Student conduct procedure

Intent and objectives

To outline the steps to be taken by staff who become aware of behaviour that breaches expectations of conduct by RMIT students, and actions to be taken by senior officers who receive notification of misconduct.

Such breaches encompass a wide range of student behaviours and will require different kinds of response. Examples include, but are not limited to: support and intervention for students who may be experiencing problems arising from their mental health, education for inexperienced students who may have breached academic rules through ignorance, or the application of a penalty where misconduct has been formally determined.

Definitions of general misconduct, academic misconduct and high risk misconduct are found in the Student Conduct regulations.

All allegations of academic misconduct related to enrolment in a RMIT course or program will be managed through this procedure. Other allegations of misconduct by students located with partner organisations (including partners outside Australia, industry partners, professional placement partners and cross-institutional enrolments) may be addressed either through this procedure or through the procedures applying at that partner unless otherwise governed by contractual agreements.

Scope

All students at all locations.

Exclusions

None.

Procedure steps and actions

1 Introduction

1.1 Allegations of misconduct

A staff member or student who becomes aware of behaviour that may constitute misconduct will report the matter as soon as possible to the relevant senior officer, or in the case of possible research misconduct, to the designated person (see Research misconduct procedure). A senior officer who receives an allegation of misconduct or otherwise becomes aware of behaviour that may be considered as misconduct will respond in accordance with Section A of this procedure. All staff must act in accordance with the rules of procedural fairness and natural justice in investigating, making or hearing an allegation of misconduct.

1.2 Senior officer hearings

A senior officer may hear an eligible allegation of misconduct in accordance with section B of this procedure.

1.3 Student Conduct Board

The Student Conduct Board will hear eligible allegations of misconduct by students in accordance with section C of this procedure.

1.4 Managing behaviour that may be high-risk misconduct

A senior officer who becomes aware of threatening or concerning behaviour by a student, or other behaviour that may indicate high-risk misconduct, may seek a formal risk assessment and assistance in developing a safety plan in accordance with the section D of this procedure. This risk assessment is carried out in accordance with the Managing Threatening or Inappropriate Behaviour procedure, once any immediate threat of harm has been managed.

1.5 Executive suspension

The Safety Advisory Team may recommend to the Vice-Chancellor to suspend immediately a student whose behaviour appears to present a high risk of harm to students, staff or University property in accordance with section 9 of the Student Conduct Regulations and as described in section E of this procedure.

Section A: Allegations of misconduct or inappropriate behaviour

2. Notification of misconduct or inappropriate behaviour

2.1 A staff member or student who becomes aware of behaviour that breaches expectations of conduct by RMIT students, or other concerning behaviour by a student will report the matter to the relevant senior officer. Notification should include sufficient information to allow the senior officer to evaluate the allegation.

2.2 Any officer in charge of:

  • any teaching or assessment session;
  • a class or meeting conducted by, or for, the University;
  • a University facility or area; or
  • any other activity within the precincts of the University

may require a student whose behaviour is disrupting University activities, damaging property, or endangering others to leave the premises for a period not exceeding two days. The staff member will report both the incident and the action taken to the relevant senior officer as soon as practicable.

2.3 In cases of immediate threat or harm, behaviours will be addressed in the first instance in line with RMIT Emergency procedures. If you do not feel safe, call Security.

2.4 Once immediate risk has been managed, a report should be prepared for the relevant senior officer with a detailed description of the behaviour including any additional supporting documentation

3. Senior officer evaluation of a report of misconduct or inappropriate behaviour

3.1 A senior officer who receives a report of misconduct or inappropriate behaviour by a student may request additional information to enable a full evaluation of the matter.

3.2 The senior officer may seek advice before deciding on appropriate action in response to the report. An allegation of research misconduct may be referred to the designated person (see Handling allegations of research misconduct procedure) for investigation.

