the TCSG for the same or similar programs, and they must meet prerequisite requirements for Core Curriculum courses. A student seeking admission to a transfer program must meet the requirements for freshman or transfer admissions.

4.2.2.3 Admission of Non-Degree Students

Institutions may permit students to enroll as non-degree students for a maximum of twelve (12) semester credit hours, including institutional credit. Students may not enroll in any course for which there is a Learning Support prerequisite unless they have been evaluated for and have been exempted from the relevant Learning Support course (BoR Minutes, Aug. 2014).

Institutions may permit students who have earned the baccalaureate degree from a regionally accredited institution to enroll as non-degree students in courses with no limitation on the number of hours of undergraduate credit these students can earn.

4.2.2.4 Admission of Transient Students

An applicant who is enrolled in one institution and who wishes to take courses temporarily in another institution shall submit the documents outlined in Section 3.81 of the Academic and Student Affairs Handbook.

A student who is enrolled in a USG institution that is not currently affiliated with eCore, and who wishes to take online general education course(s) provided through eCore shall follow the guidelines in Section 3.8.2 of the Academic and Student Affairs Handbook. Per Board Policy 3.3.1, eCore courses, like any core curriculum course taken at a USG institution, are fully transferable to the student’s home institution or upon transfer to another USG institution (BoR minutes, October 2014).

4.2.2.5 Admission of Auditors

Students who submit evidence of graduation from a high school, as specified in Section 4.2.1.1 of this Policy Manual, or a GED certificate may register as auditors. Under extraordinary circumstances, the president may waive the requirement of high school diploma or equivalent. Students registered as auditors shall be required to pay the regular tuition and fees for enrollment.


4.2.3 Additional Admissions Policies

4.2.3.1 General

In addition to the general admissions policies described above, each USG institution may increase the requirements, entry levels, and/or testing procedures for general admission to the institution or to special programs at the undergraduate or graduate levels provided they do not conflict with USG policies. Institutions should make available appropriate admissions information to students.

4.2.3.2 Referral of Students to Other Institutions

Institutions should actively assist Georgia applicants who have been denied admission to find another institution that more appropriately matches their academic credentials.

4.2.3.3 Right to Refuse Admission

An applicant may be declared eligible for admission, registration, enrollment, or re-enrollment at a USG institution only after satisfying all requirements established by the USG and the institution concerned. The institution shall have the right to examine and appraise the character, personality, and qualifications of the applicant. In order that this examination and appraisal may be made, the applicant shall furnish to the institution such biographical and other information, including references, as may be required.

Each USG institution reserves the right to refuse admission to:

  1. A non-resident of Georgia.
  2. An applicant whose admission would cause the institution to exceed its maximum capacity.
  3. An applicant whose request for admission is only to a program that is already filled.
  4. An applicant whose transcript(s) are from an unaccredited institution or who is otherwise ineligible for admission.

4.2.3.4 Right to Limit Admissions

The Chancellor may limit the number of students admitted to an institution.

4.2.3.5 Social Security Numbers

The USG is dedicated to insuring the privacy and proper handling of confidential information pertaining to students and employees.

The Social Security number shall be required from all entering students for a permanent and lasting record. When possible, an alternative number will be assigned and used by institutions for all purposes that do not require the Social Security number.

In no event shall grades be posted by using the Social Security number.


4.3.1 Out-of-State Enrollment

Each USG institution is required to file an annual report detailing the number of out-of-state students enrolled during the previous academic year (BoR Minutes, April, 1995, p. 21).


4.3.2 Classification of Students for Tuition Purposes

4.3.2.1 Description of Terms Used in the Policy

Terms used in the Tuition Classification Policy not found below can be found in the Glossary of Terms for Classification of Students for Tuition Purposes: http://www.usg.edu/student_affairs/students/tuition_classification_glossary.

Dependent Student
An individual under the age of 24 who receives financial support from a parent or United States court appointed legal guardian.

Emancipated
A minor who, under certain circumstances, may be treated by the law as an adult. A student reaching the age of 18 shall not qualify for consideration of reclassification by virtue of having become emancipated unless he/she can demonstrate financial independence and domicile independent of his/her parents.

Independent Student
An individual who is not claimed as a dependent on the federal or state income tax returns of a parent or United States court appointed legal guardian, and whose parent or guardian has ceased to provide support and rights to that individual’s care, custody, and earnings.

4.3.2.2 United States Citizens

Independent Students
An independent student who has established and maintained a domicile in the State of Georgia for a period of at least twelve (12) consecutive months immediately preceding the first day of classes for the term shall be classified as in-state for tuition purposes.

No student shall gain or acquire in-state classification while attending any postsecondary educational institution in this state without clear evidence of having established domicile in Georgia for purposes other than attending a postsecondary educational institution in this state.

If an independent student classified as in-state for tuition purposes relocates out of state temporarily but returns to the State of Georgia within twelve (12) months of the relocation, such student shall be entitled to retain his/her in-state tuition classification.

Dependent Students
A dependent student shall be classified as in-state for tuition purposes if such dependent student’s parent has established and maintained domicile in the State of Georgia for at least twelve (12) consecutive months immediately preceding the first day of classes for the term and:

  1. The student has graduated from a Georgia high school; or,
  2. The parent claimed the student as a dependent on the parent’s most recent federal or state income tax return.

A dependent student shall be classified as in-state for tuition purposes if such student’s United States court-appointed legal guardian has established and maintained domicile in the State of Georgia for at least twelve (12) consecutive months immediately preceding the first day of classes for the term, provided that:

  1. Such appointment was not made to avoid payment of out-of-state tuition; and,
  2. The United States court-appointed legal guardian can provide clear evidence of having established and maintained domicile in the State of Georgia for a period of at least twelve (12) consecutive months immediately preceding the first day of classes for the term.

If the parent or United States court-appointed legal guardian of a dependent student currently classified as in-state for tuition purposes establishes domicile outside of the State of Georgia after having established and maintained domicile in the State of Georgia, such student may retain his/her in-state tuition classification so long as such student remains continuously enrolled in a public postsecondary educational institution in this state, regardless of the domicile of such student’s parent or United States court-appointed legal guardian.

4.3.2.3 Non-Citizens

A non-citizen student shall not be classified as in-state for tuition purposes unless the student is legally in this state and there is evidence to warrant consideration of in-state classification as determined by the Board of Regents. Lawful permanent residents, refugees, asylees, or other eligible noncitizens as defined by federal Title IV regulations may be extended the same consideration as citizens of the United States in determining whether they qualify for in-state classification.

International students who reside in the United States under non-immigrant status conditioned at least in part upon intent not to abandon a foreign domicile shall not be eligible for in-state classification.


4.3.3 Tuition Differential Waivers

See Section 7.3.4 of this Policy Manual for instances in which an institution may waive the differential between in-state and out-of-state tuition.


4.4.1 Regents’ Opportunity Grants Program

The 1978 General Assembly (H.B. 1463) amended the law creating the Georgia Higher Education Assistance Authority so as to authorize the Board of Regents to award grants, scholarships, or cancelable loans to economically disadvantaged students who are residents of Georgia enrolled in a graduate or professional degree program in a USG institution.

