ETSU policies are located at the following website: https://www.etsu.edu/policies/
For baccalaureate and undergraduate certificate programs, students who fail during any semester to attain an overall combined GPA at or above the level indicated below, based on the total credits attempted thus far, will be placed on academic probation for the subsequent semester (including summer session) of their enrollment.
||Semester Hours Attempted
||Required Cumulative GPA (Net)
The following grades and credits attempted or earned are not included in the GPA.
- Remedial or developmental courses
- Courses from which the student withdrew in good standing
- Courses transferred to ETSU on or after August 1, 2015
- Passing grades (P) and credits earned in courses taken on a pass/fail basis.
Although passing grades (P) and credits earned in courses taken on a pass/fail basis are not included in the GPA calculations, failing grades (F) and credits attempted in such courses are included.
Academic Suspension Policy
Students who fail to attain either the overall combined GPA standard or a 2.0 GPA for the semester of academic probation will be suspended for one major term (spring or fall semester). The summer semester does not count as a term of suspension.
On the second suspension for failure to meet academic retention standards, the period of academic suspension is for two major terms. Students wishing to re-enroll after a period of suspension must apply for readmission. Students who enroll at other institutions during a period of academic suspension from ETSU must meet ETSU’s transfer admission requirements.
Undergraduate Advisement Policy
Academic advisement is mandatory for all ETSU undergraduate, degree seeking students who:
- Have earned less than 60 credit hours
- Are new to ETSU regardless of earned hours
- Are readmitted students in their first term back at ETSU, regardless of earned hours
- Have not declared a major or who have chosen an Academic Focus Area
- Are in pre-programs (non-degree programs) such as Pre-Nursing, Pre-Business, and Pre-Education
- Are in colleges or departments that have mandatory advisement regardless of earned hours
Undergraduate Advisement Procedure
The University monitors compliance with this policy in the registration process. Academic advisors clear advisement registration holds after they meet with their students. Advisement meetings include discussions about course selection, program requirements, and referrals to other applicable offices and resources.
New students: Advisement holds are automatically applied in the registration system during the admissions process for undergraduate, degree seeking students. Advisement holds prevent students from registering without first conferring with their advisor.
Most new students meet with an advisor and register for classes at new student orientations. Students who are not required to attend orientation are required to confer with an advisor and register for classes after advisement occurs.
Current students: Advisement holds are applied to undergraduate, degree seeking students each semester before registration begins for the next term. These holds prevent students from registering until they confer with an advisor.
Academic Fresh Start Policy
Academic Fresh Start is a plan of academic forgiveness available to transfer and readmission students. Candidates may apply for Academic Fresh Start prior to admission or readmission as a degree-seeking student or at any time after enrollment. The student will need to contact the Office of Admissions to request an application for Academic Fresh Start.
Academic Fresh Start Eligibility
- A period of at least four years (48 months) has elapsed since the candidate last attended an institution of higher education.
- The candidate has not previously been granted academic forgiveness according to this or a similar provision at any institution of higher education.
- A student who has been granted Fresh Start in the past is not eligible for a second opportunity.
Academic Fresh Start Procedure
Those meeting the above criteria must complete and file the Academic Fresh Start Contract form and the appropriate application for admission.
- The student’s permanent academic record will remain a record of all course work and will include “Granted Academic Fresh Start” and the effective date. However, courses taken and previously failed will be excluded from the calculation of the GPA. Courses with a D grade will also be excluded from the GPA calculation and total credits earned when a C or better is required in the student’s current major. The GPA and total credits earned will reflect all other courses for which passing grades are earned.
- The current major will be considered the major the student has selected at the time the Academic Fresh Start is applied. Courses excluded from the GPA calculation will not be reviewed or reconsidered should the student change majors Academic Fresh Start has been applied.
- Grades for courses transferred from other institutions will be included in the GPA and are subject to ETSU’s policy on use of transfer courses in GPA calculations.
- The application of retained credit toward degree requirements will be determined by the requirements in effect when the Academic Fresh Start is conferred. Specific program requirements must also be met.
- Previously satisfied learning support placement requirements will not be forfeited upon conferral of an Academic Fresh Start. Academic Fresh Start applicants who did not satisfy learning support placement requirements at the time of previous enrollment must meet current learning support requirements.
- ETSU will honor an academic forgiveness plan offered at another institution so long as it is clearly noted on the official transcript from the previous institution.
- Students in Academic Fresh Start will be subject to ETSU’s academic retention standards.
- Academic Fresh Start does not alter financial aid requirements and regulations.
- Once applied, Academic Fresh Start is irrevocable.
Additional information is available from the Undergraduate Admissions Office at (423) 439-4213.
The following policies can be found in the Admissions section of this catalog.
- Undergraduate Admission Policy Updated: 1/25/2018
- Undergraduate Admission Procedure Updated: 1/25/2018
- Tennessee Transfer Pathway
- Transfer of Undergraduate Credit
Degree and Graduation Policy
The complete Undergraduate Degree and Graduation Requirements policy can be found in the Degree and Graduation Requirements section of this catalog.
General Education Policy
ETSU’s General Education program offers a liberal education that includes 41-42 credits of courses from across the university that address the General Education goals of critical and creative thinking, effective communication, lifelong learning, conflict resolution, problem solving, and understanding and appreciating cultural diversity. The full General Education policy and procedure can be found in the General Education Requirements section of this catalog.
Reverse Transfer Policy
ETSU will participate in reverse transfer as encouraged and supported by the State of Tennessee HB 2827 to allow students who have transferred to ETSU from a community college before earning an associate degree to earn an academic credential if they so choose.
- ETSU participates in reverse transfer as encouraged and supported by the State of Tennessee HB 2827 to allow students who have transferred to ETSU from a community college before earning an associate degree to earn an academic credential if they so choose.
- Reverse transfer, an initiative to promote the educational attainment of adult learners through the full cooperation and collaboration among Tennessee institutions of higher education, will result in the generation of student and institutional outcomes where none previously existed.
- ETSU is responsible for the accuracy of equivalency tables and degree audits. Equivalency tables and degree audits must be reviewed and updated annually, or as new programs are approved.
- To adhere to the FERPA guidelines, ETSU must have written permission from the student to send the results of the screening degree audit to the associate degree-granting institution for reverse transfer degree audit purposes. The process to obtain student consent must include a reasonable way to identify the individual and authenticate the identity of the student as the source of the consent to the disclosure of the education records. ETSU must obtain written consent (e.g., hard copy, electronic consent) from those students who appear to have the credits for associate degree completion prior to sending the results of the screening degree audit to the associate degree-granting institution. The communication to the student must include the purpose for sending the information, the institution to which the student’s information will be sent, and the option to revoke participation in the reverse transfer process at any time. Additionally, ETSU may provide a section on the transfer application to allow for the exchange of the screening degree audit results for reverse transfer audit purposes or to opt out of the reverse transfer degree audit.
- If a reverse transfer degree candidate attended more than one associate degree- granting institution prior to transferring to ETSU, the degree confirming institution will be the institution where the student earned the most credits, provided the student earned a minimum of 15 credits at that institution to meet the SACSCOC residency requirement and the student meets ETSU Board of Trustees Meeting - March 24, 2017 48 the requirements for an associate degree at that institution. In the event the student has earned the same number of credits and meets the residency and degree requirements at two or more institutions, the institution that the student attended most recently will be considered as the degree-granting institution.
- A. ETSU may not accept all credits earned at the associate degree-granting institution (e.g., grades of “D”) that may in fact count towards the associate degree. Therefore, a threshold of “successfully transferred” credits that is less than the minimum residency credits required at the associate degree-granting institution was established to capture and include those students who may have not had all earned degree credits accepted by ETSU.
- Students meeting this threshold are considered to be “close” to degree completion for purposes of the screening degree audit. The associate degree-granting institution will still have responsibility for the official degree audit and degree conferral, if the student is eligible. The degree-granting institution will conduct the screening degree audit if the student meets the following criteria.
- Is currently enrolled at ETSU and was previously enrolled as a degree seeking student at a Tennessee community college or other similar institution in another state;
- Has earned a minimum of 15 college credits towards an associate degree at the associate degree-granting institution; and
- Has earned a combined minimum of 60 college-level credits.
- Students will not be assessed fees for screening degree audit reports sent to associate degree-granting institutions.
- Reverse transfer degree recipients will not be assessed a graduation fee at the associate degree-granting institution.
- Each community college and ETSU will designate a contact person for reverse transfer. The contact person will serve as a point of information for students, faculty, and advisors.
- Students are afforded due process under the appeals process and procedures outlined in the Catalog at the appropriate institution.
- Once a degree is conferred (baccalaureate or associate), the student will not be considered further for the reverse transfer process.
Withdrawal from the University
Students may withdraw from all classes through the published last day to withdraw for a term. Withdrawals from the university from the beginning of the third week onwards will be recorded with a grade of ‘W.’ (During the summer session or other shortened terms, this schedule is adjusted appropriately to fit the condensed time frame.) All requests for withdrawal from the university must be received in the Office of the Registrar no later than the close of business hours two days before the last day of classes of any academic term. Students will not be permitted to withdraw from the university after that date.
Class Attendance Policy
Class attendance and punctuality requirements are established by the faculty in the printed syllabus for each course. Students are expected to attend classes regularly and on time and are responsible for giving explanations/rationale for absences and lateness directly to the faculty member for each course in which they are enrolled. In cases where student absences are the result of emergency circumstances (e.g., death in the family, a student’s serious injury or incapacitating illness), for which students are unable to make immediate contact with faculty, the student may contact the Office of Student Affairs for assistance in providing such immediate notification to faculty. However, the student remains responsible for verifying the emergency circumstances to faculty and for discussing arrangements with faculty for completion of coursework requirements. Both give guidance and clarification to both students and faculty on matters of classroom conduct and attendance requirements.
Absences Occasioned by University-Sponsored Activities
East Tennessee State University does not specify a fixed number of class absences as university-wide policy, but each department within the university has the right to set a maximum number of absences (including absences due to university activities and illnesses) permitted during an academic term. Departmental class absence policy is subject to approval by the dean of the school/college. Class Absence Authorization forms can be obtained from the Office of Student Affairs.
Class Load Policy
Fall and Spring Semesters Standard Load
The minimum course load for full-time undergraduate enrollment is twelve (12) semester hours. The normal (average) course load is sixteen (16) or seventeen (17) semester hours for full-time students. The maximum course load is nineteen (19) semester hours, unless permission for an overload is approved.
The academic advisor and the dean of the student’s college/school must approve registration for an overload. Following completion of 45 semester hours, students with a cumulative 3.0 GPA may be approved for a load up to 21 semester hours. Graduating seniors who do not have quality point deficiencies may be approved to enroll for up to 21 semester hours in order to complete graduation requirements during that semester.