3.3 Following evaluation of the report, the senior officer will:

  • a) hear the allegation in accordance with section B of this procedure; or
  • b) refer the allegation to the Student Conduct Board in accordance with section C of this procedure; or
  • c) seek advice from the Safety Advisory Team in accordance with section D of this procedure; or
  • d) take action to address the allegation in another way, separate from provisions of the Student Conduct Regulations. Such actions may include: treating a plagiarism report as an assessment matter rather than a conduct issue; issuing a formal written warning about observed behaviour; referral to alternative dispute resolution; talking to the student informally to advise them of the implications of their behaviour; referring the student to University support services; or taking no action.

3.4 Where a senior officer decides to respond to an allegation under 3.3 d), the senior officer will not act in a way that would lead a student to believe that action taken relates to provisions of the Student Conduct Regulations.

Section B: Senior officer hearings

4. Setting up a senior officer hearing

4.1 After evaluating a notification of alleged misconduct, a senior officer may conduct a senior officer hearing. The senior officer may nominate a person to act as Secretary to the hearing.

4.2 A senior officer will not conduct a hearing where they have had any involvement with the alleged misconduct, other than in their role as senior officer, or where it would be inappropriate to hear the case for any other reason. A senior officer may seek advice from the Secretary of the Student Conduct Board to identify an alternative senior officer to hear the allegation.

4.3 The senior officer may seek witness statements or may require other staff to attend the hearing to provide a witness account or to provide expert evidence at the hearing.

5. Notice of allegation

5.1 Where a senior officer decides to proceed with a hearing to address the allegation of misconduct, the student will be given notice in writing not less than ten days before the date of the hearing (unless the student gives permission to hold the hearing with a shorter notice period) including:

a) the allegation;

b) the grounds for the allegation as described under section 4 or 5 of the Student Conduct Regulations;

c) copies of documents containing evidence or web links to evidence that is available electronically;

d) the date, time and place of the hearing;

e) a copy of the Student Conduct Regulations, or electronic access to these regulations; and

f) that the student has the right to:

    • be heard;
    • make a written submission;
    • submit written evidence in response to the allegation;
    • be accompanied, assisted or represented by a support person, such as a student rights officer;
    • respond to the allegation at the hearing; and/or
    • engage an interpreter

5.2 No party will be permitted to have legal representation at the hearing.

5.3 If the student intends to be represented by another person or to call persons as witnesses, the student will provide the senior officer the names of such persons and/or authorisation for another person to represent them, not less than one working day before the date of the hearing.

5.4 The student will be provided with a copy of, or electronic access to any evidence that will be used by the senior officer. This is normally provided with the notice of the allegation.

6. Conduct of senior officer hearings

6.1 The senior officer will be the only person making a decision about the allegation: it should be made clear to the student that other staff attending the hearing may provide evidence or secretarial support only.

6.2 The senior officer will determine whether misconduct has or has not occurred. Where the senior officer finds that there has been misconduct, he or she may decide a penalty in accordance with section 11 of the Student Conduct Regulations.

6.3 The senior officer is not bound by rules or practices as to evidence but may seek information in relation to any matter in such manner as is appropriate. The senior officer will observe principles of natural justice as defined in the Student Conduct Regulations.

6.4 The senior officer may decide on matters related to the conduct of a hearing including, but not restricted to, attendance, adjournment, or admission of tabled submissions.

7. Appearance at a senior officer hearing

7.1 A student may appear at a hearing in person or by videoconference or teleconference or other media as decided by the senior officer.

7.2 A student may authorise a person such as a student rights officer, but other than legal counsel, to represent him or her wholly or in part.

7.3 A student may choose to submit a written statement to the hearing.

7.4 Where a student does not appear at the hearing and has not submitted any reasonable cause for their absence, the hearing may proceed and any decision of the senior officer will be binding. The senior officer will consider any written submission received from the student.

8. Notice of decision

8.1 Any student on whom a penalty has been imposed by a senior officer will be given notice in writing stating:

a) particulars of the misconduct;

b) reasons for the decision;

c) the date of the determination;

d) the penalty imposed;

e) that the student has the right to appeal to the Student Conduct Appeals Committee if grounds are met.