In compliance with provisions of this Act, the Board adopted the following criteria for the award of such scholarships:

  1. Each institution shall submit an annual request to the Chancellor for a specific number of scholarships and grants based upon estimated numbers of eligible candidates in the following year. The Board of Regents shall annually allocate the available positions to the institutions based on the objectives and needs of the USG institutions. The Board of Regents will notify the Higher Education Assistance Authority of the total amount of funds they are to disburse to each institution.
  2. To attract the most talented students from the target groups to USG programs, 100 scholarships and grants in the amount of $5,000 each per academic year shall be offered. These scholarships and grants may be utilized as part of a total student financial aid package.
  3. Each institution awarding the scholarships and grants shall be responsible for determining compliance with the intent and the terms of the law establishing the scholarships and shall maintain adequate records of students receiving scholarships and grants. A recipient does not have the right to transfer this scholarship to another USG institution. Each institution will make an annual report to the Chancellor on the utilization of these funds.
  4. To remain eligible to receive funds under this program, the recipient must maintain good standing and minimum status of effective full-time graduate study, as defined by the institution in which enrolled.
  5. The scholarships are renewable, and priority will be given to prior recipients who continue to meet eligibility criteria as defined by the awarding institution.
  6. Each institution will determine the timing and amount of payments on the scholarship and grant award.

(BoR Minutes, April 12, 1978, p. 210-211)


4.4.2 Financial Needs Analysis

Applicants for Student Financial Aid Programs that are based on need must file an acceptable needs analysis which has been approved by the United States Department of Education.

All member institutions will accept and process the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) for Federal and State student aid programs. In addition, institutions may elect to accept and process other needs analysis systems approved by the United States Department of Education (BoR Minutes, 1986-87, p. 135).


4.6.1 Withdrawal of Recognition of Student Organizations

The Board of Regents has determined that the use of marijuana, controlled substances, or other illegal or dangerous drugs constitutes a serious threat to the public health, welfare, and academic achievement of students enrolled in the USG. Therefore, all student organizations, including but not limited to societies, fraternities, sororities, clubs, and similar groups of students which are affiliated with, recognized by, or which use the facilities under the jurisdiction of USG institutions, are hereby charged with the responsibility of enforcing compliance with local, state and federal laws by all persons attending or participating in their respective functions and affairs, social or otherwise.

As provided by the Student Organization Responsibility for Drug Abuse Act, any such student organization which, through its officers, agents, or responsible members, knowingly permits, authorizes, or condones the manufacture, sale, distribution, possession, serving, consumption or use of marijuana, controlled substances, or other illegal or dangerous drugs at any affair, function, or activity of such student organization, social or otherwise, is hereby declared to be in violation of the laws of this state and shall have its recognition as a student organization withdrawn and, after complying with the constitutional requirements of due process, shall be expelled from the campus for a minimum of one (1) calendar year from the date of determination of guilt.

Such organization shall also be prohibited from using any property or facilities of the institution for a period of at least one (1) year. Any lease, rental agreement, or other document between the Board of Regents or the institution and the student organization that relates to the use of the property leased, rented, or occupied shall be terminated for knowingly having permitted or authorized the unlawful actions described above.

All sanctions imposed by this policy shall be subject to review procedures authorized by the Board of Regents Policy 8.6 Application for Discretionary Review. (BoR Minutes, February 2015)

An appeal to the Board of Regents shall not defer the effective date of the adverse action against the student organization pending the Board’s review unless the Board so directs. Any such stay or suspension by the Board shall expire as of the date of the Board’s final decision on the matter. (BoR Minutes, 1989-90, p. 384)

This Policy amendment is intended to implement The Student Organization Responsibility for Drug Abuse Act of 1990.


4.6.2 Violations of State or Federal Law

A student in any USG institution who is charged with, or indicted for, a felony or crime involving moral turpitude may be suspended pending the disposition of the criminal charges against him/her. Upon request, the student shall be accorded a hearing as provided in Section 4.7.1 of this Policy Manual. At such hearing, the student shall have the burden of establishing that his/her continued presence as a member of the student body will not be detrimental to the health, safety, welfare, or property of other students or members of the campus community or to the orderly operation of the institution.

Upon final conviction, the student shall be subject to appropriate disciplinary action (BoR Minutes, 1959-60, p. 306; 1983-84, p. 168).


4.6.3 Disruptive Behavior

Any student, acting individually or in concert with others, who clearly obstructs or disrupts or attempts to obstruct or disrupt any teaching, research, administrative, disciplinary, or public service activity, or any other activity authorized to be discharged or held at any USG institution is considered by the Board to have committed an act of gross irresponsibility and shall be subject to disciplinary procedures, possibly resulting in dismissal (BoR Minutes, 1968-69, pp. 166-168; 1970-71, p. 98).


4.6.4 Alcohol and Drugs on Campus

The Board of Regents recognizes and supports Georgia laws with respect to the sale, use, distribution, and possession of alcoholic beverages and illegal drugs, as well as the Drug-free Postsecondary Education Act of 1990 with respect to the manufacture, distribution, sale, possession, or use of marijuana, controlled substances or dangerous drugs on college campuses and elsewhere. To this end, the Board has encouraged its institutions to adopt programs designed to increase awareness of the dangers involved in the use of alcoholic beverages, marijuana or other illegal or dangerous drugs by USG students and employees. Such programs shall stress individual responsibility related to the use of alcohol and drugs on and off the campus.

To assist in the implementation of such awareness programs, and to enhance the enforcement of state laws at USG institutions, each institution shall adopt and disseminate comprehensive rules and regulations consistent with local, state and federal laws, concerning the manufacture, distribution, sale, possession, or use of alcoholic beverages, marijuana, controlled substances, or dangerous drugs on campus and at institutionally-approved events off campus.

A copy of the rules and regulations adopted by each institution shall be filed with the office of the Associate Vice Chancellor for Student Services (BoR Minutes, 1989-90, p. 383).

Disciplinary sanctions for the violation of such rules and regulations shall be included as a part of each institution’s disciplinary code of student conduct. Disciplinary sanctions for students convicted of a felony offense involving the manufacture, distribution, sale, possession, or use of marijuana, controlled substances, or other illegal or dangerous drugs shall include the forfeiture of academic credit and the temporary or permanent suspension or expulsion from the institution. All sanctions imposed by the institution shall be subject to review procedures authorized by Board of Regents Policy 8.6 Application for Discretionary Review. (BoR Minutes, February 2015)

The rules and regulations adopted by each institution shall also provide for relief from disciplinary sanctions previously imposed against one whose convictions are subsequently overturned on appeal or otherwise.

This policy amendment is intended to implement The Drug-Free Postsecondary Education Act of 1990.


4.7.1 Student Appeals

Final judgment on all appeals regarding admissions (including program admissions), residency, student grades, traffic citations, and the Guaranteed Tuition Plan rests with the president of the institution at which the appeal is heard (BoR Minutes, June 2006). Any University System student aggrieved by a final decision of the president of an institution, other than those stated above, may apply to the Board’s Office of Legal Affairs for a review of the decision, in accordance with Policy 8.6 Applications for Discretionary Review; provided, however, that an application may be reviewed if (1) the record suggests that a miscarriage of justice might reasonably occur if the application is not reviewed, or (2) whether the record suggests that the institutional decision, if not reviewed, might reasonably have detrimental and system-wide significance. (BoR Minutes, April 2010, February 2015)


4.7.2 Appeals on Other Matters

Appeals by students shall be made according to Policy 8.6 Application for Discretionary Review. (BoR Minutes, April 2010; February 2015)


4.8.1 Immunizations Against Disease During an Outbreak/Epidemic

During an epidemic or a threatened epidemic of any disease preventable by immunization at a USG institution, and when an emergency has been declared by appropriate health authorities of this state, the president of that institution is authorized, in conjunction with the Chancellor and appropriate health authorities, to promulgate rules and regulations specifying those diseases against which immunizations may be required.

Any individual who cannot show proof of immunity or adequate immunization and refuses to be immunized shall be excluded from any USG institution or facility until such time as he/she presents valid evidence that he/she is immunized against the disease or the epidemic or threat no longer constitutes a significant public health danger (BoR Minutes, 1989-90, p. 406).