Any student on academic probation at the time of registration may enroll for not more than thirteen (13) hours, including audits, except by approval of the student’s advisor and college/school dean.
The maximum suggested course load for the summer semester is seventeen (17) hours, subject to the maximum for each session as follows:
Pre-Summer, 3 semester hours; first 5-week session, 7 semester hours; second 5-week session, 7 semester hours.
Overloads in summer semester up to a maximum of twenty-one (21) semester hours must be approved by the academic advisor and the college/school dean.
Winter Session is a 5-week term that is part of the spring semester. Winter session courses begin after fall commencement and conclude shortly following the start of regular spring semester classes. Winter session offers 100% online courses throughout various academic departments and colleges. Courses taken in winter session cannot be used to satisfy prerequisites for regular spring semester courses. Students are restricted to a maximum of four credit hours during the winter session.
Exceptions to the class load policy, as stated above, require approval of the academic advisor, college/school dean, and the vice president for academic affairs (or designee).
Grade Point Average Calculation
|| * Freshman English courses, and Graduate Studies do not assign these grades.
Grades that do not influence Grade Point Average:
||P - Pass:
||Grade points are not assigned; credit hours are earned.
||CR - Credit:
||Grade points are not assigned; credit hours are earned. (Used to record credit established by nontraditional means.)
||I - Incomplete:
||Indicates a passing grade at the end of a semester, but an important part of course was not completed (e.g., term paper, exam).
||Au - Audit:
||Credit hours are not earned
||W - Withdrawal:
||(See Adding and Dropping Courses and Withdrawing from the university.)
||WF- Withdrawal Failing:
||(See Adding and Dropping Courses and Withdrawing from the university.)
||NR - Not Reported:
||Grade points are not assigned; credit hours are not earned.
Grade Appeal Policy
||Basis for Appeal
||A student may appeal a course grade if the student has evidence that the grade was assigned in a malicious, capricious, erroneous, or arbitrary manner. The following steps provide a guideline for the appeals process. All persons concerned with this process should make every attempt to adhere to the time schedule outlined in the following description of the appeals process.
||Appeal to the Faculty Member for Review of the Assigned Grade
|Within 21 calendar days after the beginning of the next term, excluding summer school, the student should discuss the assigned grade with the faculty member. If it is found that the assigned grade is incorrect in the judgment of the faculty member, he/she will initiate the appropriate change. If the change is made at this point, the matter is concluded.
||If the faculty member is no longer with the university, the student should confer with the departmental chair who will then make every effort to receive written input concerning the matter from the former faculty member. If it is not possible to receive information from the former faculty member regarding the grade, then the student may appeal the grade as described below and the departmental chair will represent the interests of the faculty member who issued the grade.
||Appeal to the Department Chair
||If the question of the assigned grade cannot be resolved between the student and the faculty member, the student may appeal in writing to the chair of the department in which the course was taught. The written appeal to the departmental chair must be made by the end of the fourth week of the term. The student should include all known information relating to the appeal with the written appeal. After receiving such an appeal in writing from the student, the chair shall review with the faculty member the substance of the student’s appeal and seek to determine its validity.
||If the chair determines that the assigned grade, in his/her judgment, is inappropriate, the chair should recommend to the faculty member that the grade be changed. The faculty member may or may not concur with the chair’s recommendation.
||The chair will notify the student in writing, within 14 calendar days of the appeal, whether or not the assigned grade will be changed by the faculty member. If the grade is changed to the student’s satisfaction, the matter is concluded. If the grade will not be changed, the chair will also advise the student of the right of appeal to the dean of the college/school within which the grade was assigned.
||If the grade will not be changed, copies of all written communication mentioned above should be sent by the chair to the dean of the college/school as described below.
||Appeal to the College/School Dean
|If the grade is not changed to the satisfaction of the student at the departmental level, an undergraduate student may appeal the assigned grade, in writing, to the dean of the college/school within which the course was offered. With the written appeal, the student should provide all information possible relating to the appeal. The written appeal to the dean of the college/school must be made within seven calendar days of receipt by the student of the notice from the department chair.
|If the dean of the college/school, or his/her designee, the student, and the faculty member are unable to resolve the appeal informally, the dean shall request a review of the student’s appeal by a committee comprised of three faculty members and three undergraduate students, all of whom have voting privileges, and meet the approval of the student and faculty member involved. This committee will be appointed by the dean, unless a standing committee already exists, and will elect its own chair.
||The committee shall conduct a hearing and shall review all pertinent information presented by the student, the faculty member, and any others who may be called to assist the committee.
|In the case of all graduate students (including those graduate students enrolled in the M.S.-Ph.D. program in Biomedical Sciences within the College of Medicine), the appeal shall be directed to the Dean of the Graduate School. If the dean, the student, and the faculty member are unable to resolve the appeal informally, the dean shall convene an ad hoc committee, comprised of three members of the graduate council and three graduate students, all of whom shall have voting privileges. This committee shall elect a chair and hold a hearing concerning the appeal. At this hearing all material relevant to the appeal shall be presented by the student, faculty member, the department chair, dean of the college in which the course was taught, the Dean of the Graduate School, and any others who may be called to assist the committee.
|In the case of a medical student, the appeal shall be prepared by the student in consultation with the Associate Dean for Academic Affairs of the College of Medicine who shall convene an ad hoc committee comprised of three members of the Faculty Advisory Council of the College of Medicine and three medical students, all of whom have voting privileges. This committee shall elect a chair and hold a hearing concerning the appeal. At this hearing all material relevant to the appeal shall be presented by the student, the faculty member, the department chair, the Associate Dean for Academic Affairs, the Dean of the College of Medicine, and any others who may be called to assist the committee.
|In the case of a pharmacy student, the appeal shall be prepared by the student in consultation with the Office of Academic Affairs of the College of Pharmacy who shall convene an ad hoc committee comprised of three members of the Faculty Council of the College of Pharmacy and three pharmacy students all of whom have voting privileges. This committee shall elect a chair and hold a hearing concerning the appeal. At this hearing all material relevant to the appeal shall be presented by the student, the faculty member, the department chair, the Associate Dean for Academic Affairs, the Dean of the College of Pharmacy, and any others who may be called to assist the committee.
||Appeals Process Following Committee Review
|Within 21 calendar days of its constitution, the committee will submit to the appropriate dean a written report containing a recommendation for a specific course of action regarding the student’s appeal. The dean will, in turn, review the committee’s recommendation and reasoning. The dean may also confer with any of the parties involved. After consideration of all appropriate information, the dean shall accept, reject, or modify the recommendation. The dean shall notify he student, the faculty member, the chair of the appeals committee, the departmental chair, and the appropriate individuals of his/her opinion concerning the appeal. The dean shall forward his/her decision to the Vice President for Academic Affairs/Vice President for Health Affairs who will hold the documentation for 21 calendar days, at the end of which time he/she will notify the Registrar of the disposition of the student’s grade, if it is to be changed.
||A written appeal of the decision of the dean may be submitted to the Vice President for Academic Affairs/Vice President for Health Affairs within 14 calendar days from the time the dean reports his/her decision to the appropriate individuals.
|The Vice President for Academic Affairs/Vice President for Health Affairs will then review the dean’s report and the other grade appeal documentation and endorse the dean’s decision, reject the decision, or modify the decision. The Vice President for Academic Affairs/Vice President for Health Affairs shall then notify the student, the dean, the faculty member, the chair of the appeal committee, the departmental chair, and the appropriate individuals of his/her opinion concerning the appeal.
|In the absence of further appeal, the opinion rendered by the Vice President for Academic Affairs/Vice President for Health Affairs becomes final. The Vice President for Academic Affairs will wait 21 calendar days, at the end of which time e/she will notify the Registrar of the disposition of the student’s grade, if it is to be changed.
||Appeal to the President
||If either the student or faculty member believes that due process* has not been afforded, a written appeal may be made to the President; otherwise, the decision of the Vice President for Academic Affairs/Vice President for Health Affairs is final. Such an appeal, based on denial of due process and specifically identifying the failure of the process, must be initiated in writing within 14 calendar days from the time the dean reports his/her decision to the appropriate individuals.
||* The right to have your concerns reviewed by an impartial third party.
Pre-Finals Week Policy
The following policy will apply only to undergraduate courses taught during the fall and spring semesters.
Activities pursued within the classroom during Pre-Finals Week shall be at the instructor’s discretion within the guidelines set forth in the Academic Calendar policy at East Tennessee State University. Classes will continue to meet at their regularly scheduled time periods during the last week of formal classes. Under no circumstances will this week be used for final examinations. Exceptions shall be made for laboratories. It is recommended that at least some portion of the last week of classes be used as a review period, when appropriate. The scope and duration of such review will be determined by the instructor. Because communication between instructor and student is of utmost importance, faculty will strive to keep the student informed of his/her progress throughout the semester. This process will continue through the last week of classes as much as is possible for the instructor. Faculty will avoid unscheduled tests, quizzes, or other unscheduled work during this final week of class. Exceptions to this, of course, are make-up tests and make-up assignments.
Student Proficiency in English
By the end of the freshman year, every student enrolled at ETSU is expected to have a command of the English language that is commensurate with the quality of speech and writing of educated adults.
Appeal for Readmission Following Suspension
When low grades are related to extenuating circumstances, students may petition to waive the period of suspension.
- The petition must describe the verifiable extenuating circumstances, which may include illness as evidenced by medical documentation; personal problems, such as divorce or serious domestic problems; accidental injury; or other circumstances beyond the student’s control.
- Upon receipt of the written petition, a current academic transcript, and any supporting documents, the office of student affairs will make a preliminary decision about whether extenuating circumstances warrant a formal appeal hearing. If granted, the student will be notified of the time and place of the appeal hearing before representatives of the office of student affairs and the dean’s office of the college of the student’s major. If the request for an appeal hearing is declined, the student may ask the dean of the college in which he or she is majoring to review the decision.
- If grades earned at other regionally accredited institutions during a period of academic suspension from ETSU make a student admissible as a transfer student, the director of undergraduate admissions may admit the student prior to completion of the academic suspension period.
Appeal process and petition available online.
Adding a Course
A course(s) may be added through GoldLink during the first week of classes without special permission, unless the course has reached the established maximum enrollment. To add any class that has reached the enrollment maximum requires a departmental permit. After the first week of classes, students must obtain special permission from the department in order to add any class. After census, the Late Add process begins which requires students to obtain permission from: the instructor of the course, the department chair of the course, the college dean of the student’s major, and the Registrar’s office to add a course(s). Permission during the Late Add process is only granted with extenuating circumstances.