8.2 Unless the Academic Registrar otherwise directs, pending finalisation of any appeal to the Student Conduct Appeals Committee:

a) any order to suspend the student will remain in effect;

b) implementation of any other penalty imposed will be delayed; and

c) the student may not receive any award of the University

9. Written notices

9.1 Any written notice required to be given by the University under this procedure by a senior officer will be delivered:

a) via student email; and

b) sent by tracked delivery to the mailing address recorded on the official University student database; or

c) personally to the student.

10. Reporting student conduct decisions

10.1 Senior officers will compile a list of hearings held and decisions made, using a format provided by the Secretary of the Student Conduct Board.

10.2 Where a senior officer has determined to suspend a student for one semester, the senior officer will refer the decision, in a format approved by the Academic Registrar, to the secretary of the Student Conduct Board for implementation. This will include a copy of documentation used to form the decision.

10.3 The Secretary of the Student Conduct Board will prepare an aggregated annual summary for distribution to VCE and to senior officers.

Section C: Student Conduct Board

11. Student Conduct Board

11.1 The Student Conduct Board will hear allegations of misconduct that have been referred by a senior officer.

12. Secretary to the Student Conduct Board

12.1 The Secretary of the Board will be a member of staff appointed by the Academic Registrar, but the Secretary is not a member of the Board itself.

13. Membership of the Student Conduct Board

13.1 In accordance with section 10 of the Student Conduct Regulations, membership of the Student Conduct Board comprises:

  • a Chair who is a senior officer nominated by the Vice-Chancellor to chair the Board;
  • two senior officers appointed by the Vice-Chancellor;
  • an enrolled student nominated by the relevant recognised RMIT student organisation.

13.2 The Secretary will maintain a list of people eligible to be members of the Student Conduct Board in each category.

14. Referral of an allegation

14.1 A senior officer may refer an allegation of misconduct to the Student Conduct Board via the Secretary of the Board, in a form approved by the Academic Registrar. The referral will include any evidence to support the allegation including names of witnesses who may be asked to appear at the hearing. Evidence provided will be included in papers distributed to members of the Student Conduct Board and to the student.

14.2 The Secretary will review the referral to ensure that it meets requirements and may request further information or evidence from the referring senior officer.

15. Setting up a hearing of the Student Conduct Board

15.1 After receiving a complete referral from a senior officer, the Secretary will convene a Student Conduct Board.

15.2 No person will sit on the Board who has had any involvement with the alleged misconduct or breach of discipline, or who for any other reason would be inappropriate to hear the case.

16. Notice of allegation

16.1 Any student against whom an allegation has been made will be given notice in writing not less than ten days before the date of the hearing (unless the student gives permission to hold the hearing with a shorter notice period) including:

a) the allegation;

b) the grounds for the allegation as described under section 4, 5 or 6 of the Student Conduct Regulations;

c) the name of the senior officer who has referred the matter;

d) copies of documents containing evidence, or web links to evidence that is available electronically;

e) the date, time and place of the hearing;

f) a copy of the Student Conduct Regulations or electronic access to these regulations;

g) that the Secretary is available to answer questions about the hearing process;

h) that the student has the right to:

    • be heard;
    • make a written submission;
    • submit written evidence in response to the allegation;
    • be accompanied, assisted or represented by a support person, such as a student rights officer;
    • be present throughout the hearing, other than during in camera deliberation by the Board;
    • engage an interpreter.

16.2 No party will be permitted to have legal representation at the hearing.

16.3 If the student intends to be represented by another person or to call persons as witnesses, the student will provide the Secretary the names of such persons and/or authorisation for another person to represent them, not less than one working day before the date of the hearing.

16.4 The student will be provided with a copy of, or electronic access to, any evidence or other documentation that is provided to the Student Conduct Board. This is normally included with the notice of the allegation.

17. Conduct of Student Conduct Board hearings

17.1 In accordance with section 10(10) of the Student Conduct Regulations, the quorum for any meeting of the Board will be three members, including the Chair.