4.8.2 Immunization Requirements for Students

Each USG institution shall implement immunization requirements for all new students (first-year, transfers, and others) as directed by policy consistent with recommendations provided by the Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices, developed collaboratively by the Board of Regents of the University System of Georgia and the Division of Public Health of the Georgia Department of Human Resources. Such policies shall be on file in each institution’s office of student affairs.

Each institution shall make information regarding required and recommended immunizations available to every new student, using information developed by the Division of Public Health in concert with the Office of Student Services of the Board of Regents of the University System of Georgia.

Specific institutions or departments, with concurrence of the president and the Chancellor, may require some immunizations not required for all new students by this policy. Institutions are also authorized to impose additional immunization requirements for students when, in the opinion of the president of the institution and with concurrence of the Chancellor and appropriate public health authorities, there is a substantial risk of exposure to other communicable diseases preventable by vaccination (BoR Minutes, 1990-91, p.114).

Pursuant to legislation enacted in 2003, all students residing in campus housing are required to sign a document stating that they have received a vaccination against meningococcal disease or reviewed the information provided by the institution (BoR Minutes, October 2003).


There shall be a University System Student Advisory Council, which shall provide a forum for communication and recommendation between USG students, the Chancellor, and, as appropriate, the Board of Regents, concerning problems and issues that are important in providing information and assistance in programs and activities of the member institutions.

This Council shall meet at least once annually with the Chancellor, or the Chancellor’s designee, and his/her staff for the purpose of discussing plans and growth of the USG and various problems connected therewith. The Council should prepare an annual report to be presented to the Board of Regents of the University System of Georgia at a spring meeting.

Membership of the University System Student Advisory Council shall be composed of duly elected student body presidents, or equivalent elected officers, of USG institutions. The organization and governance shall be according to policies and procedures established by the members of the University System Student Advisory Council in consultation with the Chancellor or the Chancellor’s designee, and approved by the Board of Regents (BoR Minutes, August 2004).

4.3.4 Verification of Lawful Presence

Each University System institution shall verify the lawful presence in the United States of every successfully admitted person applying for resident tuition status, as defined in Section 7.3 of this Policy Manual, and of every person admitted to an institution referenced in Section 4.1.6 of this Policy Manual.


4.1.6 Admission of Persons Not Lawfully Present in the United States

A person who is not lawfully present in the United States shall not be eligible for admission to any University System institution which, for the two most recent academic years, did not admit all academically qualified applicants (except for cases in which applicants were rejected for non-academic reasons).


This policy governs USG institution establishment of intercollegiate athletics, expansion of sports, changes in intercollegiate athletic competition levels, and funding of intercollegiate athletics programs (BoR minutes, March 2013).

4.5.1 Purpose

Participation in and enjoyment of intercollegiate athletics are important components of the overall collegiate experience and also provide valuable benefits to the communities in which universities and colleges are located. The Board of Regents of the University System of Georgia is committed to promoting such participation and opportunities within the mission, values, and goals of each USG institution. However, decisions made with respect to athletic programs may have significant financial implications for the institutions, and, subsequently, affordability for USG students. These programs must be operated in an ethically and fiscally responsible manner consistent with the rules, regulations, and principles of the national intercollegiate athletic associations and the conferences with which the institutions are affiliated (BoR minutes, March 2013).


4.5.2 Board Oversight

The Board of Regents provides oversight and broad policy guidelines for the operation and budget activities of intercollegiate athletics programs in a manner consistent with the operation of other USG units (BoR minutes, March 2013).


4.5.3 Delegation of Authority

The president of each USG institution is assigned ultimate responsibility and authority for the operation, fiscal integrity, and personnel of the institution’s athletics program, including appointment and supervision of the athletics director(s). Each president is also responsible for ensuring that the institution’s athletics program is in compliance with all applicable federal and state laws, in compliance with the regulations of any athletic conference affiliation, and that the mission, values, and goals of the athletics program are compatible with those of the institution (BoR minutes, March 2013).


4.5.4 Authorization and Approvals

Any USG institution that wants to establish an intercollegiate athletics program, expand its current intercollegiate athletics program, make a change in conference that requires significant program or resource expansion, or change competition levels, shall first obtain approval from the Board of Regents. Prior to any action on behalf of the institution, the president of the institution shall first notify the Chancellor of the scope of the intended change and the Chancellor shall determine if written notice to the Board is required. If it is determined that a formal review and approval by the Board is required, the institution shall submit for that approval a full proposal to the Board of Regents for integrated review as outlined in Section 4.5.5 (BoR minutes, March 2013).


4.5.5 Criteria for Proposal of Athletics Expansion

Consideration will be given to proposals that:

  1. Are based on an institution submission of a five-year operational and capital plan for intercollegiate athletics that includes projected expenditures and revenues and sources of funding including institutional funds, athletic fees, ticket sales, unrestricted endowment income, and other sources such as sponsorships, community giving, and alumni donations;
  2. Demonstrate support and approval for the plan based upon widespread consultation with the institution academic and student governing bodies and community constituents;
  3. Stipulate that grants-in-aid will be administered in strict compliance with intercollegiate athletic rules and regulations and may be funded from athletic fee revenues, unrestricted endowment income, and other allowable funding sources;
  4. Assure that equitable athletic opportunity will be provided for members of both sexes, so that no person, on the basis of sex, will be excluded from participation in, be denied the benefits of, or be subject to discrimination in the overall intercollegiate athletics program of the institution;
  5. Stipulate that the operation of intercollegiate athletics cannot come at the expense of academic programs and essential activities at an institution or by diverting funds from other major institution functions;
  6. Discuss the facilities implications of any required changes in or additions to capital facilities in order to upgrade intercollegiate athletics; and,
  7. Ensure that all funds utilized in support of the intercollegiate athletics program will be allocated, administered, and expended directly under the authority of the institution president in strict compliance with intercollegiate athletics regulations and institutional guidelines for the establishment and conduct of institution intercollegiate athletics boards (BoR minutes, March 2013).

4.5.6 Monitoring

  1. The USG shall periodically review institutional intercollegiate athletics programs for financial and program soundness.
  2. The institutions will provide to the Chancellor copies of the annual reports submitted to the appropriate national intercollegiate athletic association and conferences regarding academic progress and graduation success rates of student-athletes. The Chancellor will submit a summary of the institution reports to the members of the Board and will advise the Board Chair of any Board actions needed.
  3. There shall be an annual audit of any separately incorporated athletic association, with a copy of the audit to be filed with the USG chief audit officer (BoR Minutes, March 2013).

4.5.7 Management of Athletic Affairs

Management and control of intercollegiate and intramural athletic affairs shall be the responsibility of the respective institutional authorities. Each institution participating in a program of intercollegiate athletics is expected to take the necessary steps to ensure that its management of the program is in compliance with the provisions of applicable federal laws and the regulations of any athletic conference with which it is affiliated.

There shall be an annual audit of any separately incorporated athletic association, with a copy of the audit to be filed with the USG chief audit officer.

(BoR Minutes, 1983-84, p. 170)


4.5.8 Athletic Programs in Associate Degree Institutions

The USG associate degree institutions are authorized to establish and participate in a program of intercollegiate and intramural athletics. Intercollegiate football programs may be established only with prior approval of the Board (BoR Minutes, 1993-94, p. 185).


4.1.7 Sexual Misconduct Policy

The University System of Georgia is committed to ensuring a safe learning environment that supports the dignity of all members of the University System of Georgia community. The University System of Georgia does not discriminate on the basis of sex or gender in any of its education or employment programs and activities. To that end, this policy prohibits specific forms of behavior that violate Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972. The University System of Georgia will not tolerate sexual misconduct, which is prohibited, and which includes, but is not limited to, domestic violence, dating violence, sexual assault, sexual exploitation, sexual harassment, and stalking. The University System further strongly encourages members of the University System community to report instances of sexual misconduct promptly. These policies and procedures are intended to ensure that all parties involved receive appropriate support and fair treatment, and that allegations of sexual misconduct are handled in a prompt, thorough and equitable manner.