Late Add Form
Dropping a Course
Students may drop classes from their schedule from the start of registration for the term through Census day, please see the academic calendar for Census for your part of term.
Classes dropped prior to Census, as noted on the academic calendar for the part of term in which the class meets, will not appear on the student’s permanent record.
Requests to drop classes can be completed from within GoldLink using Add or Drop Classes under Registration Tools on the Student menu. Classes must be dropped no later than the close of business on Census for the part of term in which the class meets, please see the academic calendar for Census.
Late Drop a Course
After the last day to drop a course with a ‘W’ grade without dean’s permission as noted on the academic calendar for the part of term in which the class meets, students may drop courses only when they can demonstrate verifiable, extenuating circumstances beyond their control, such as illness or accidental injury. Poor performance in a course is not an extenuating circumstance.
Students seeking permission to late drop a course must present a petition to the dean of the college or school in which they were majoring at the beginning of the term. Students who have not yet declared majors will present petitions to the University Advisement Center. If a late drop is approved, the student will receive a grade of W (Withdrawal) or WF (Withdrawn-Failing), to be determined by the dean.
- Students are permitted to enroll in regular university courses as auditors. Registration fees are the same for audit as for credit. Regular attendance is required. Audit enrollment will not be considered part of the minimum credits required for full-time enrollment. Audit enrollment will be counted in determining overloads.
- After the published “Last Day to Add a Course” students may not change their enrollment status in a course from credit to audit or from audit or credit. Instructors may administratively drop auditors for unsatisfactory class attendance.
Classification of Courses by Levels
All courses in the 1000 series are freshman courses, all in the 2000 series are sophomore courses, all in the 3000 series are junior courses, and all in the 4000 series are senior courses. All 4xx7 courses are for undergraduate credit, but may include students who are taking the class for graduate credit under a 5xx7 number. Graduate students shall be required to do specified work over and above that required of undergraduate students in these courses. All in the 5000, 6000, and 7000 series are graduate courses.
To qualify for the Dean’s List an undergraduate student must meet the following criteria for the term:
- Earn no grade below ‘B-’ in any course taken that term.
- Pass a minimum of 12 credits (excluding audits, incompletes, repeats, and pass/fail).
- Achieve a minimum GPA of 3.5000 for the term in applicable courses.
Early Semester Progress Reports
(Midterm grades) are used as an early indicator of academic progress in undergraduate level courses. Early Semester Progress Reports are available to undergraduate students in GoldLink around the 8th week of the fall and spring semesters. If the grades are unsatisfactory, students should use these grades to start conversations with their instructors and their academic advisors, and to seek tutoring and other campus resources to improve their grades.
Grade reports are available through GoldLink to all students who complete registration each term. Academic departments are required to retain grade documentation for a period of one year. Specific student concerns regarding academic records, other than the Grade Appeal process described in the graduate catalog must be addressed within one academic year from the date of posting of grades for the term in question.
How to Compute a GPA
The grade point average (GPA) equals the total of all quality points earned in all courses attempted, divided by the total number of credits attempted.
The grade point average (GPA) is computed as follows:
- Quality Points earned in a course x course credit hours = Quality Points for course
- Sum of quality points for all graded courses = Total quality points
- Total quality points divided by all credit hours attempted = GPA
49 divided by 16 = 3.06
- The following kinds of grades are not included when calculating the GPA:
- The following grades and credits attempted or earned are not included in the GPA:
- remedial and developmental courses
- courses from which the student withdrew in good standing
- courses transferred to ETSU on or after August 1, 2015
- passing grades (P) and credits earned in courses taken on a pass/fail basis
- Although passing grades (P) and credits earned in courses taken on a pass/fail basis are not included in GPA calculations, failing grades (F) and credits attempted in such courses are included.
- ETSU use the following kinds of GPAs for the purposes indicated below:
- Overall GPA (Includes all institutional and articulated transfer coursework, excluding pre-college level courses. Does not include transfer coursework received on or after August 1, 2015.
- required GPA for graduation
- determining graduation honors
- determining term honors
- Overall combined GPA (Includes all institutional and articulated transfer coursework and includes pre-college level courses. Does not include transfer coursework received on or after August 1, 2015.)
- determining suspension and probation
- determining financial aid eligibility
- determining athletic eligibility
- Lottery GPA
ETSU follows prescribed state practices for calculating the GPA needed for continuing eligibility for the Tennessee Lottery Scholarship Program, which includes all courses taken after graduation from high school.
A grade of “I” (incomplete) indicates that a student was passing the course at the end of the semester, but due to circumstances beyond the student’s control, was unable to complete the course requirement. It also indicates that the student has received consent from the instructor to complete the work for which an “I” is assigned. The “I” grade cannot be used to allow a student to do additional work to raise a deficient grade or to repeat a course. An “I” grade must be removed no later than one calendar year from the time the grade is awarded. Time extension requests for removal of “I” grades must be submitted to and approved by the Associate Registrar before the allotted time expires. An “I” grade not removed under the guidelines noted above will be converted to an “F.” When an “I” grade converts to an “F” after one calendar year, the GPA is adjusted retroactively; consequently, a student may be subject to dismissal without a probationary term. A student cannot withdraw from or drop a course after a grade of “I” has been assigned or after one year has elapsed. To remove an “I” grade, the student must complete the work independently and must not register for the course a second time or attend the same course at a later time in order to complete the course requirements.
Repeating a Course
- Students may repeat courses in which the final grade is C+ or lower for the purpose of increasing mastery in the course or raising the grade point average.
- Students may repeat a course in which they earned a grade of B- or higher only with the approval of the chief academic officer.
- ETSU uses repeated courses in calculating the GPA and total credits attempted as follows:
- If a student repeats a course once, ETSU uses only the most recent attempt (excluding I, W, or WF grades) in calculating the GPA.
- If a student repeats a course two or more times, ETSU uses all grades earned in the third and subsequent attempts in calculating the GPA.
- All courses repeated count in credits attempted.
- All courses repeated appear on the academic transcript.
- When a student repeats a course at another institution, ETSU will use its repeat policy to exclude the grade/credit originally earned.
The pass/fail (P/F) grading option allows qualified undergraduate students to explore, in a limited manner, their interests and abilities by receiving a pass or fail grade instead of a regular letter grade in a course. This section describes the P/F grading option available to individual students. The regulations cited here do not apply to the use of non-letter grades in entire courses.
Student Qualifications: Undergraduate students pursuing degrees must have a minimum GPA of 2.5 to take a course on a P/F basis. All ETSU credits plus any credits earned elsewhere and accepted by ETSU for transfer are counted when calculating the GPA for this purpose. There is no GPA requirement for undergraduate students not pursuing degrees. However, if a student later decides to pursue a degree, the GPA requirement then applies.
Courses Excluded and Included: Undergraduate students pursuing degrees may not take general education core courses or courses in the major or minor on a P/F basis. If a student changes majors or minors and a completed P/F course is then in the new major or minor, the student may petition the dean of the college or school offering the newly declared major or minor to have the original letter grade earned substituted for the previously earned P/F grade.
Undergraduate students not pursuing degrees may take any course P/F, to a maximum of 12 semester credit hours. However, courses taken at ETSU and graded P/F which are then brought into a degree program at ETSU are subject to the regulations governing students pursuing a degree.
Registration Process: Undergraduate students pursuing degrees or not pursuing degrees must request the P/F grading option at the time of registration. Students may register for no more than one P/F course in a semester. Registration for the P/F option in a course must be approved by the student’s department or college advisor, who must sign the drop/add form to certify review of qualifications and other applicable limitations.
Students may not request the P/F option for a course that is added after the first week of classes. The regular letter option cannot be changed to P/F, nor can the P/F grading be changed to regular grading after the first five days of the semester.
The instructor will not know the identity of students enrolled on a P/F basis and will record letter grades for all students, which the Office of the Registrar will convert to P/F. P/F courses may be repeated for regular letter grades.
Credit Hour Regulations: Undergraduate students pursuing degrees may count no more than 12 credit hours earned on a P/F basis at ETSU toward graduation. Courses with P/F grades cannot be applied toward a major or minor.
P/F graded courses will be counted as degree credit hours earned. Failing grades (F) are computed in the student’s GPA. Pass grades (P) are not computed in the GPA. P/F grades awarded for departmental challenge exams or other advanced standing examinations are not counted as credit hours earned.
||0 - 29.9
||semester hours earned
||30.0 - 59.9
||semester hours earned
||60.0 - 89.9
||semester hours earned
||90.0 and up
||semester hours earned
Master’s Candidate (MS): A student who has been formally accepted to graduate school for the purpose of pursuing a master’s degree.
Specialist in Education Candidate (SED): A student who has been formally admitted to graduate school and the Clemmer College for the purpose of pursing a specialist degree.
Doctoral Student, Early Stage (DE): A student formally admitted to a doctoral graduate program of study whose major academic endeavor consists of formal coursework directed toward fulfilling requirements for a doctorate.
Doctoral Candidate, Late Stage (DL): A doctoral graduate student who has passed the doctoral qualifying examination and whose principal academic endeavor consists of work toward completion of the doctoral dissertation.
Postdoctoral Student (PD): A student who has an awarded doctoral degree and is engaged in advanced academic study or specialty training beyond the doctoral degree.
Visiting Graduate Student (SPG): A formally enrolled graduate student from another institution whose coursework will be transferred back to the student’s home institution.
Graduate Non-Degree: A post-baccalaureate student who is not pursuing a graduate degree, is not a post-doctoral student, and is enrolled in graduate courses.
Undergraduate Special Student (SPU): A student who is not working toward a degree and is enrolled in undergraduate courses.
Visiting Undergraduate Student (SPU): An undergraduate student who is taking work to transfer to another school.
Students who are removed from university housing for disciplinary reasons or are suspended or expelled from the university are not eligible for a refund of housing fees or university tuition/fees.
International Students and Scholars-Insurance
ETSU adheres to all United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS), Department of Homeland Security, and Department of State regulations in the admission, enrollment, and readmission of all international, non-immigrant applicants.
- Students enrolled pursuant to an F visa must have and maintain medical and hospitalization insurance as a condition of initial and continued enrollment at the institution.
- In addition, the following procedures have been established:
- In the letter of admission, in the I-20, and in the IAP-66, all international, nonimmigrant students will be informed of this requirement, of the extent of coverage required, which may vary slightly from year to year, and of the approximate cost to obtain the coverage.