17.2 The Board will determine whether misconduct has or has not occurred. Where the Board finds that there has been misconduct, the Board may decide a penalty in accordance with section 12 of the Student Conduct Regulations.

17.3 The Board will act fairly in all the circumstances. It will regulate its own proceedings and in hearing any case is not bound by rules or practices as to evidence but may inform itself in relation to any matter in such manner as it may consider appropriate. It will observe principles of natural justice as defined in the Student Conduct Regulations.

17.4 Where members cannot reach a decision, the Chair may adjourn to seek additional information. If the Board is still unable to achieve a majority view, the Chair will have the deciding vote.

17.5 The Chair of the Board will have final authority on matters related to the conduct of a hearing including, but not restricted to, attendance, adjournment, or admission of tabled submissions from the referring senior officer.

18. Appearance at a hearing

18.1 A student may appear at a hearing in person or by videoconference or teleconference or other media as decided by the Secretary.

18.2 A student may elect to authorise a student rights officer or other person, other than legal counsel, to represent him or her wholly or in part.

18.3 A student may choose to submit a written statement to the Board. A copy will be circulated to Board members if it is received at least three days before the date of the hearing. Statements received after this date may be tabled at the hearing except where the Chair determines that the material is not in a form that can be readily assessed within the hearing.

18.4 Where a student does not appear at the hearing and has not submitted any reasonable cause for their absence, or the referring officer is not represented at the hearing, the hearing may proceed and any decision of the Board will be binding.

18.5 In order to maintain confidentiality, the Secretary will retrieve or remove access to hearing papers from all participants other than the student at the conclusion of the hearing. The University will retain one set of hearing papers in accordance with the Records management policy. No mention of any allegation or outcome will be made available on any public record of the University (such as a transcript or statement of attainment). Information about a student will not be disclosed to a third party except with authorisation of the student or in accordance with the University’s Privacy policy and relevant privacy legislation.

19. Notice of decision

19.1 The Chair of the Student Conduct Board will provide a written notice of the decision following the hearing. Any student on whom a penalty has been imposed will be given notice in writing stating:

a) particulars of the misconduct;

b) reasons for the decision;

c) the date of the determination;

d) the penalty imposed;

e) where the penalty includes a financial penalty, the process and date by which the payment must be paid;

f) that the student has the right to appeal to the Student Conduct Appeals Committee if grounds are met.

19.2 A copy of the notice of decision will be sent to the referring senior officer.

19.3 Unless the Academic Registrar otherwise directs, pending finalisation of any appeal to the Student Conduct Appeals Committee,:

a) any order suspending or expelling the student from the University will remain in effect;

b) implementation of any other penalty imposed will be delayed; and

c) the student may not receive any award of the University.

20. Written notices

20.1 Any written notice required to be given by the University under this procedure by the Student Conduct Board or the Secretary to the Board will be delivered:

a) via student email; and

b) sent by tracked delivery to the mailing address recorded on the official University student database; or

c) personally to the student.

21. Reporting student conduct decisions

21.1 The Secretary of the Student Conduct Board will prepare an annual aggregated report that summarises the number and types of decisions made by senior officers and by the Student Conduct Board, for distribution to VCE and senior officers.

Section D: Threatening or inappropriate behaviour

22. Safety Advisory Team

22.1 The Safety Advisory Team conducts formal risk assessments of threatening or inappropriate behaviour by students. Its role is to advise the University on appropriate management responses to reports of inappropriate behaviour and develop plans for a co-ordinated response. The Safety Advisory Team is not an emergency or crisis response service, nor does it replace usual responses by the Counselling Service to manage mental health crises. In an emergency call RMIT Security.

22.2 The Safety Advisory Team is authorised to:

  • undertake a risk assessment in relation to a report from a senior officer;
  • develop and co-ordinate implementation of a safety plan;
  • liaise with other relevant services within and outside the University;
  • alert external crisis management services where there is reasonable concern that the behaviour will escalate beyond a moderate incident;
  • recommend to the Vice-Chancellor to approve executive suspension in accordance with section 9 of the Student Conduct Regulations.