Prevention is one of the primary mechanisms used to reduce incidents of sexual violence on campuses. USG institutions are required to provide prevention tools and to conduct ongoing awareness and prevention programming and training for the campus community including students, faculty, and staff. Such programs are designed to stop sexual violence through the promotion of positive and healthy behaviors. Programming will educate the campus community on consent, sexual assault, alcohol use, dating violence, domestic violence, stalking, bystander intervention, and reporting.

These policies and procedures shall become effective at all institutions on July 1, 2016.

4.1.7.1 Definitions and Prohibited Conduct

Community: Students, faculty and staff, as well as contractors, vendors, visitors, and guests.

Complainant: An individual lodging a complaint. The complainant may not always be the alleged victim.

Consent: Words or actions that show a knowing and voluntary willingness to engage in mutually agreed-upon sexual activity. Consent cannot be gained by force, intimidation or coercion, by ignoring or acting in spite of objections of another, or by taking advantage of the incapacitation of another, where the respondent knows or reasonably should have known of such incapacitation. Consent is also absent when the activity in question exceeds the scope of consent previously given. Past consent does not imply present or future consent. Silence or an absence of resistance does not imply consent. Minors under the age of 16 cannot legally consent under Georgia law.

Dating Violence: Violence committed by a person who is or has been in a social relationship of a romantic or intimate nature with the alleged victim.

Domestic Violence: Violence committed by a current or former spouse or intimate partner of the alleged victim, by a person with whom the alleged victim shares a child in common, by a person who is cohabitating with or has cohabitated with the victim as a spouse or intimate partner, by a person similarly situated to a spouse of the alleged victim under the domestic or family violence laws of the jurisdiction, or by any other person against an adult or youth victim who is protected from that person’s acts under the domestic or family violence laws of the jurisdiction.

Incapacitation: The physical and/or mental inability to make informed, rational judgments, and can result from mental disability, sleep, involuntary physical restraint, or from intentional or unintentional taking of alcohol and/or other drugs. Whether someone is incapacitated is to be judged from the perspective of an objectively reasonable person.

Nonconsensual Sexual Contact: An intentional sexual touching upon a person, without consent or where the person is incapacitated, and/or by force, by another person or with any object. Sexual contact includes but is not limited to, intentional contact with the breasts, buttocks, groin, or genitals, or touching another with these body parts, or making another touch the alleged victim or themselves with or on any of these body parts.

Privileged Employees: Individuals employed by the institution to whom a complainant or alleged victim may talk in confidence, as provided by law. Disclosure to these employees will not automatically trigger an investigation against the complainant’s or alleged victim’s wishes. Privileged Employees include those providing counseling, advocacy, health, mental health, or sexual-assault related services (e.g., sexual assault resource centers, campus health centers, pastoral counselors, and campus mental health centers) or as otherwise provided by applicable law. Exceptions to confidentiality exist where the conduct involves suspected abuse of a minor (in Georgia, under the age of 18) or otherwise provided by law, such as imminent threat of serious harm. Further, Privileged Employees must still submit anonymous statistical information for Clery Act purposes.

Respondent: Individual who is accused to have engaged in conduct that violates this Policy.

Responsible Employees: Those employees who must promptly and fully report complaints of or information regarding sexual misconduct to the Title IX Coordinator. Responsible Employees include any administrator, supervisor, faculty member, or other person in a position of authority who is not a Privileged Employee. Student employees who serve in a supervisory, advisory, or managerial role are in a position of authority for purposes of this Policy (e.g., teaching assistants, residential assistants, student managers, orientation leaders, etc.). Responsible Employees are not required to report information disclosed at public awareness events (e.g., “Take Back the Night,” candlelight vigils, protests, “survivor speak-outs” or other public forums in which students may disclose incidents of prohibited conduct).

Sexual Assault: An umbrella term referring to a range of nonconsensual sexual contact, which can occur in many forms including but not limited to rape and sexual battery.

Sexual Exploitation: “Sexual Exploitation” occurs when an individual takes non-consensual or abusive sexual advantage of another for his or her own advantage or benefit, or to the benefit or advantage of anyone other than the one being exploited.

Examples of sexual exploitation may include, but are not limited to, the following:

  1. Invasion of sexual privacy;
  2. Prostituting another individual;
  3. Non-consensual video or audio of sexual activity;
  4. Non-consensual distribution of video or audio of sexual activity, even if the sexual activity or video or audio taken of sexual activity was consensual;
  5. Intentional observation of unconsenting individuals who are partially undressed, naked, or engaged in sexual acts;
  6. Knowingly transmitting an STD or HIV to another individual;
  7. Intentionally and inappropriately exposing one’s breasts, buttocks, groin, or genitals in non-consensual circumstances; and/or
  8. Sexually-based bullying.

Sexual Harassment: Unwelcome verbal, nonverbal, or physical conduct, based on sex or gender stereotypes, that: is implicitly or explicitly a term or condition of employment or status in a course, program, or activity; is a basis for employment/educational decisions; or has the purpose or effect of interfering with one’s work or educational performance creating an intimidating, hostile, or offensive work or learning environment, or interfering with or limiting one’s ability to participate in or benefit from an institutional program or activity.

Stalking: Engaging in a course of conduct directed toward another person based upon sex that would cause a reasonable person (i) to fear for his or her safety or the safety of immediate family members or close acquaintances, or (ii) to suffer substantial emotional distress.

4.1.7.2 Reporting Sexual Misconduct

A complainant of sexual misconduct can choose among several reporting options at their respective institutions: filing a criminal complaint with law enforcement officials; filing an administrative report with the institution; or filing an anonymous report at their institution. These processes are detailed below. An individual who believes he/she is a victim of sexual misconduct is encouraged to report allegations of sexual misconduct promptly.

Institutional Reports
Complainants of sexual misconduct who wish to file a report with the institution should notify a Responsible Employee or the Office of the Title IX Coordinator. Responsible Employees informed about sexual misconduct allegations involving any student must notify the Office of the Title IX Coordinator as soon as practicable. Responsible Employees should not attempt to resolve the situation, but must notify and report all relevant information to the Title IX Coordinator. Privileged Employees are not bound by this requirement but may, consistent with their ethical and legal obligations, be required to report limited information about incidents without revealing the identities of the individuals involved to the Office of the Title IX Coordinator. All members of the University System of Georgia institutions’ communities are encouraged to report incidents of sexual misconduct promptly.

The Title IX Coordinator’s identity and contact information shall be published by each institution prominently on the institution’s website, as well as in any relevant publication. Each institution may choose to have Deputy Title IX Coordinators to whom reports may be made, as well. Institutions should encourage complainants to report their complaints in writing, though oral complaints should also be accepted, taken seriously, and investigated, to the extent possible. Further, while complaints should be made as quickly as possible following an alleged incident of sexual misconduct, all reports should be accepted regardless of when reported.

Complaints should include as much information as possible – that is: (1) the type of sexual misconduct experienced; (2) the name of the respondent; (3) the date(s), time(s), and place(s) of the sexual misconduct; (4) the name(s) of any individual(s) with knowledge of the incident; (5) whether any tangible evidence has been preserved; and (6) whether a criminal complaint has been made. Information from complaints will be shared only as necessary to investigate and to resolve the alleged sexual misconduct. Complaints will be investigated and resolved as outlined below. Institutions, through their Title IX Coordinators, will also assess the need for and institute interim measures as described below as appropriate and where reasonable, as well as work with the appropriate institutional department to determine the need to issue a broader warning to the community in compliance with the Clery Act or to report activity to the authorities.