- All international, nonimmigrant students will be required to enroll in the Student Comprehensive Health Insurance Plan. The only exception to this requirement will be international, nonimmigrant students who have a scholarship that includes the purchase of an insurance policy on their behalf. This policy must meet or exceed the level of coverage provided to participants in the Student Comprehensive Health Insurance Plan.
- Students will be covered for twelve months. Exception to this rule will be made in the case of international students who abandon their F status, by leaving the U.S., by changing to another nonimmigrant status, or by adjusting status to that of an immigrant.
- Students under Practical Training will not be required to purchase the coverage. Students under Practical Training, however, may purchase the coverage during the period of training.
- Once the insurance premium is paid, there will be no refunds.
- Academic Support and Other Student Services
- Orientation: ETSU will provide an orientation program that specifically addresses the particular needs of international students.
- Student Privacy: The Federal Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA) permits institutions to comply with information requests from the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) and its Immigration and Customs Enforcement Bureau (ICE) in order to comply with the requirements of the Student and Exchange Visitor Information System (SEVIS)
Directory Information Procedures
ETSU may release other “directory information. Other “directory information” is defined as: enrollment status, dates of attendance, classification, previous institution(s) attended, awards, honors (includes Dean’s List), degrees conferred (including dates), and sports participation information.
If students prefer not to have these items released, they may fill out a form to prevent disclosure of this data. This form is available at the Office of the Registrar and must be submitted no later than the last day to add a course for the Fall term. A new form for non-disclosure must be completed each academic year. A form submitted the last term a student enrolls will remain in effect until the student re-enrolls.
Other records offices in the university may have other definitions of directory information. Please check the Pharmacy or Medicine web sites for specific information as to their definitions.
Department of Public Safety
The Department of Public Safety is responsible for campus security. The public safety office is located at the main entrance of the campus on University Parkway. The department is open 365 days per year and utilizes public safety officers to patrol campus by automobile and on foot 24 hours per day. A 24-hour dispatch service is also maintained.
Access to Campus
The campus and facilities of ETSU are governed by the East Tennessee State University Board of Trustees (BOT) and are restricted to students, faculty, staff, guests, and invitees of the university, except when part or all of the campus, its buildings or facilities, are open to the general public for a designated time and purpose.
All persons on campus are subject to all rules and regulations of the university and the BOT which are applicable to the conduct of students on campus, and to all applicable federal and state laws and regulations. In addition, all persons who operate motor vehicles on campus agree by such operation to be subject to university and BOT rules, regulations, policies, and procedures on traffic and parking.
All persons on campus must provide adequate identification upon request to appropriate officials and security personnel of the university. Personnel and students of the university who refuse to provide such identification may be subject to disciplinary action, and other persons who refuse to provide such identification will be requested to leave the campus, and if they refuse, may be subject to lawful removal and prosecution.
The Department of Public Safety provides a crime prevention program entitled “Be Alert, Be Aware.” Through this program, students, staff, and faculty are encouraged to report any criminal or suspicious activity and are made aware of the need for each person to be responsible for his/her own security and the security of others. When a person files a complaint or applies for assistance, all pertinent information is obtained and is officially documented in an incident report. All incident reports are maintained on file in the public safety office. Reports are acted upon in a judicious manner consistent with departmental procedure. When criminal incidents occur that require multijurisdictional investigation, all applicable agencies are notified. Public safety officers have a close working relationship with the Johnson City Police Department, the Washington County Sheriff’s Department, federal agencies, and the First Judicial District Drug Task Force. The Federal Bureau of Investigation and the Tennessee Bureau of Investigation receive monthly statistics from the Department of Public Safety concerning crimes on campus.
Police emergencies, fire emergencies, and requests for ambulance service can be reported by telephoning 439-4480 or 911; by using the direct emergency telephones placed across campus; or in person by stopping by the public safety office. Police non-emergencies can be reported by telephoning (423) 439-6900.
Public safety officers are commissioned pursuant to Tennessee Code Annotated, 49-7-118. Commissioned public safety officers have all of the police powers necessary to enforce all state laws as well as rules and regulations of the BOT. They are also certified firemen and are first responders to any on-campus fire emergencies. Public safety officers may exercise their authority on all property or facilities owned, leased, or operated by the BOT and the university including any public roads or rights of way which are contiguous to or within the perimeter of such facilities or property.
The Johnson City Police Department furnishes the Department of Public Safety information concerning all offenses which occur off-campus at fraternity and sorority houses. The Department of Public Safety coordinates with the Johnson City Fire Department concerning all campus fires.
Pedestrian Safety Statement
The Department of Public Safety wishes to remind students and staff that bicycles, skate boards, scooters, and other similar vehicles or toys which are used on campus sidewalks or public through-fares must be operated in such a manner so as not to jeopardize the safety and well-being of pedestrians. The use of bicycles and other specified play vehicles is governed by state law. Violations of applicable statutes constitute a Class C misdemeanor.
Residence Hall Access
Students residing in the residence halls are required to follow the Student Housing Rules, Residence Hall Conduct and Disciplinary Sanctions (Residence Hall Student Handbook).
All residence halls with the exception of Buc Ridge, Buc Village, and Davis Apartments, which have outside doors, are secured 24 hours per day. Access is gained through main entrance doors equipped with a card reader which uses the student’s ID card to unlock the door.
The Department of Public Safety and the Office of Housing and Residence Life operate night patrol each night in the vicinity of the residence hall and residence hall parking lots. These individuals are not police officers but are equipped with two-way radios and have a uniform. Duties include checking for propped doors, checking locked doors, watching for any unusual event, and checking parking lots around the residence halls.
For additional information concerning safety on campus, contact the Department of Public Safety, (423) 439-6900, the Office of Student Affairs, (423) 439-4210, or the Office of Human Resources, (423) 439-4457.
Security and the Maintenance of Campus Facilities
The Department of Public Safety conducts a survey of outdoor lighting several times a year. In the months of July and December buildings on the main campus and university buildings located on Veterans Administration property are surveyed for hazardous conditions. Monthly fire extinguisher inspections are performed in all buildings owned or leased by the university. In addition, public safety officers routinely report all hazardous, unsafe and potentially unsafe conditions found to exist on campus.
Security Information Report
ETSU Annual Security and Fire Safety Report (AS&FSR)
The East Tennessee State University strives to provide a safe and secure environment for the campus community. In order for individuals to make informed decisions about their personal safety, ETSU makes available to current and prospective students and employees the Annual Security and Fire Safety Report. This annual publication includes information on crime reporting procedures, policies, safety tips, prevention programs, and fire and crime statistics for the last three years. The report is available online at The Department of Public Safety website, where it can be downloaded for viewing or printing. Hard copies may also be obtained via US mail at no cost by calling Public Safety at (423) 439-6900, by writing to ETSU Dept. of Public Safety, Box 70646, Johnson City, TN 37614, or by emailing email@example.com.
For additional information concerning safety at ETSU, contact Public Safety, (423) 439-6900, Office of Student Affairs, (423) 439-4210, or Office of Human Resources, (423) 439-4457.
Abandoned Personal Property
All property not otherwise covered by Tennessee Law that is held by East Tennessee State University in its ordinary course of business, and which has remained unclaimed for more than one year, is presumed abandoned. If you have lost personal property on campus, please contact the University Center at 439-4286.
Under Tennessee law, the holder of presumed abandoned property must collect, hold, and maintain such property in protective temporary custody until it is transferred to the State Treasurer. A “holder” includes any person in possession of abandoned or unclaimed property or property that is held in the course of the holder’s business that has remained unclaimed by the owner for more than one year.
East Tennessee State University must file a verified report with the State Treasurer on or before May 1 of each year which lists the presumed abandoned property in its possession since December 31 of the previous year.
If the holder has an address presumed to be accurate and the property is worth $50 or more, the holder must, within 120 days of filing the report with the State Treasurer, send written notice to the apparent owner at his/her last known address, informing him/her that holder is in possession of the property.
Tangible property should be held by the holder while the Treasurer reviews the report for 120 days after the report is received. When the report is filed, any unclaimed funds or intangible property reported must be delivered to the State Treasurer, including all interest and dividends due on the day the property is paid or delivered. Tangible property must be delivered within 120 days following submission of the report unless the holder has received notification to the contrary from the Treasurer.
Once the Treasurer receives the abandoned property, the former holder of such property is relieved of all liability to the extent of the value of the property so delivered. The Treasurer then takes steps to notify the apparent property owners of their possible ownership rights. This property is still presumed abandoned but remains in the protective custody of the Treasurer. Subsequent claims to the property are directed to the Treasurer.
Animals on Campus
This policy applies to animals classified as “pets” and “service animals” but does not apply to animals used for research purposes.
This policy does not apply to the living quarters and support buildings that are assigned to university employees as a part of their employment contract.
Owners of animals permitted on campus are responsible for ensuring that their animal’s wastes are properly removed from the grounds and disposed of in the trash or sanitary sewer. Modifications or exceptions will be made for persons with disabilities who are unable to comply with this requirement.
No pets or animals of any nature shall be permitted in any university facility including residence facilities, provided that, if authorized in writing by the institution, fish in aquariums of a designated size may be allowed.
Requests for the use of animals for educational purposes, other than research or special events, i.e., cat and dog shows, etc., should be requested through the sponsor’s chain-of-authority to the Health and Safety Office.
Wild, except for indigenous populations, or exotic animals are forbidden on campus except by special permission of the Health and Safety Office and the Tennessee Wildlife Resources Agency.
To provide equal opportunity to disabled individuals to obtain employment, education, and services from the university, it is the policy of East Tennessee State University to allow and encourage disabled people to use service animals, subject to the conditions stated below.
The term “service animal” includes any animal that is individually trained to do work or perform tasks for the benefit of an individual with a disability. Typical tasks include guiding people with vision impairments, alerting individuals with hearing impairments, pulling a wheelchair, or retrieving items. A service animal may be a dog, monkey, or other animal.
A service animal is permitted in all classrooms, offices, hallways, dormitories, eating facilities, museums, theaters, sports areas, auditoriums, and other sites on campus, provided that:
- The animal is in a harness or kept on a leash. However, service animals kept in good control by a disabled person need not be in a harness or on a leash when in a disabled student’s own housing facility or at an employee’s own work station. Other exceptions to this policy are made on a case by case basis.
- The animal is adequately controlled so as to present no undue noise or disruption to others.
- The animal creates no danger of infection, transmission of disease, or other health problems to people. (Note: A well-controlled service animal creates no more of a health risk than a person, so it should be allowed in any areas as humans without special clothing or extensive hygiene requirements).
- If a service animal is used by a person living in a university dormitory and an assigned roommate objects to the presence of the animal, the university may reassign either the disabled person or the roommate, at the University’s option, to another room.