23. Membership of Safety Advisory Team

23.1 The Vice-Chancellor will appoint members of a Safety Advisory Team. Membership may include the following positions, or their equivalent at campuses outside Australia:

  • Chair (a senior officer);
  • Director of Student Services or nominee;
  • Manager of RMIT Counselling or nominee;
  • Manager of RMIT Disability Services or nominee;
  • Manager of RMIT Security on the relevant campus or nominee (if relevant);
  • Manager, Academic Governance or nominee;
  • A nominee of the Executive Director Human Resources, with expertise in occupational health and safety;
  • Other co-opted members with relevant expertise.

24. Referral to the Safety Advisory Team

24.1 A senior officer may seek advice from the Safety Advisory Team where:

  • they have received a report of threatening or inappropriate behaviour by a student; or
  • they form the opinion that a student may present a serious risk to himself or herself, others, or University property.

24.2 The Secretary of the Safety Advisory Team will provide advice to the senior officer on the form of the referral and will convene a meeting to conduct a risk assessment.

24.3 The Safety Advisory Team may request additional information or seek advice from staff members, students, or the person of concern, or from external agencies to inform a risk assessment.

24.4 The Safety Advisory Team will complete a risk assessment and work with the senior officer to develop a safety plan that may include, but is not limited to:

  • engagement with the student about the University’s concerns;
  • referral of the student for case management;
  • referral of an allegation of misconduct by the senior officer to the Student Conduct Board;
  • monitoring the student’s behaviour;
  • management by RMIT Security or Victoria Police;
  • development of a behavioural management agreement with the student;
  • a crisis mental health intervention;
  • modifications to the physical environment to enhance safety;
  • support arrangements for affected staff and students, such as safety plans, de-briefing or counseling

24.5 Where the Safety Advisory Team concludes that a student may have engaged in high-risk misconduct or presents an immediate and serious risk to others or to University property, it may recommend to the Vice-Chancellor to initiate an executive suspension in accordance with section E of this procedure.

Section E: Executive suspension

25. Assessment of high-risk conduct

25.1 Executive suspension is a decision by the Vice-Chancellor to suspend a student without a hearing in accordance with section 9 of the Student Conduct Regulations, following an assessment of high-risk misconduct. Executive suspension will only be authorised where the Vice-Chancellor determines it is necessary to protect staff, students or University property against an imminent threat.

25.2 A Safety Advisory Team recommendation is not required for the Vice-Chancellor to take action under this section, where circumstances do not allow a risk assessment to be completed before a decision is made.

25.3 Where the Safety Advisory Team conducts a risk assessment and concludes that a student may have engaged in high-risk misconduct or presents an immediate and serious risk to students or staff or to University property, it may recommend to the Vice-Chancellor to use executive powers to suspend a student immediately.

25.4 A recommendation for executive suspension will include details of relevant incident(s), the risk assessment completed by the Safety Advisory Team and other relevant evidence to inform the decision of the Vice-Chancellor.

26. Evaluation by Vice-Chancellor

26.1 The Vice-Chancellor may request additional information or advice from staff members or from external agencies to inform a decision on executive suspension.

26.2 The Vice-Chancellor may approve suspension, impose conditions, or deny the recommendation from the Safety Advisory Team, or may authorise another form of action in accordance with section 9 of the Student Conduct Regulations.

26.3 The Vice-Chancellor will advise the Chair of the Safety Advisory Team of the decision.

27. Implementation of decision

27.1 Where an executive suspension is approved, the student will be notified within 24 hours of the decision, in writing, and through an appropriate channel. The notification will include:

  • the decision;
  • reasons for the decision;
  • advice about the next steps to address the matter;
  • information about the right to use University student support services and how access to these may be arranged; and
  • a copy of the Student Conduct Regulations

27.2 The Chair of the Safety Advisory Team will arrange immediate notification of the Vice-Chancellor’s decision to the student using a channel that is appropriate to the circumstances.