Institutional reports will be investigated and adjudicated separately from any criminal complaints.

  1. Confidentiality: Where a complainant or alleged victim requests that his or her identity be withheld or the allegation(s) not be investigated, the institutions should consider, through the Title IX Coordinator, whether this request can be honored while still providing a safe and nondiscriminatory environment for the institution. Honoring the request may limit the institution’s ability to respond fully to the incident and may limit the institution’s ability to discipline the respondent.
  2. Retaliation: Anyone who, in good faith, reports what she or he believes to be misconduct under this Policy , or who participates or cooperates in, or is otherwise associated with any investigation, shall not be subjected to retaliation. Anyone who believes he or she has been the target of retaliation for reporting, participating or cooperating in, or otherwise being associated with an investigation should immediately contact the Title IX Coordinator for the institution. Any person found to have engaged in retaliation in violation of this Policy shall be subject to disciplinary action.
  3. False Complaints: Individuals are prohibited from intentionally giving false statements to an institution official. Any person found to have intentionally submitted false complaints, accusations, or statements, including during a hearing, in violation of this policy shall be subject to disciplinary action.
  4. Amnesty: Individuals should be encouraged to come forward and to report sexual misconduct notwithstanding their choice to consume alcohol or to use drugs. Information reported by an individual during an investigation concerning use of drugs or alcohol will not be used against the particular individual in a disciplinary proceeding or voluntarily reported to law enforcement; however, individuals may be provided with resources on drug and alcohol counseling and/or education, as appropriate.

Law Enforcement Reports
Because sexual misconduct may constitute criminal activity, a complainant also has the option, should he or she so choose, of filing a report with campus or local police, for his or her own protection and that of the surrounding community.
Complainants considering filing a report of sexual misconduct with law enforcement should preserve any evidence of sexual misconduct, including, but not limited to, the following:

  1. Clothing worn during the incident including undergarments;
  2. Sheets, bedding, and condoms, if used;
  3. Lists of witnesses with contact information;
  4. Text messages, call history, social media posts;
  5. Pictures of injuries; and/or
  6. Videos.

Anonymous Reports
Each institution should provide a mechanism by which individuals can report incidents of alleged sexual misconduct anonymously.

4.1.7.3 Interim Protective Measures

The Title IX Coordinator or his/her designee may impose interim protective measures before the final outcome of an investigation and until final resolution of the allegations if failure to take the interim measures would constitute an immediate threat to the safety and well-being of the alleged victim or other members of the institution, or to ensure equal access to the institution’s education programs and activities. Before any such measures are instituted, however, the Title IX Coordinator should, where practicable, provide the respondent with an initial opportunity to respond to the allegations and to the imposition of any interim protective measures specifically.

Imposing interim protective measures does not indicate that a violation of this Policy has occurred, and is designed to protect the alleged victim and community, and not to harm the respondent. To the extent interim measures are imposed, they should minimize the burden on both the alleged victim and the respondent, where feasible. Interim measures may include, but are not limited to:

  1. Change of housing assignment;
  2. Issuance of a “no contact” directive;
  3. Restrictions or bars to entering certain institution property;
  4. Changes to academic or employment arrangements, schedules, or supervision;
  5. Interim suspension; and
  6. Other measures designed to promote the safety and well-being of the parties and the institution’s community.

An interim suspension should only occur where necessary to maintain safety, and should be limited to those situations where the respondent poses a serious and immediate danger or threat to persons or property. In making such an assessment, the institution should consider the existence of a significant risk to the health or safety of the alleged victim or the campus community, the nature, duration, and severity of the risk, the probability of potential injury, and whether less restrictive means can be used to significantly mitigate the risk.

Before an interim suspension is issued, the institution must make all reasonable efforts to give the respondent the opportunity to be heard on whether his or her presence on campus poses a danger. If an interim suspension is issued, the terms of the suspension take effect immediately. When requested by the respondent, a hearing to determine whether the intermediate suspension should continue will be held within three (3) business days of the request.

4.1.7.4 Support Services

Once an individual makes a complaint, or receives notice that a complaint has been made against him or her, that individual should receive information about support services, such as counseling, advocacy, housing assistance, academic support, disability services, health and mental services, and legal assistance, as is available at their respective institutions.

Available support services should also be listed on the institution’s Title IX website.

4.1.7.5 Process for Investigating and Resolving Institutional Reports

Jurisdiction: The institution shall take necessary and appropriate action to protect the safety and well-being of its community. Accordingly, sexual misconduct perpetrated against students by University System of Georgia students, faculty, or staff should be addressed whenever such acts occur on a campus, in connection with an institution’s program or activity, or in a manner that creates a hostile environment for members of the institution community. Further, the policy is applicable to all University System of Georgia students, faculty, and staff, as well as contractors, vendors, visitors, guests or other third parties.

Advisors: Both the alleged victim and respondent, as parties to the matter, shall have the opportunity to use an advisor (including an attorney) of his/her choosing for the express purpose of providing advice and counsel at his/her own expense. The selected advisor shall not otherwise be a party or witness involved in the investigation. The advisor may be present during any meetings and proceedings involved in the investigatory or resolution process in which the advisee is also eligible to be present. The advisor may advise the advisee, including providing questions, suggestions, advice on the proceedings, and guidance on responses to any questions of the participant, but shall not participate directly. The institution shall not prohibit family members of any party from attending if the party requests such attendance, but may limit the number to two family members.

Timeframe: Reasonable efforts will be made to complete the investigation and resolution within 60 calendar days of the initial complaint, though a longer period of time may be needed in some cases. The Title IX Coordinator will notify the respondent and the alleged victim, in writing, of any extension of this timeframe.