The university may, but is not required to, demand that a person desiring to use a service animal on the premises of East Tennessee State University provide reasonable proof that the individual is legally disabled and that the service animal is individually trained to do work or perform tasks for the benefit of an individual with a disability.
The university and university employees or agents assume no responsibility for controlling, keeping, feeding, or otherwise caring for any service animal. The university and its employees assume no legal responsibilities for any injury or damage caused by a service animal.
Job applicants and employees of the university shall not be discriminated against in any aspect of employment because of an individuals use of a service animal in conformance with this policy. Allowing the use of a service animal shall, in most cases, be a reasonable accommodation that allows an applicant or employee to qualify for the job in question. However, if the use of the service animal substantially interferes with the performance of essential job tasks, the accommodation may be re-evaluated.
No employee, agent, representative, student, or other person affiliated with East Tennessee State University shall discriminate against an individual because of the use of a service animal in conformance with the requirements of this policy. No disabled person shall be prevented from entering, remaining, or using facilities of this university because of the use of a service animal, unless such use is not in conformance to the requirements of this policy.
Contact the Health & Safety Office for additional information.
The policy on closing the university due to inclement weather states that ETSU and its branch campuses will normally remain open during bad weather. The president of the university, under extreme conditions, may choose to officially close or suspend selected activities of the university or branch campuses. The decision to close the university or to cancel some or all classes will be made and announced as soon as possible to accommodate students who must commute. An official statement of closing will be broadcast over several area radio and television stations. The Center for Adult, Commuter and Transfer Services hotline may also be called regarding school closings. The hotline number is 439-5641.
Students are to attend classes unless otherwise notified by local media. If a student cannot attend class, the student is to contact the appropriate instructor(s) if possible. If not, the student must contact the instructor(s) immediately upon returning to the campus to negotiate an excused class absence and make up any missed work. If a student is stranded on campus due to inclement weather, facilities are available in university residence halls for an overnight stay. Students should report to the campus security building on the east side of campus.
Students Terminated from University Employment
Part-time university employment provides students with an opportunity to earn extra income while learning about personal responsibility and professionalism in the work place. Consistent with this educational objective, and the university’s commitment to treat people with dignity and respect, students who are employed by ETSU on the Federal Work Study program, Academic Performance Scholarship Program or the Regular Student Work Study Program and are terminated for cause have the right to appeal the decision to the next higher level of authority in the administrative hierarchy.
If the student appeals the decision the following procedures will be observed:
- The student shall be advised of the reasons for their termination.
- The student shall have the right to present a written appeal or to appeal in person to the next higher authority.
- The student shall be advised in writing of the outcome of the appeal.
This policy applies to all East Tennessee State University (ETSU) employees, including faculty, and students in compliance with the provisions of the Drug-Free Workplace Act of 1988 (41 U.S.C. 701, East Tennessee State University. seq.) and the Drug-Free Schools and Communities Act Amendments of 1989 (20 U.S.C. 3171, East Tennessee State University. seq.). Moreover, this policy supersedes the Drug-Free Workplace policy promulgated March 13, 1989.
It is the policy of this university that the unlawful manufacture, distribution, possession, use of alcohol and illicit drugs on the ETSU campus in the workplace (on or off campus), on property owned or controlled by ETSU, or as part of any activity of ETSU is strictly prohibited. All employees and students are subject to applicable federal, state and local laws related to this matter. Additionally, any violation of this policy will result in disciplinary action.
- Legal Sanctions
Various federal, state and local statutes make it unlawful to manufacture, distribute, dispense, deliver, sell or possess with intent to manufacture, distribute, dispense, deliver or sell, controlled substances. The penalty imposed depends upon many factors which include the type and amount of controlled substance involved, the number of prior offenses, if any, whether death or serious bodily injury resulted from the use of such substance, and whether any other crimes were committed in connection with the use of the controlled substance. Possible maximum penalties for a first-time violation include imprisonment for any period of time up to a term of life imprisonment; a fine of up to $4,000,000 if an individual; supervised release; any combination of the above; or all three. These sanctions are doubled when the offense involves either: 1.) distribution or possession at or near a school or college campus or, 2.) distribution to persons under 21 years of age. Repeat offenders may be punished to a greater extent as provided by statute. Further, a civil penalty of up to $10,000 may be assessed for simple possession of “personal use amounts” of certain specified substances under federal law. Under state law, the offense of possession or casual exchange is punishable of a Class A misdemeanor; if there is an exchange between a minor and an adult at least two years the minor’s senior, and the adult knew that the person was a minor, the offense is classified a felony as provided in T.C.A. 39-17-417. (21 U.S.C. 801, East Tennessee State University. seq.; T.C.A. 39-17417)
It is unlawful for any person under the age of twenty-one (21) to buy, possess, transport unless in the course of his employment), or consume alcoholic beverages, wine, or beer. Such offenses are classified as Class A misdemeanors punishable by imprisonment for not more than 11 months, 29 days, or a fine of not more than $2,500, or both. (T.C.A. 1-3-113, 57-5-301) It is further an offense to provide alcoholic beverages to any person under the age of twenty-one (21), such offense being classified as a Class A misdemeanor (T.C.A. 39-15-404). The offense of public intoxication is a Class C misdemeanor punishable by imprisonment of not more than 30 days or a fine of not more than $50, or both. (T.C.A. 39-17-310)
- Institutional/School Sanctions
East Tennessee State University will impose the appropriate sanctions on any employee or student who fails to comply with the terms of this policy.
Possible disciplinary sanctions for failure to comply with the terms of this policy may include one or more of the following depending on the severity of the offense:
- mandatory participation in, and satisfactory completion of a drug/alcohol abuse program, or rehabilitation program;
- referral for prosecution;
- restriction of privileges;
- educational project;
- assessment of volunteer work hours;
- refferal to the University Counseling Center;
- written warning;
- Health Risks Associated with the Use of Illicit Drugs and the Abuse of Alcohol
There are many health risks associated with the use of illicit drugs and the abuse of alcohol including organic damage; impairment of brain activity, digestion, and blood circulation; impairment of physiological processes and mental functioning; and, physical and psychological dependence. Such use during pregnancy may cause spontaneous abortion, various birth defects or fetal alcohol syndrome. Additionally, the illicit use of drugs increases the risk of contracting hepatitis, AIDS and other infections. If used excessively, the use of alcohol or drugs singularly or in certain combinations may cause death.
- Available Drug and Alcohol Counseling, Treatment, Rehabilitation Programs, and Employee Assistance Programs
The university and local community provide a variety of educational programs and services to respond to the problems associated with alcohol and drug abuse. The Substance Abuse Educational Program (SAEP) at East Tennessee State University is designed to serve university students by providing information related to alcohol awareness and chemical dependency. The Counseling Center offers several educational programs which seek to involve university student organizations.
Failure to submit the appropriate documentation could prevent a student from completing the class registration process or could limit the number of credits in which a student is able to enroll. The State of Tennessee requires all students to meet the following immunization requirements:
- All enrolling students will be required to provide health information that, at a minimum, establishes the student’s compliance with rules promulgated by the Tennessee Department of Health regarding requirements for immunization against certain diseases prior to attendance and compliance with the latest standards for immunization for meningococcal disease as set forth by the recommended immunization schedule issued by the Center for Disease Control Advisory Committee on Immunization practices.
- Prior to full-time enrollment, the student must provide documentation of receipt of required immunizations or provide positive quantitative laboratory serology reports.
- New, incoming students who live in on-campus student housing must comply with the latest standards for immunization for meningococcal disease as set forth by the recommended immunization schedule issued by the Center for Disease Control Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices.
- Admission to some programs may have additional requirements.
- Information regarding immunizations will be posted on the Student Health Services website https://www.etsu.edu/nursing/universityhealth/.
Medical and Health Policy
Students are responsible to provide personal medical insurance for themselves in the event of an illness or personal injury while attending the university. Students who do not have coverage under a family insurance policy or who want additional insurance information, please visit the ETSU Student Health Services website.
Campus Smoking and Tobacco Use Policy
Effective August 11, 2008, ETSU is a Tobacco-Free Campus with smoking and all other tobacco usage permitted only in private vehicles. This policy applies to all university buildings/grounds; ETSU-affiliated off-campus locations and clinics; any buildings owned, leased, or rented by ETSU in all other areas; and ETSU facilities located on the campus of the James H. Quillen Veterans Affairs Medical Center at Mountain Home. Tobacco use is also prohibited in all state vehicles. This tobacco-free policy is in effect 24 hours a day year-round.
For purposes of this policy, “tobacco use” means, but is not limited to, the personal use of any tobacco product, whether intended to be lit or not, which shall include smoking tobacco or other substances that are lit and smoked, as well as the use of an electronic cigarette or any other device intended to simulate smoking and the use of smokeless tobacco, including snuff; chewing tobacco; smokeless pouches; any form of loose-leaf, smokeless tobacco; and the use of unlit cigarettes, cigars, and pipe tobacco.
The policy can be viewed at https://www.etsu.edu/humanres/relations/ppp53.php.
The university promotes a healthy, sanitary environment free from tobacco smoke and tobacco-related debris. The ETSU community acknowledges that long-term health hazards may accrue to people who use tobacco products or who are subjected to second-hand smoke. The failure to address the use of tobacco products on campus would constitute a violation of the Americans with Disabilities Act, the Vocational Rehabilitation Act and Tennessee law.
Understanding the addictive nature of tobacco products, ETSU will make every effort to assist those who may wish to stop using tobacco. The university offers current information about available resources via the Smoking Cessation Resources page.
It is the responsibility of all members of the ETSU community to comply with this Tobacco-Free Campus Policy. Violations of the policy will be dealt with in a manner that is consistent with university procedures. There shall be no reprisals against anyone reporting violations of this policy.
- Violations to the tobacco free policy, particularly reoccurring violations, are to be reported to Public Safety, 439-4480.
- Any violator of the policy who refuses to comply or who becomes abusive toward the responsible party will be handled by Public Safety.
- Violations will be forwarded to Human Resources for employee incidents or Student Affairs for student incidents. The individual department will handle the progressive discipline for repeat violators. Visitor violations will be forwarded to Public Safety and contractor violations to the Facilities Office.
Student violators are subject to progressive discipline for repeat violations.
(Revised 2013, Reviewed on 3/16/16)
Personal Information and Records
This policy is intended to provide a process for official communication between East Tennessee State University (ETSU) faculty and staff with students. Faculty and staff are required to use the official ETSU assigned email address to communicate with ETSU students. Students are also required to use the official ETSU assigned email address to communicate with faculty and staff to ensure communication is with the person to whom the email account is assigned.