27.3 The Chair of the Safety Advisory Team will advise the Academic Registrar and the referring senior officer of any decision to suspend a student under executive authority.

27.4 The Academic Registrar will implement any decision by the Vice-Chancellor or nominee to suspend a student.

28. Actions after an executive suspension has been implemented

28.1 Following the implementation of an executive suspension, the relevant senior officer may refer an allegation of misconduct to the Student Conduct Board (under the provisions of section C of this procedure).

28.2 A suspension imposed by the Vice-Chancellor under executive authority will remain in place until:

a) a hearing of the Student Conduct Board has heard the allegation and made a finding; or

b) the conditions imposed by the Vice-Chancellor as part of the executive suspension have been met; or

c) its expiry at the end of a period that may have been established by the Vice-Chancellor as part of the executive suspension decision.

Section F: Appeals against student conduct decisions

29. Student Conduct Appeals Committee

29.1 The Student Conduct Appeals Committee will hear appeals against student conduct decisions in accordance with Part 5 of the Student Conduct Regulations.

30. Secretary to the Student Conduct Appeals Committee

30.1 The Secretary of the Appeals Committee will be a member of staff appointed by the Academic Registrar, but the Secretary is not a member of the Appeals Committee itself.

31. Membership of the Student Conduct Appeals Committee

31.1 In accordance with section 15 of the Student Conduct Regulations, membership of the Student Conduct Appeals Committee comprises:

  • a Chair who is a senior officer nominated by the Vice-Chancellor to chair the Appeals Committee;
  • a senior officer appointed by the Vice-Chancellor;
  • an enrolled student nominated by the relevant recognised RMIT student organisation

31.2 The Secretary will maintain a list of people eligible to be members of the Student Conduct Appeals Committee in each category.

32. Appeal against a decision of a Senior Officer or of the Student Conduct Board

32.1 A student who has been found to have committed misconduct by a senior officer (under section B) or by the Student Conduct Board (under section C), and who meets grounds for appeal, may appeal against:

  • the finding of misconduct; and/or
  • any penalty that was made in relation to a finding of misconduct

32.2 Section 15 (5) of the Student Conduct Regulations identifies the grounds on which a student may appeal a student conduct decision:

  • that the decision was made on the basis of personal bias or ill will at the hearing;
  • that a breach of University legislation, policy or procedure by the Board or senior officer has occurred that has had a significant impact on the outcome of the misconduct hearing;
  • that the penalty is unreasonable, excessive or inappropriate; and/or
  • that there is new supporting material of a substantial nature not available at the time of the misconduct hearing

32.3 An appeal against a student conduct decision will be submitted in writing to the Secretary of the Student Conduct Appeals Committee within 20 days after the date of the written notification of the decision of the senior officer or the Board.

32.4 An appeal will be submitted in a form prescribed by the Academic Registrar (see: Misconduct appeal form (PDF 136KB, 3p)).

32.5 The Secretary will review the appeal submission to ensure that it meets requirements and may request further information or evidence from the student, or resubmission.

33. Setting up a hearing of the Student Conduct Appeals Committee

33.1 After receiving a complete submission from a student that addresses grounds for appeal, the Secretary will convene a Student Conduct Appeals Committee within 30 days after receiving a complete appeal submission in the prescribed format (unless the student gives permission to hold the hearing outside this period).

33.2 No person will sit on the Appeals Committee who has had any involvement with the referral of the allegation or finding of misconduct, or who for any other reason would be inappropriate to hear the case.