Investigations

  1. The Office of the Title IX Coordinator is primarily responsible for directly overseeing the investigation and resolution of complaints, and coordinating possible remedial actions or other responses reasonably designed to minimize the recurrence of the alleged conduct as well as mitigate the effects of any misconduct. The Title IX Coordinator will ensure prompt, fair, and impartial investigations and resolutions of complaints alleging violations of the sexual misconduct policy. The Title IX Coordinator shall be responsible for ensuring any individual participating in the investigation, resolution, or appeal of any sexual misconduct case has received regular training on issues pertaining to sexual misconduct.
  2. The Title IX Coordinator shall designate an investigator to conduct a prompt, thorough, and impartial investigation into each complaint received. The investigation shall consist of interviews of the complainant, alleged victim, respondent, and witnesses, and the collection and review of documents or other physical or electronic information, as well as other steps, as appropriate.
  3. Unrelated charges and cases shall be investigated separately, unless the respondent consents to having them aggregated.
  4. The respondent shall be provided with written notice of the complaint, pending investigation, possible charges, possible sanctions, and available support services. The notice should also include the identity of the Title IX Coordinator and any investigator(s) involved. Notice shall be provided via institution email. If confirmation of receipt is not received by the Title IX Coordinator or the investigator, the Title IX Coordinator or the investigator shall engage in other measures to ensure notice is received by the respondent. A copy shall also be provided to the alleged victim via the same means.
  5. The investigator will timely begin the investigation and will schedule an initial interview with the complainant, alleged victim, respondent and any known relevant witnesses. The investigator should retain written notes and/or obtain written or recorded statements from each interview. The investigator shall also keep a record of any proffered witnesses not interviewed, along with a brief, written explanation.
  6. Each party shall have three (3) business days to submit a written statement to supplement the notice of complaint and the verbal interview. In that response, the respondent shall have the right to admit or to deny the allegations, and to set forth a defense with facts, witnesses, and documents – whether written or electronic – in support. If respondent has not otherwise responded, a non-written response will be considered a general denial of the alleged misconduct.
  7. Based on this response and other relevant information, the investigator shall continue to interview witnesses for both sides, to re-interview parties where necessary, and to collect and review documents or other physical or electronic information, as well as other steps, as appropriate.
  8. Where the respondent is a student, the respondent has the right to remain silent during the investigation and resolution process, without an automatic adverse inference resulting. If the respondent chooses to remain silent, the investigation may ultimately still proceed and policy violation charges may still result, which may be resolved against the respondent.
  9. The respondent and/or alleged victim may challenge the participation of the investigator on the grounds of personal bias by submitting a written statement to the Title IX Coordinator setting forth the basis for the challenge no later than three (3) business days after the party reasonably should have known of the bias. The Title IX Coordinator will determine whether to sustain or deny the challenge, and if sustained, to appoint a replacement.
  10. At the conclusion of the investigation, the investigator will issue to the parties a written report setting forth charges and possible sanctions, as well as an explanation of the evidence against the respondent.
  11. The parties shall have at least three (3) business days to respond to the report in writing. The respondent’s written response should outline his or her plea in response to the charge(s), and where applicable, his or her defense(s), and the facts, witnesses, and documents – whether written or electronic – in support.
  12. The investigator shall, as necessary, conduct further investigation and update the report as warranted by the response(s), and will update the report as necessary.
  13. Upon completion of the investigation, the investigator will review the evidence with the Title IX Coordinator. The Title IX Coordinator will ensure policies have been followed.
  14. The Title IX Coordinator will contact the alleged victim(s) and the respondent(s) and schedule an opportunity to meet with each party individually. During these meetings, the Title IX Coordinator shall review the report with the parties (individually). Should the report be acceptable to all parties, an informal resolution may be made, which would not require the parties to move to the hearing phase of these procedures. If, however, the parties agree on the conduct, but not on the sanctions, then the sanctions shall be addressed by the hearing panel.
  15. Allegations of sexual misconduct involving a student that are brought against an institution’s faculty or staff will be investigated as outlined above, but will be further addressed and/or resolved through the institution’s applicable employment policies, and in accordance with the procedures for dismissal outlined in the Board of Regents Policy including procedures for appealing such decisions.
  16. Where the respondent(s) is a student, a hearing, as well as corresponding procedures/rights to appeal, shall be set and administered as set forth below, and a final report shall be provided to all parties, which will also provide a date, time, and location for a hearing on the matter.
  17. The final report should also be provided to the panel for their consideration in adjudicating the charges brought against the respondent. The investigator may testify as a witness before the panel regarding the investigation and findings, but shall otherwise have no part in the hearing process and shall not attempt to otherwise influence the panel outside of providing testimony during the hearing.

Hearings

  1. The hearing will be conducted by the Title IX Coordinator and/or his/her designee(s). The Panel must be composed of at least three (3) members.
  2. The investigator shall not serve on the Panel.
  3. No student shall serve on the Panel.
  4. Both the alleged victim and respondent shall have the opportunity to present witnesses and evidence to the Panel. Both parties shall have the right to confront any witnesses, including the other party, by submitting written questions to the Title IX Coordinator and/or his or her designee for consideration. Witness testimony, if provided, shall pertain to knowledge and facts directly associated with the case being heard. Advisors may actively assist in drafting questions. The Panel shall ask the questions as written, and will limit questions only if they are unrelated to determining the veracity of the charge leveled against the respondent(s). In any event, the Panel shall err on the side of asking all submitted questions, and must document the reason for not asking any particular questions.
  5. The Title IX Coordinator reserves the right to allow a party to testify in a separate room, when determined to be necessary. Where such a determination is made, special measures must be put in place to ensure no party is unfairly disadvantaged by this procedure. A party must still give testimony in the presence of the Panel, and the opposing party must have the opportunity to view the testimony remotely and to submit follow-up questions.
  6. Similarly, where the Title IX Coordinator determines that a witness or party necessary to the proceedings is unavailable and unable to be present due to exigent circumstances (e.g., on a study abroad program, medical restrictions on travel, etc.), he or she may establish special procedures for providing testimony from a separate location. In doing so, the Title IX Coordinator must determine there is a valid basis for the unavailability, ensure proper sequestration in a manner that ensures the testimony has not been tainted, and make a determination that such an arrangement will not unfairly disadvantage any parties. Should it be reasonably believed that a party or witness who is not physically present has presented tainted testimony to the Panel, the Panel will disregard the testimony of that witness.
  7. The standard of review shall be a preponderance of the evidence; however, any decision to suspend or to expel a student must also be supported by substantial evidence at the hearing.
  8. The civil rules of evidence do not apply to the investigatory or resolution process.
  9. Both the respondent and alleged victim shall be provided a written report via institution email of the outcome and any resulting sanctions. The written report must summarize the evidence in support of the sanction. The report should include details on how to appeal, as outlined below.

Possible Sanctions
The severity of sanctions or corrective actions may depend on the severity, frequency and/or nature of the offense, history of past discriminatory, harassing, or retaliatory conduct, the respondent’s willingness to accept responsibility, previous institutional response to similar conduct, and the institution’s interests. The Panel will determine the sanction after review of the investigatory findings.

The broad range of sanctions includes but is not limited to: expulsion; suspension for an identified time frame or until satisfaction of certain conditions, or both; temporary or permanent separation of the parties (e.g., change in classes, reassignment of residence, no contact orders, limiting geography of where parties can go on campus) with additional sanctions for violating orders; required participation in sexual or relationship sensitivity training/awareness education programs; required participation in alcohol and other drug awareness and abuse prevention programs; counseling or mentoring; volunteering/community service; loss of institutional privileges; delays in obtaining administrative services and benefits from the institution (e.g., holding transcripts, delaying registration, graduation, diplomas); additional academic requirements relating to scholarly work or research on sexual misconduct; financial restitution; or any other discretionary sanctions directly related to the violation or conduct.

4.7.1.6 Appeals

Parties shall have the right to appeal the outcome on any of the following grounds: (1) to consider new information, sufficient to alter the decision, or other relevant facts not brought out in the original hearing, because such information was not known or knowable to the person appealing during the time of the hearing; (2) to allege a procedural error within the hearing process that may have substantially impacted the fairness of the hearing, including but not limited to whether any hearing questions were improperly excluded or whether the decision was tainted by bias; or (3) to allege that the finding was inconsistent with the weight of the information. Appeals may be made by the alleged offender for the above reasons in any case where sanctions are issued – even those in which such sanctions are held “in abeyance,” such as probationary suspension or expulsion.

The appeal must be made in writing, and must set forth one or more of the bases outlined above, and must be submitted within five (5) business days of the date of the final report.

Where the respondent or alleged victim appealing the outcome is a student, the appeal should be made to the Vice President for Student Affairs or his/her designee. The appeal shall be a review of the record only, and no new meeting with the respondent or alleged victim will be held. The non-appealing party shall be given the opportunity to respond to the appellant’s submission. The applicable Vice President, or his/her designee, may affirm the original finding and sanction; affirm the original finding but issue a new sanction of greater or lesser severity; remand the case back to the Title IX Coordinator to correct a procedural or factual defect; or reverse or dismiss the case if there was a procedural or factual defect that cannot be remedied by remand. The Vice President or his/her designee shall then issue a decision in writing to both the respondent and alleged victim simultaneously within a reasonable time period.

The decision of the Vice President or his/her designee may be appealed in writing within five (5) business days (as determined by the date of the decision letter) to the President of the institution solely on the three grounds set forth above.

The President may affirm the original finding and sanction; affirm the original finding but issue a new sanction of greater or lesser severity; remand the case back to the Title IX Coordinator to correct a procedural or factual defect; or reverse or dismiss the case if there was a procedural or factual defect that cannot be remedied by remand. The President’s decision shall be issued in writing to both the respondent and alleged victim and shall be issued within a reasonable amount of time. The President’s decision shall be the final decision of the institution.