Email is an integral part of the academic process in which confidential information about ETSU students is often transmitted, including evaluations, grades, and financial information. Faculty, staff, and students must recognize that although there is an expectation of privacy, unencrypted email is not a secure means of transmitting information. While this policy does not prohibit student information from being transmitted by email, caution must be exercised regarding the content of messages.
ETSU provides each student, faculty, and staff member with an official university-assigned email account. All official university communications will be sent to the university email address. Faculty, staff, and students may assume that official ETSU email is a valid communication mechanism. Therefore, the university has the right to send communications to students, faculty, and staff via email and the right to expect that those communications are received and read in a timely fashion. Although students may choose to forward university email to an external email account, he or she is responsible for all information, including attachments.
Approved: Information Technology Governance Council
Reviewed: February 2017
The Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act
The Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA) affords students certain rights with respect to their education records. They are:
- The right to inspect and review the student’s education records within 45 days of the day the university receives a request for access.
Students should submit to the registrar, dean, head of the academic department, or other appropriate official, written requests that identify the record(s) they wish to inspect. The university official will make arrangements for access and notify the student of the time and place where the records may be inspected. If the records are not maintained by the university official to whom the request was submitted, that official shall advise the student of the correct official to whom the request should be addressed.
- The right to request the amendment of the student’s education records that the student believes are inaccurate or misleading.
Students may ask the university to amend a record that they believe is inaccurate or misleading. They should write the university official responsible for the record, clearly identify the part of the record they want changed, and specify why it is inaccurate or misleading. If the university decides not to amend the record as requested by the student, the university will notify the student of the decision and advise the student of his or her right to a hearing regarding the request for amendment. Additional information regarding the hearing procedures will be provided to the student when notified of the right to a hearing.
- The right to consent to disclosures of personally identifiable information contained in the student’s education records, except to the extent that FERPA authorizes disclosure without consent.
One exception which permits disclosure without consent is disclosure to school officials with legitimate educational interests. A school official is a person employed by the university in an administrative, supervisory, academic or research, or support staff position (including law enforcement unit personnel and health staff); a person or company with whom the university has contracted (such as an attorney, auditor, or collection agent); or a student serving on an official committee, such as a disciplinary or grievance committee, or assisting another school official in performing his or her tasks.
A school official has a legitimate interest if the official needs to review an education record in order to fulfill his or her professional responsibility.
Upon request, the university discloses education records, without consent, to officials of another school in which a student seeks or intends to enroll.
Personally identifiable information may also be released without the prior written consent of the student under one or more of the conditions listed below:
- Upon request the university will disclose the final results of any disciplinary proceeding conducted by the university against a student who is an alleged perpetrator of any crime of violence (as that term is defined in section 16 of Title 18, United States Code) or a non-forcible sex offense, if the university determines as a result of disciplinary proceeding that the student committed a violation of the institution’s rules or policies with respect to such crime or offense. The information shall include only the name of the student, the violations committed, and any sanction imposed by the university on the student. The university may include the name of any other student such as a victim or witness, only with the written consent of that student. The university will notify victims of sexual assault of the outcome of any disciplinary proceeding against the alleged perpetrator.
- The university will notify the alleged victim of any crime of violence or non-forcible sex offense) (or if the victim is deceased, as a result of such crime or offense, to the next of kin) of the final results of any institutional disciplinary proceeding conducted against the alleged student perpetrator.
- The right to file a complaint with the U.S. Department of Education concerning alleged failures by East Tennessee State University to comply with the requirements of FERPA. The name and address of the office that administers FERPA is: Family Policy Compliance Office, U.S. Department of Education, 400 Maryland Avenue, SW., Washington, DC 20202-4605
The university will notify a parent or legal guardian of a student who is younger than 21 and is found guilty of a university disciplinary violation governing the use or possession of alcohol or drugs. Notification will occur when the university alcohol or drug offense is in violation of any federal, state, or local law, or of any rule or policy of the institution, except as prohibited by the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA).
Sex Offender Registration
The federal Campus Sex Crimes Prevention Act and the Tennessee College and University Campus Sex Crimes Prevention Act of 2002 require that whenever a sex offender becomes employed, enrolls as a student, or volunteers at an institution of higher education in the state of Tennessee, he or she must complete or update the Tennessee Bureau of Investigation (TBI) sexual offender registration/monitoring form and deliver it to TBI headquarters in Nashville. As defined in section 40-39-102 of the Tennessee Code, a “sexual offender” means a person who is, or has been, convicted in this state of committing a sexual offense or who is, or has been, convicted in another state or another country, or who is or has been convicted in a federal or military court, of committing an act which would have constituted a sexual offense if it had been committed in this state. A “sexual offender” means the commission of acts including but not limited to aggravated and statutory rape, sexual battery, sexual exploitation of a minor, aggravated prostitution, and kidnapping.
Both acts designate certain information concerning a registered sexual offender as public information and therefore amend and supersede the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA) and other federal and state laws that previously prohibited the disclosure of such personal information. Since the laws require the publication of information pertaining to sexual offenders employed, enrolled or volunteering at an educational institution, said publication does not constitute grounds for a grievance or complaint under institutional policies or procedures.
Student Sexual Misconduct Policy
The information in this policy can also be accessed at the following user friendly website: www.etsu.edu/violencefree/
The purpose of the East Tennessee State University (ETSU) sexual misconduct policy is to define the forms of sexual misconduct that violate the standards of our community, to identify resources, and to outline the university’s student conduct/judicial procedures. ETSU complies with Title IX and does not discriminate on the basis of sex in its educational programs and activities. Sexual harassment, including sexual misconduct as defined in this policy, is a form of sex discrimination prohibited by Title IX, 20 U.S.C. §§ 1581 et seq (which prohibits discrimination on the basis of sex in education programs or activities).
ETSU is fully in accord with the belief that educational and employment opportunities should be available to all eligible persons without regard to age, sex, color, race, religion, national origin, disability, veteran status, or sexual orientation/gender identity.
East Tennessee State University has instituted a Discrimination and Harassment - Complaint and Investigation Procedure to outline the process and steps universities’ will take in investigating such cases and ETSU has adopted related polices PPP-30 and PPP-80.
Under this policy, ETSU will take immediate action in all allegations of sexual misconduct to protect the safety of the individuals involved and the safety of the greater campus community. The university encourages anyone who has witnessed or who has information pertaining to a potential violation of the sexual misconduct policy to take an active role in reporting this behavior. All ETSU students are responsible for their actions and behavior, whether the conduct in question occurs on campus or off campus.
For the purposes of this policy, an individual who invokes the university’s investigation and resolution process to determine if the sexual misconduct policy has been violated shall be referred to has the Complainant while any individual(s) or organization(s) alleged to have violated the sexual misconduct policy and against whom a complaint has been brought to the attention of the university will be referred to as the Respondent.
The university community makes the following clear: Bystanders have a positive, moral obligation to take any reasonable and prudent action they can to prevent or stop an act of sexual misconduct from taking place. ETSU is dedicated to maintaining an environment which is safe and supportive of its students and employees where relationships are built on honesty, integrity, and trust. Accordingly, ETSU prohibits any form of sexual misconduct including sexual assault and rape as defined by state law. Actions which result in charges of sexual misconduct, sexual assault, or rape under this policy will be subject to university disciplinary action. They may also subject a student to criminal and/or civil liability under state law.
I. RESOURCES & SUPPORT SERVICES
ETSU offers students involved in an incident of sexual misconduct assistance and non-judgmental support. Complainants of sexual misconduct can expect to be treated with care and respect from the time the institution becomes aware of an incident, through the entire conduct process, and thereafter. The university understands that any party involved in an incident of sexual misconduct will have questions and may need the support of on-campus and/or off-campus services. Any party is encouraged to contact the Counseling Center, Student Affairs Office, or Public Safety for assistance and, in addition, to access the resources below.
ETSU Public Safety: (423) 439-4480
One can request an officer of any gender; Public Safety can also assist in providing 24-hour access to Housing, Student Affairs, & Counseling on-call staff members and they can serve as a point of referral to other police agencies.
Johnson City Police Department: (423) 434-6160 or 911
Johnson City Medical Center (JCMC): (423) 431-6111
JCMC hosts the areas only SANE program. SANE nurses - trained as Sexual Assault Nurse Examiners (SANE) - will oversee the care and direction of sexual assault patients.
Franklin Woods Community Hospital: (423) 302-1000
Campus Resources (8:00 a.m. - 4:30 p.m.)
Senior Special Assistant to the President for Equity and Diversity: (423) 439-4444
Office of the Dean of Students/Division of Student Affairs: (423) 439-4210
Counseling Center: (423) 439-4841
Student Health Services: (423) 439-4225
Resources to Assist in Recognizing the Warning Signs of Abusive Behavior
Center for Disease Control Violence Prevention
The Red Flag Campaign
The National Center on Domestic and Sexual Violence
The Domestic Abuse Project
Gay and Lesbian National Hotline:
National Sexual Assault Hotline:
National Domestic Violence Hotline:
National Center for Complainants of Crime, Stalking Resource Center:
Rape, Abuse and Incest National Network (RAINN)
Online Hotline: www.rainn.org/get-help/national-sexual-assault-online-hotline
“Safe Passage” Domestic Violence Shelter, Johnson City TN 24-Hour Hotline: (423) 926-7233
Non-Emergency Online Resources (Not for emergency reporting, Call 911 in such circumstances)
Click on “ETSU online Incident Report” link below to make an online report, reports that are submitted will be investigated and you will be contacted by the Student Affairs Office and/or Public Safety (reports are NOT immediately reviewed and this capability should not replace calling 911 in an emergency)
Bucs Report It/Silent Witness Form via ETSU Public Safety
If you know of a violation or wish to report a personal experience, you may fill out and submit the online form: https://www.etsu.edu/dps/bucsreportit.php
PLEASE NOTE: Completing this form does NOT constitute a police report nor a student conduct report. If your name and contact information are not provided the report will be treated as an Anonymous Report which is explained later in this policy.
Student Disciplinary Policies commonly called the Student Code of Conduct - Details offenses, hearing procedures, and possible sanctions for violations.
Discrimination and Harassment - Complaint and Investigation Procedure - The governing procedure for investigating complaints of harassment and discrimination.
