No appeals shall be considered that have not followed the established procedures and order of appeal through the appropriate process.
The University Court, appointed by the Provost, consists of four faculty members nominated by the President of the University Faculty Association (two from Education, Business & Technology, and two from Arts & Sciences); one faculty member nominated by the Academic Admissions & Standards Committee; three undergraduate students nominated by the ASUMW President. The Chair is selected by the members of The University Court from among the faculty appointees at the first meeting.
No member of The University Court may sit on a case if the member is:
From the same academic unit as the faculty member charging a student with misconduct or the accused student; or
Otherwise closely associated personally or professionally with the faculty member or student. A Court member should disqualify himself/herself when any grounds for disqualification are present. The accused student may assert grounds for disqualification of a Court member to the Court Chair no later than three (3) working days prior to the scheduled hearing. The Chair shall implement a disqualification when warranted by the facts asserted.
A student who fails to appear for The University Court hearing, after being given proper notice of the time and place of the hearing, is considered to have waived the right to be heard by The University Court. The University accepts the charges as true and the academic penalty and/or University sanction recommended by the Dean of Students is imposed.
When an appeal cannot be heard by The University Court within a reasonable time after the student’s request (between semesters, during the summer, and other academic breaks), the Chancellor may, whenever it is in the best interest of the University or the student, appoint an impartial Hearing Officer to conduct a hearing. This hearing is conducted following the procedures of this code, with the decision of the Hearing Officer submitted to the Chancellor.
When proceedings have been transferred to University Court, the Court Chair, in consultation with the appropriate Montana Western administrator, schedules a hearing date. The Chair gives notice of the time, date, and place of the hearing to the student that, absent urgent circumstances, will be held not less than five (5) working days after the date of such notice.
A student appearing before The University Court may be accompanied by a representative who may be an attorney. The student must file a statement of intention to be represented by an attorney with the Dean of Students at least three (3) working days before the time scheduled for the hearing. Failure to give notice of legal representation will justify a delay of the proceedings by the University. If the student is to be represented at the hearing by an attorney, then the University also will be represented by legal counsel. Should the University initially elect to present it’s case through legal counsel, the student is given at least three (3) working days notice. In such a case, a reasonable extension of no more than five (5) working days may be granted to the student in order to obtain legal counsel.
Hearings are closed to the public. An open hearing may be held at the discretion of the Chair only if requested by the student, unless a closed hearing is necessary to protect the overriding individual privacy rights of others.
The Chair exercises control over the hearing to achieve an orderly process. The University, through its authorized representative, states the charges against the student and presents evidence and witnesses in support thereof. The student has the right to present witnesses and evidence in rebuttal. Each party has the right to cross-examine the other party’s witnesses. The burden of proof is on the University to establish violation of the Student Conduct Code by clear and convincing evidence.
Formal rules of evidence do not apply, and the Chair decides the admissibility of all evidence presented and rules on all procedural issues.
The hearing is recorded at Montana Western’s expense. Transcripts of the minutes are available to the student upon request.
The Court Chair may prescribe additional procedural rules for the hearing that are consistent with this Code.
The University Court renders a decision by majority vote within ten (10) working days after the close of the hearing. The Chair has a vote in all cases. The decision contains a finding as to violation of the Code and a statement of the reasons for the decision, and the sanctions to be imposed.
The Chair will send a letter to the student informing the student of the decision made by the University Court.
Nothing contained in this code limits the right of the appropriate Montana Western representative and the student at any time to agree to disciplinary sanctions if the student agrees not to contest the charges. Any such agreement must be in writing.