Should the respondent or alleged victim wish to appeal the President’s decision, he or she may appeal to the Board of Regents in accordance with the Board of Regents Policy 8.6.

4.1.7.7 Recusal / Challenge for Bias

Any party may challenge the participation of any institution official or employee in the process on the grounds of personal bias by submitting a written statement to the institution’s designee setting forth the basis for the challenge. The written challenge should be submitted within a reasonable time after the individual reasonably should have known of the existence of the bias. The institution’s designee will determine whether to sustain or deny the challenge, and if sustained, the replacement to be appointed.


4.6.5 Standards for Institutional Student Conduct Investigation and Disciplinary Proceedings

(This policy will take effect July 1, 2016)

This policy establishes minimum procedural standards for investigations and resolutions of alleged student conduct violations, which each institution must incorporate into its respective student conduct policies. Each institution must provide a draft of its revised student conduct policy to the University System of Georgia’s Office of Legal Affairs for review and approval no later than April 22, 2016. Each revised policy will become effective at its respective institution on July 1, 2016.

These procedures apply to matters relating to student misconduct, except matters relating to sexual misconduct or academic dishonesty which may be covered under separate institution policies. As part of orientation, institutions shall inform students of their procedures governing student misconduct complaints and investigations.

4.6.5.1 Reports of Student Misconduct

Complaints to the appropriate department and/or person(s) should include as much information as possible – such as: (1) the type of misconduct alleged; (2) the name and contact information of the respondent; (3) the date(s), time(s), and place(s) of the misconduct; (4) the name(s) and contact information of any individual(s) with knowledge of the incident; (5) whether any tangible evidence has been preserved; and (6) whether a criminal complaint has been made.

Information from complaints may be shared as necessary to investigate and to resolve the alleged misconduct. Complaints shall be investigated and resolved as outlined below. The need to issue a broader warning to the community in compliance with the Clery Act shall be assessed in compliance with federal law.

Where appropriate, complainants may file a law enforcement report along with an institutional report.

  1. Confidentiality: Where a complainant or alleged victim requests that his or her identity be withheld or the allegation(s) not be investigated, the institutions should consider whether or not such request(s) can be honored while still providing a safe and nondiscriminatory environment for the institution. The institution should inform the requesting party that the institution generally cannot guarantee confidentiality. Further, honoring the request may limit the institution’s ability to respond fully to the incident and may limit the institution’s ability to discipline the respondent.
  2. Retaliation: Anyone who, in good faith, reports what she or he believes to be student misconduct, participates or cooperates in, or is otherwise associated with any investigation, shall not be subjected to retaliation. Anyone who believes he or she has been the target of retaliation for reporting, participating or cooperating in, or otherwise being associated with an investigation should immediately contact the appropriate department or individual(s) for that institution. Any person found to have engaged in retaliation in violation of the student conduct policy shall be subject to disciplinary action, pursuant to the institution’s policy.
  3. False Complaints: Individuals who intentionally give false statements to an institution official, or who submit false complaints or accusations, including during a hearing, in violation of policy shall be subject to disciplinary action pursuant to the institution’s policy.
  4. Amnesty: Individuals should be encouraged to come forward and to report student misconduct notwithstanding their choice to consume alcohol or to use drugs. Information reported in good faith by an individual during an investigation concerning use of drugs or alcohol will not be used against that individual in a disciplinary proceeding and will not be voluntarily reported to law enforcement; however, individuals may be provided with resources on drug and alcohol counseling and/or education, as appropriate.

Not all matters covered under this policy will necessarily involve alleged victims; however, where they are involved, it should be noted that a complainant will not always be the alleged victim but instead may be a third-party witness. The institution may also respond to issues raised by third-party complaints (such as referrals by police) or discovered by staff or through its own investigations.

4.6.5.2 Process for Investigating and Resolving Disputed Reports

Jurisdiction: Each institution shall take necessary and appropriate action to protect the safety and well-being of its community. Accordingly, student conduct should be addressed when such acts occur on institution property or at institution-sponsored or affiliated events, or otherwise violate the institution’s student conduct policies at non-institution sponsored events. If the student has admitted responsibility and has voluntarily decided to participate in the informal process, the procedures outlined in this section will not apply.

Access to Advisors: The respondent and alleged victim (where applicable), as parties to these proceedings, shall have the right to use an advisor (including an attorney) of his or her choosing, and at his or her own expense, for the express purpose of providing advice and counsel. The advisor may be present during meetings and proceedings during the investigatory and/or resolution process at which his or her advisee is present. The advisor may advise his or her advisee in any manner, including providing questions, suggestions, and guidance on responses to any questions of the advisee, but shall not participate directly. The institution shall not prohibit family members of a party from attending if the party requests such attendance, but may limit each participant to two family members.

Training: The institution’s individual(s) tasked with investigating allegations of student misconduct shall not be responsible for training student conduct panel/board members or appellate body members.

Initial Evaluation of Student Conduct Reports: Regardless of how an institution becomes aware of misconduct, it shall ensure a prompt, fair, and impartial review and resolution of complaints alleging student misconduct. Where a report of student misconduct has been made to the appropriate department and/or person, the institution shall review the complaint to determine whether the allegation(s) describes conduct in violation of the institution’s policies and/or code of conduct. If the reported conduct would not be a violation of the institution’s policies and/or code of conduct then the report should be dismissed. Otherwise, a prompt, thorough, and impartial investigation and review shall be conducted into each complaint received to determine whether charges against the respondent should be brought.

Throughout any investigation and resolution proceedings, a respondent shall receive notice of the alleged misconduct, shall be provided an opportunity to respond, and shall be allowed to remain silent during the investigation and resolution process, without an adverse inference resulting. If the respondent chooses to remain silent, the investigation may still proceed and policy violation charges may still result, and may be resolved against the respondent. Further, unrelated charges and cases shall be investigated separately, unless the respondent consents to having them aggregated.

Where the potential sanctions for the alleged misconduct may involve a suspension or expulsion (even if such sanctions were to be held “in abeyance,” such as probationary suspension or expulsion) the institution’s investigation and resolution procedures must provide these additional, minimum safeguards:

  1. The respondent shall be provided with written notice of the complaint/allegations, pending investigation, possible charges, possible sanctions, and available support services. The notice should also include the identity of any investigator(s) involved. Notice should be provided via institution email to the address on file. Where applicable, a copy shall also be provided to the alleged victim via the same means.
  2. Upon receipt of the written notice, the respondent shall be given at least three (3) business days to respond in writing. In that response, the respondent shall have the right to admit or to deny the allegations, and to set forth a defense with facts, witnesses, and documents – whether written or electronic – in support. A non-response will be considered a general denial of the alleged misconduct.
  3. Based on this response, the investigation shall consist of interviews of the respondent, the alleged victim (where applicable) and witnesses, and the collection and review of documents or other physical or electronic information, as well as other steps as appropriate. The investigator should retain written notes and/or obtain written or recorded statements from each interview. The investigator shall also keep a record of any proffered witnesses not interviewed, along with a brief, written explanation.
  4. The investigation shall be summarized in writing in an initial investigation report and provided to the respondent and the alleged victim (where applicable) in person or via email. This summary should clearly indicate any resulting charges (or alternatively, a determination of no charges), as well as the facts and evidence in support thereof, witness statements, and possible sanctions.
  5. To the extent the respondent is ultimately charged with any violation, he or she shall also have the opportunity to respond in writing. The respondent’s written response to the charge(s) shall be due no earlier than three (3) business days following the date of the initial investigation report. The respondent’s written response should outline his or her plea in response to the charge(s), and where applicable, his or her defense(s), and the facts, witnesses, and documents – whether written or electronic – in support. A nonresponse to the charge(s) by the respondent will be interpreted as a denial of the charge(s).
  6. The investigator shall conduct further investigation and update the investigative report as warranted by the respondent’s response.
  7. The final investigative report should be provided to the student misconduct panel or hearing officer for consideration in adjudicating the charges brought against the respondent. A copy shall also be provided to the respondent and alleged victim (where applicable) before any hearing. The investigator may testify as a witness regarding the investigation and findings, but shall otherwise have no part in the hearing process and shall not attempt to otherwise influence the proceedings outside of providing testimony during the hearing.