Related ETSU Policies and Forms:
ETSU PPP-30 (Process for Title VI Filing Internal Complaints) and Complaint Form
ETSU PPP-80 (Discrimination & Harassment -Complaint & Investigation Procedure and Complaint Form
Complainants of sexual misconduct can be assured that all reports will be taken seriously, and that they will be treated with dignity, respect, and in a non-judgmental manner. ETSU provides resources to complainants of sexual misconduct in making decisions, obtaining information about available resources, and assisting if she/he decides to make an official report and/or request resolution. Complainants are not expected or required to pursue a specific course of action. See Section II. REPORTING OPTIONS
Additional Information for Complainants/Dealing With The Aftermath:
University personnel will assist any student who is the complainant of a sex offense in notifying law enforcement, in obtaining medical assistance, and in pursuing counseling. If a student requests a change in her/his academic or on-campus living situation, then the university will accommodate the student’s request if those changes are reasonably available.
All complainants are afforded the following:
- Notification of available on-campus and off-campus resources, including medical assistance, mental health counseling services, law enforcement agencies, and campus conduct options.
- Information on their options to notify and if necessary file a complaint with proper law enforcement authorities (if other than ETSU Public Safety), and the option to be assisted by Public Safety or other university officials in notifying such authorities, if the student so chooses.
- The opportunity to request that the university take steps to prevent unnecessary or unwelcome contact or proximity to a respondent. All requests should be directed to the Office of the Dean of Students/Student Affairs. Such measures may include housing relocation of the complainant or respondent, the imposition of a campus “no contact order” between the parties, and adjustments to course schedules or living arrangements to prevent contact, as determined appropriate by the Office of the Dean of Students/Student Affairs, and information from Public Safety on how to obtain and off campus order of protection.
- Opportunity to report retaliation. Any concerns of retaliatory behavior should be reported immediately to ETSU Public Safety 24 hours a day at 423-439-4480 or by calling 911.
- Investigation and resolution of sexual misconduct: The university is dedicated to upholding its Title IX obligations. Complainants of sexual misconduct are encouraged, but never pressured, to participate in the university’s investigation and hearing process so that the facts of each situation can be explored and responsible parties held accountable for their misconduct, if warranted. Where an allegation of sexual misconduct also appears to raise the possibility of criminal behavior, such as rape or sexual assault, complainants are also encouraged to pursue criminal charges against the respondent.
- When a complainant requests that a hearing not occur, the university will make every reasonable effort to comply with that request. There may be exceptional circumstances when the university determines that the continued threat of a situation warrants a hearing despite the request of a complainant. The complainant will never be required to participate in such a hearing process. Prior to the hearing, the complainant will receive communication from the Office of the Dean of Students/Student Affairs and/or the Title IX Officer to discuss the reasoning for the decision.
- Additional Information for alleged respondents and/or individuals who believe they have committed Sexual Misconduct: Individuals who believe they may have committed sexual misconduct and/or have been alleged to have committed sexual misconduct are treated with dignity, respect, and in a non-judgmental manner. The university provides resources to these individuals to make decisions, obtain information about available resources, and assist if an official report is made.
What To Do If You Have Been Sexually Assaulted
- Get to a safe place, one that is well-lit and where there are other people, preferably people you know and trust.
- Do not bathe, douche, brush your teeth, chew gum, drink, change clothing or even comb your hair before seeking medical attention. It is only natural to want to do so, but you may be destroying physical evidence that could be needed later if you decide to pursue an investigation.
- Call the police as soon as possible to report the assault. If you are on campus call ETSU Public Safety at 911 or 439-4480. If you are off campus and call 911, the local police will respond to your call. By calling the police you are reporting the crime and seeking the protection of the police. Reporting does not mean that you have to prosecute. See the following section for more reporting options.
- If you wish, call a friend, family member or other trusted person to be with you. A counselor from the ETSU Counseling Center can accompany you to the hospital or police station, call 439-4841 during weekday hours, and after hours, the Counselor on Duty can be contacted through Public Safety at 439-4480. The counselor provides confidential emotional support and can also help you consider your reporting options and what to do next.
- Get immediate medical attention. You may have sustained injuries or contracted a sexually transmitted infection; therefore, the sooner you seek medical attention, the better. The Student Health Clinic provides medical care during the hours of 8:00 a.m. - 4:00p.m., Monday - Friday. During non-business hours or for the purpose of evidence collection, the Johnson City Medical Center offers specially trained nurses (Sexual Assault Nurse Examiners) through their emergency room to support you through the medical exam and administer a Physical Evidence Recovery Kit (PERK). Again, collecting the evidence does not mean you need to make any decision to prosecute.
- Seek follow-up counseling. Whether or not you report the assault or prosecute, a trained counselor can help you deal with the emotional trauma of an assault. You may call the ETSU Counseling Center at 439-4841 and ask for an OASIS advocate. All counseling is completely confidential.
OASIS (Outreach & Advocacy: Sexuality Information for Students)
To appropriately address sexual violence, ETSU has developed OASIS, a program housed in the Counseling Center. OASIS provides comprehensive services including:
- Educational and prevention programs, awareness events and print and video resources addressing a variety of topics related to sexual violence and healthy relationships such as consent, bystander intervention, men as allies, women’s empowerment, Take Back the Night and others;
- Sponsorship of Students Against Violence (SAVE), a student organization committed to ending sexual violence on campus and Rape Aggression Defense (RAD) trainings, free self-defense programming;
- Counseling and intervention services for those who have been assaulted or who have concerns regarding sexual violence;
- Referral to off-campus agencies that provide services for persons who have been sexually assaulted;
- Procedures for assisting persons who have been sexually assaulted in obtaining medical and counseling services;
- Procedures for assisting persons who have been sexually assaulted in pursuing criminal or civil action against their assailants;
- Support when persons who have been assaulted wish to pursue campus disciplinary action against the assailants.
II. REPORTING OPTIONS
Statement on Amnesty
The university encourages reporting and seeks to make the procedures for reporting transparent and straightforward. The university will generally not seek to hold any student reporting sexual misconduct accountable for associated non sexual misconduct violations of the Student Disciplinary Rules in which the reporting party may have been involved at or near the time of the event, provided that any such violations did not and do not place the health and safety of any person at risk. This means that students reporting sexual misconduct will generally not face disciplinary action due to associated non sexual misconduct violations (e.g. underage drinking). However, if a reporter is to be held accountable for his/her own misconduct, such violations will be reviewed in conduct proceedings separate from the sexual misconduct proceedings.
ETSU encourages the prompt reporting of sexual misconduct and its prompt resolution through university procedures.
Where the charge of harassment is by one student against another student, the Office of the Dean of Students/Student Affairs, D.P. Culp University Center, will designate a trained investigator(s) to resolve the complaint in accordance with appropriate student procedures.
Other charges not relating to complaints against students should be directed to the Senior Special Assistant to the President for Equity and Diversity, 205 Burgin E. Dossett Hall (423) 439-4444, will designate a trained investigator(s) to resolve the complaint and make recommendations to the president regarding their resolution, following the procedures set forth in this document.
Students, residents, and employees of the College of Medicine may contact the Assistant Dean, Women in Medicine, 003 VA Building 2. The Assistant Dean, Women in Medicine, will designate a trained investigator(s) to resolve the complaint in consultation with the Senior Special Assistant to the President for Equity and Diversity.
All reports of sexual misconduct will be handled in confidence to the extent allowed by law. The information reported will be shared only with those university employees who will assist in the investigation and/or resolution of the complaint.
Despite ETSU’s strong interest in having complainants of sexual misconduct come forward, the university realizes that not every student is prepared to report. If you are a complainant of sexual misconduct but are not ready to inform the university, you are encouraged to contact the ETSU Counseling Center. The Counseling Center is bound by separate laws of confidentiality and will not inform other members of the university of your contact under most circumstances, unless there is an imminent safety concern, or as otherwise required by law. At your request, the counselor will report the incident for inclusion in the annual safety report without relaying any identifying information. In this way, the campus can accurately report the number of sexual assaults which have occurred, while protecting your right to privacy.
ETSU takes sexual violence and misconduct very seriously. An anonymous online form is available for reporting purpose. This form is used to understand the campus climate at ETSU, to gather information regarding incidences of sexual and dating violence of our students on or around the campus, and to help ETSU staff plan a response to violence in our community. If you know of a violation or wish to report a personal experience, you may fill out and submit the online form (Bucs Report It/Silent Witness Form) via Public Safety at https://www.etsu.edu/dps/bucsreportit.php.
PLEASE NOTE: Completing this form does NOT constitute a police report nor a student conduct report. You will NOT be contacted by the university unless you provide your name and contact information
Protection of Rights
The following procedures are intended to protect the rights of the aggrieved party (hereinafter, ‘the Complainant’) as well as the party against whom the harassment complaint is lodged (hereinafter, ‘the Respondent’), as required by state and federal laws. Each complaint will be properly and promptly investigated and, when warranted, appropriate disciplinary action may be taken.
The ETSU Office of University Counsel (hereinafter, Legal Counsel) shall always be consulted prior to investigation. Legal Counsel will be kept informed during the investigation. In situations that require immediate action because of safety or other concerns, the university may take any administrative action which is appropriate. Students may be placed on interim suspension under the appropriate circumstances pending the outcome of the investigation. Legal Counsel will be contacted before any immediate action is taken.
Time Period for Filing a Complaint
Complaints must be brought within 365 days of the last incident. Complaints brought after that period will not be pursued absent extraordinary circumstances. The determination of whether the complaint was timely or whether extraordinary circumstances exist to extend the complaint period must be made in conjunction with Legal Counsel.
Every attempt will be made to obtain a written complaint from the Complainant. The complaint shall include the circumstances giving rise to the complaint, the dates of the alleged occurrences, and names of witnesses, if any. The complaint shall be signed by the Complainant. However, when the Complainant refuses to provide or sign a written complaint, the matter will still be investigated to the extent possible, and appropriate action taken. Complaints made anonymously or by a third party will be investigated to the extent possible.
If the complaint does not rise to the level of harassment, the complaint may be dismissed without further investigation after consultation with Legal Counsel. The Complainant should be informed of other available processes such as the employee grievance/complaint process or a student non-academic complaint process.
III. INVESTIGATING REPORTS OF STUDENT SEXUAL MISCONDUCT
Allegations of sexual harassment or misconduct are investigated under the guidelines of the Guideline P-080, Subject: Discrimination and Harassment - Complaint and Investigation Procedure. The outcome of that investigation is a recommendation to the Office of the President for a finding of student responsibility consistent with the investigation. One possible outcome is the referral of the incident to a campus judicial process.
ETSU is committed to providing all members of the university community with a safe place to live and learn. Consistent with this priority, the university will investigate all allegations of sexual misconduct. Any individual may bring an allegation under the Sexual Misconduct Policy and trigger an investigation of sexual misconduct.
The university’s responsibility to investigate all allegations of sexual misconduct exists regardless of whether that investigation culminates in a hearing exists independently of the criminal justice process. The investigation process will be as thorough, prompt, and impartial as possible.