34. Notice of appeal hearing

34.1 The Secretary will provide notice in writing to the student not less than ten days before the date of the hearing (unless the student gives permission to hold the hearing with a shorter notice period) including:

a) the date, time and place of the hearing;

b) that the Secretary is available to answer questions about the hearing process;

c) that the student has the right to:

    • be heard;
    • make a written submission;
    • submit written evidence in support of their appeal;
    • be accompanied, assisted or represented by a support person, such as a student rights officer;
    • be present throughout the hearing, other than during in camera deliberation by the Appeals Committee;
    • engage an interpreter

34.2 The Secretary will provide notice in writing to the Chair of the Student Conduct Board or the Senior Officer who found misconduct, not less than ten working days before the date of the hearing stating:

a) the date, time and place of the hearing;

b) the grounds for the appeal;

c) that they, or their nominee, have the right to:

    • be heard;
    • make a written response to the appeal;
    • be present throughout the hearing, or to nominate another staff member to be present in their place, other than during in camera deliberation by the Appeals Committee;
    • call any persons as witnesses

34.3 Where the Senior Officer or Chair, Student Conduct Board (or nominee) is not represented at the hearing; the hearing of the Student Conduct Appeal Committee may proceed in their absence.

34.4 No party will be permitted to have legal representation at the hearing.

34.5 If the student intends to be represented by another person or to call persons as witnesses, the student will provide the Secretary the names of such persons and/or authorisation for another person to represent them, not less than one working day before the date of the hearing.

35. Conduct of Student Conduct Appeals Committee hearings

35.1 In accordance with section 15 (10) of the Student Conduct Regulations, the quorum for any meeting of the Appeals Committee will be two members, one of whom must be the Chair.

35.2 The Appeals Committee will:

  • dismiss the appeal; or
  • allow the appeal in whole or in part; or
  • remit the matter to the Student Conduct Board for a re-hearing

35.3 If the Appeals Committee allows an appeal, in whole or in part, it will:

  • confirm the original penalty; or
  • set aside the penalty; or
  • vary the penalty; or
  • substitute the original penalty with a different penalty

35.4 The Appeals Committee will act fairly in all the circumstances. It will regulate its own proceedings and in hearing any appeal is not bound by rules or practices as to evidence but may inform itself in relation to any matter in such manner as it may consider appropriate. It will observe principles of natural justice as defined in the Student Conduct Regulations.

35.5 Where members cannot reach a decision, the Chair may adjourn to seek additional information. If the Appeals Committee is still unable to achieve a majority view, the Chair will have the deciding vote.

35.6 The Chair of the Appeals Committee will have final authority on matters related to the conduct of an appeal hearing including, but not restricted to, attendance, adjournment, or admission of tabled submissions.

36. Appearance at a hearing

36.1 A student may appear at a hearing in person or by videoconference or teleconference or other media as decided by the Secretary.

36.2 A student may elect to authorise a student rights officer or other person, other than legal counsel, to represent him or her wholly or in part.

36.3 Where a student does not appear at the hearing and has not submitted any reasonable cause for their absence, the hearing may proceed and any decision of the Appeals Committee will be final.

36.4 In order to maintain confidentiality, the Secretary will retrieve or remove access to hearing papers from all participants other than the student at the conclusion of the hearing. The University will retain one set of hearing papers in accordance with the Records management policy. No mention of any misconduct finding will be made available on any public record of the University (such as a transcript or statement of attainment). Information about a student will not be disclosed to a third party except with authorisation of the student or in accordance with the University’s Privacy policy and relevant privacy legislation.

37. Notice of decision

37.1 The Chair of the Student Conduct Appeals Committee will provide a written notice of the decision within ten days after the hearing, including reasons for the decision.

37.2 A copy of the notice of decision will be sent to the senior officer who either made the original finding of misconduct or who referred the original allegation of misconduct to the Student Conduct Board.

38. Written notices

38.1 Any written notice required to be given by the University under this procedure by the Student Conduct Appeals Committee or the Secretary to the Appeals Committee will be delivered:

  • via student email; and
  • by tracked delivery to the mailing address recorded on the official University student database; or
  • personally to the student

39. Reporting student conduct appeal decisions

39.1 The Secretary of the Student Conduct Appeals Committee will prepare an annual aggregated report that summarises the number and types of decisions made by the Student Conduct Appeals Committee, for distribution to VCE and senior officers.

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