Interim Suspensions
Interim suspensions – that is, suspensions while the investigation and adjudication process are proceeding – should only occur where necessary to maintain safety, and should be limited to those situations where the respondent poses a serious and immediate danger or threat to persons or property. In making such an assessment, the institution should consider the existence of a significant risk to the health or safety of the campus community; the nature, duration, and severity of the risk; the probability of potential injury; and whether less restrictive means can be used to significantly mitigate the risk.

Before an interim suspension is issued, the institution must make all reasonable efforts to give the respondent the opportunity to be heard on whether his or her presence on campus poses a danger. If an interim suspension is issued, the terms of the suspension shall take effect immediately. When requested by the respondent, a hearing to determine whether the intermediate suspension should continue will be held within three (3) business days of the request.

Resolution/Hearing
In no case shall a hearing to resolve charge(s) of student misconduct take place before the investigative report has been finalized or before the respondent has had an opportunity to respond in writing, unless the respondent has chosen to go through an informal process or otherwise provided a written waiver of rights to these procedures. Further, unrelated charges and/or cases shall be heard separately unless the respondent voluntarily consents to the charges/cases being heard jointly.

Where the respondent indicates that he or she contests the charges, and once the investigative report has been finalized and copies provided to the respondent and alleged victim (where applicable,) the case shall be set for hearing; however, the alleged victim (where applicable) and respondent may have the option of selecting mediation as a possible resolution in certain student misconduct cases where they mutually agree, except where deemed inappropriate by the Vice President for Student Affairs, or his/her designee.

Where a case is not resolved through mediation, the respondent shall have the option of having the charges heard either by an administrator (hearing officer) or a student conduct panel. Notice of the date, time, and location of the hearing, shall be provided to the respondent and alleged victim (where applicable) at least five (5) business days prior to the hearing. Notice shall be provided via institution email or alternative method, if necessary. Additionally, the following standards will apply to any such hearing:

  1. The respondent shall have the right to present witnesses and evidence to the hearing officer or panel, as well as to ask questions to any witnesses. At the determination of the hearing officer or panel, this questioning may take place through the submission of written questions to the panel or hearing officer for consideration; however, the parties’ advisors may still actively advise and assist in drafting those questions. The hearing officer or panel shall ask the questions as written, and will limit questions only if they are unrelated to determining the veracity of the charge leveled against the respondent(s). In any event, the hearing officer or panel shall err on the side of asking all submitted questions, and must document the reason for not asking any particular questions.
  2. Where the hearing officer or panel determines that a party or witness is unavailable and unable to be present due to extenuating circumstances, the hearing officer or panel may establish special procedures for providing testimony from a separate location. In doing so, the hearing officer or panel must determine there is a valid basis for the unavailability, ensure proper sequestration in a manner that ensures testimony has not been tainted, and make a determination that such an arrangement will not unfairly disadvantage any party. Should it be reasonably believed that a party or witness who is not physically present has presented tainted testimony, the hearing officer or panel will disregard or discount the testimony.
  3. Formal civil rules of evidence do not apply to the investigatory or resolution process.
  4. The standard of review shall be a preponderance of the evidence; however, any decision to suspend or to expel a student must also be supported by substantial evidence at the hearing.
  5. Institutions should maintain documentation of the proceedings, which may include written findings of fact, transcripts, audio recordings and/or video recordings.
  6. Following a hearing, both the respondent and alleged victim (where applicable) shall be provided a written decision via institution email of the outcome and any resulting sanctions. The decision should include details on how to appeal, as outlined below. Additionally, the written decision must summarize the evidence in support of the sanction. The same form will be completed, regardless of whether the student opts for a student panel or an administrative hearing.

Possible Sanctions
In determining the severity of sanctions or corrective actions the following should be considered: the frequency, severity, and/or nature of the offense, history of past conduct, an offender’s willingness to accept responsibility, previous institutional response to similar conduct, and the institution’s interests. The student conduct panel or hearing officer will determine sanctions and issue notice of the same, as outlined above.

The broad range of sanctions includes: expulsion; suspension for an identified time frame or until satisfaction of certain conditions, or both; temporary or permanent separation of the parties (e.g., change in classes, reassignment of residence, no contact orders, limiting geography of where parties can go on campus) with additional sanctions for violating orders; required participation in sensitivity training/awareness education programs; required participation in alcohol and other drug awareness and abuse prevention programs; counseling or mentoring; volunteering/community service; loss of institutional privileges; delays in obtaining administrative services and benefits from the institution (e.g., holding transcripts, delaying registration, graduation, diplomas); additional academic requirements relating to scholarly work or research; financial restitution; or any other discretionary sanctions directly related to the violation or conduct.

4.6.5.3 Appeals

Where the sanction imposed includes a suspension or expulsion (even for one held in abeyance), the following appellate procedures must be provided to the respondent. The alleged offender shall have the right to appeal the outcome on any of the following grounds: (1) to consider new information, sufficient to alter the decision, or other relevant facts not brought out in the original hearing, because such information was not known or knowable to the person appealing during the time of the hearing; (2) to allege a procedural error within the hearing process that may have substantially impacted the fairness of the hearing, including but not limited to whether any hearing questions were improperly excluded or whether the decision was tainted by bias; or (3) to allege that the finding was inconsistent with the weight of the information. Appeals may be made by the alleged offender for the above reasons in any case where sanctions are issued – even those in which such sanctions are held “in abeyance,” such as probationary suspension or expulsion.

The appeal must be made in writing, and must set forth one or more of the bases outlined above, and must be submitted within five (5) business days of the date of the final written decision.

The appeal should be made to the Vice President for Student Affairs or his/her designee. The appeal shall be a review of the record only, and no new meeting with the respondent or any alleged victim will be held. The Vice President, or his/her designee, may affirm the original finding and sanction; affirm the original finding but issue a new sanction lesser severity; remand the case back to the decision-maker to correct a procedural or factual defect; or reverse or dismiss the case if there was a procedural or factual defect that cannot be remedied by remand. The Vice President or his/her designee shall then issue a decision in writing to both the respondent within a reasonable time period.

The decision of the Vice President or his/her designee may be appealed in writing within five (5) business days (as determined by the date of the decision letter) to the President of the institution solely on the four grounds set forth above.

The President may affirm the original finding and sanction; affirm the original finding but issue a new sanction of greater or lesser severity, remand the case back to the decision maker to correct a procedural or factual defect; or reverse or dismiss the case if there was a procedural or factual defect that cannot be remedied by remand. The President’s decision shall be issued in writing to both the respondent within a reasonable time period. The President’s decision shall be the final decision of the institution.

Should the respondent wish to appeal the President’s decision, he or she may appeal to the Board of Regents in accordance with the Board of Regents Policy 8.6.

4.6.5.4 Recusal/Challenge for Bias

Any party may challenge the participation of any institution official, employee or student panel member in the process on the grounds of personal bias by submitting a written statement to the institution’s designee setting forth the basis for the challenge. The designee may not be the same individual responsible for investigating or adjudicating the conduct allegation. The written challenge should be submitted within a reasonable time after the individual reasonably should have known of the existence of the bias. The institution’s designee will determine whether to sustain or deny the challenge, and if sustained, the replacement to be appointed.


↑ Top