In every case, an investigation will proceed to the point where a reasonable assessment of the safety of the individual and of the campus community can be made. Thereafter, the investigation may continue depending on a variety of factors, such as the request of the complainant and the risk to the individual or campus community.
In investigating allegations of sexual misconduct, the university will collect information relevant to the report. This includes, but is not limited to, statements and physical evidence.
Initiation of Investigation
Legal Counsel shall be notified of the complaint, whether written or verbal, as soon as possible after it is brought to the attention of the Investigator, and the investigation shall be conducted under the direction of Legal Counsel. All investigatory notes and documents shall be attorney work products. The Investigator shall notify the President that an investigation is being initiated.
When the Respondent is a student, the Office of the Dean of Students/Student Affairs or Associate Dean, Women in Medicine for medical students, will designate a trained investigator(s) to resolve the complaint in compliance with the procedures outlined in this policy. If a finding of a violation is made, any resulting disciplinary action will be undertaken in compliance with the university’s student disciplinary procedures.
When a student is involved as the Complainant, the Respondent, or an individual interviewed, all documentation referring to that student shall be subject to the provisions and protections of the Family Educational Records and Privacy Act (FERPA and Tennessee Code Annotated Section 10-7-504(a)(4), which require that certain student disciplinary records are subject to disclosure pursuant to a public records request.
The first step of an investigation will usually be a preliminary interview by the Department of Public Safety and/or the Office of the Dean of Students/Student Affairs with the reporter of sexual misconduct. If a student does not wish to pursue resolution of any potential violations of the Sexual Misconduct Policy through the hearing process, the university will use the information gathered to evaluate, and if necessary, provide for, the safety of the university campus community. All university investigations will take place in compliance with applicable laws and university policies, including laws and policies pertaining to student privacy and confidentiality
Notification of Complaint
The Investigator(s) shall notify the Respondent in writing within five (5) working days of receipt of the complaint. The Respondent shall respond in writing to the complaint within five (5) working days following the date of receipt of the Investigator’s notification.
If either the Complainant or the Respondent is a student, the Investigator(s) should communicate the prohibition against university disclosure of personally identifiable information with regard to the student, based on FERPA.
An individual reporting sexual misconduct will not face conduct repercussions for associated non sexual misconduct violations (See Section II Statement of Amnesty) and is entitled to protection from retaliation for a report that is made in good faith, even if it is determined that the information was wrong or cannot be proven.
A good-faith complaint that results in a finding of not responsible is not a false or fabricated accusation of sexual misconduct. The university takes the validity of information very seriously. A fabricated accusation of sexual misconduct is an especially serious violation of the Student Disciplinary Rules.
The university will also take appropriate interim measures to protect the parties involved. This can include, but is not limited to, the imposition of No-Contact Orders or Interim Suspension. The Office of the Dean of Students/Student Affairs, or designee, may limit a student or organization’s access to certain university facilities or activities pending resolution of the matter. In other cases, the Office of the Dean of Students/Student Affairs, or designee, may place a student or organization on interim suspension in response to a report of sexual misconduct where that misconduct poses an ongoing risk of harm to the safety or well-being of an individual or members of the campus community. Pending resolution of the situation, the student or organization may be denied access to campus.
A. STUDENT CONDUCT PROCESS
At the conclusion of an investigation, further recommendations may be made. If a student conduct hearing has been recommended as an outcome, the investigator(s) will collect all relevant information for the hearing officer or panel for their consideration and evaluation
ETSU Student Disciplinary Policies fully explain offenses, sanctions, hearing and appeals processes. The resolution of sexual misconduct allegations takes two forms, an administrative hearing or a board hearing.
Further resources, including a listing of the courts and their members may be found on the ETSU Student Conduct website.
University Disciplinary Procedures
There are several options available to a student who was assaulted by another student. In addition to bringing charges against the perpetrator in criminal or civil court, the complainant may seek recourse through the university disciplinary process. Sexual misconduct, battery, or rape, in addition to being a violation of state law, is also is violation of ETSU Student Disciplinary Rules. If a complainant initiates campus disciplinary action, both the complainant and the respondent will be informed of the following:
The Rights of the Complainant and the Respondent
- Both are entitled to the same opportunities to have others present during a hearing.
- Both will be informed of the outcome of any institutional disciplinary hearing brought alleging a sex offense.
During the course of the disciplinary proceeding, all parties have the right to:
- meet with the appropriate judicial officer to discuss the disciplinary process.
- submit a written account of the alleged incident.
- be advised of the date, time, and location of the disciplinary hearing, and to request rescheduling of the hearing for a good cause.
- be accompanied by an advisor of their choosing during the hearing process, although the advisor will not be permitted to speak on their behalf.
- testify as a witness during the hearing.
- decline to testify, with the knowledge that such action could impact the proceedings and/or outcome.
- submit a written impact statement to the hearing panel for consideration during the sanctioning phase of the disciplinary process.
All rights and processes are fully explained in the university catalog, under the Policies and Procedures section.
B. STUDENT CONDUCT OUTCOMES
Consistent with the U.S. Office of Civil Rights directives, the university judicial board or hearing officer will determine whether it is “more likely than not”, based upon the information provided and a preponderance of the evidence, whether or not the respondent is responsible for the alleged violation(s). If it is determined that a violation occurred, the hearing panel or officer will determine sanctions, taking into account past disciplinary action for which the respondent has been found responsible.
Hearing panels or officers that find a student or organization responsible for a violation of the Sexual Misconduct Policy will impose appropriate sanctions as set forth below in the Student Disciplinary Rules. Sanctions may be issued individually, or a combination of sanctions may be imposed. The determination of sanctions is based upon a number of factors, including: the harm suffered by the complainant; any ongoing risk to either the complainant or the community posed by respondent; the impact of the violation on the community, its members, or its property; any previous conduct violations; and any mitigating or aggravating circumstances.
All possible university sanctions are detailed above.
C. STUDENT CONDUCT APPEALS
Judicial outcomes may be appealed by either party within three (3) business days from the time of notification of the decision. The outcome alone is appealable by the complainant. The appeal may be based only on one or more of the following grounds:
Procedures were not followed;
The sanctions imposed were unduly harsh;
New or relevant information, not available at the time of the hearing has arisen.
Appeals must be in writing and submitted to the Office of the Dean of Students/Student Affairs. The appeal shall consist of a plain, concise, and complete written statement expounding on the grounds for the appeal.
The full appeals process is detailed here.
IV. PRIVACY STATEMENT & CONFIDENTIALITY
In any report, investigation, or resolution of an allegation of sexual misconduct, ETSU will preserve the privacy and confidentiality interests of the individuals involved as required by applicable law.
In potentially serious situations, the University reserves the right to notify the parents or guardians of the student as well as appropriate university officials. Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act of 1974 as amended (FERPA) authorizes school officials such as faculty and staff to disclose education records to other school officials who have a legitimate educational interest in those records, without the student’s consent. Disclosure may also be made to appropriate parties where it is necessary to protect the health and safety of the student or other individuals. It is within the University’s discretion to determine what constitutes an emergency, who is the “appropriate” party, and what information is necessary to be disclosed.
If a report of misconduct discloses an immediate threat to the campus community, where timely notice must be given to protect the health or safety of the community, ETSU may not be able to maintain the same level of confidentiality. Immediately threatening circumstances include, but are not limited to, reported incidents of sexual misconduct that include the use of force, a weapon, or other circumstances that represent a serious and ongoing threat to students, faculty, staff, or guests.
Despite ETSU’s strong interest in having complainants of sexual misconduct come forward, the university realizes not every student is prepared to report. If you are a complainant of sexual misconduct but are not ready to inform the university, you are encouraged to contact the ETSU Counseling Center. As health professionals, the staff members of the Counseling Center are bound by separate laws of confidentiality and will not inform other members of the University of your Contact under most circumstances, unless there is an imminent safety concern or as otherwise required by law.
STUDENT RECORDS & CONFIDENTIALITY
All investigations and hearings are conducted in compliance with the requirements of FERPA, the Clery Act, Title IX, and university policy. No information shall be released from such proceedings except as required or permitted by law and university policy.
The general ETSU policy is to obtain consent from a student before releasing information, including a student’s education record such as disciplinary proceedings, to the next of kin. However, when in the judgment of the university the release of such information to parents/family is appropriate and is not otherwise prohibited by FERPA or other applicable laws, the university reserves the right to release information without student consent. ETSU’s complete FERPA policy may be found in the university catalog.
Affirmative findings of responsibility in matters resolved by a campus judicial process are part of a student’s conduct record when a student has been found responsible for violating the Sexual Misconduct Policy.
The retention of student conduct files are governed by the “Student Disciplinary Files and Records Retention Policy” which states:
The following guidelines (in compliance with Clery and ETSU policy) shall determine when files/records are expunged and any related holds removed related to disciplinary cases (this does not apply to financial holds/encumbrances):
- For matters resulting in expulsion or suspension - Retain Permanently
- For Clery Crimes (See List Below*) - Retain for Seven Years from year in which occurred
- All other matters - Retain for One Year after graduation or Four years after date of action (whichever occurs first)
- For matters resulting in a finding of no violation(s) - Until conclusion of disciplinary process
Criminal Homicide broken down by
Murder and Non-negligent Manslaughter
Forcible Sex Offenses (includes rape)
Non-forcible Sex Offenses
Motor Vehicle Theft
Liquor Law Violations
Drug Law Violations
Illegal Weapons Possession
*Indication if any of the crimes was a “hate crime”
ETSU Public Safety annually reports to the ETSU Community any reported incidents of Forcible Sex Offenses (includes rape) and Non-forcible Sex Offenses. That Annual Safety Report also referred to as the Clery Report is available at: http://www.etsu.edu/dps/documents/annual%20report.pdf
No personal identifying information is reported, only annual statistics or numbers are shared.
Appendix A: POLICY DEFINITIONS*
*Definitions are offered as a guide and are subject to change per state or federal law or THEC guidelines.
Sexual Misconduct is the overarching term used by the university to identify the conduct that includes sexual harassment by individuals or organizations that is prohibited by Title IX. For all individuals who are part of the ETSU community, sexually harassing conduct that is sufficiently severe, pervasive, and objectively offensive as to substantially disrupt or undermine a person’s ability to participate in or to receive the benefits, services, or opportunities of the university is prohibited when such conduct substantially interferes with an individuals educational performance, or equal access to the college’s resources and opportunities; or such conduct creates an intimidating, hostile, or abusive educational environment. The university recognizes that anyone can be a complainant or respondent regardless of sex, gender, or gender identification.
This policy is utilized by ETSU to comply with Title IX and to respond promptly to reports of potential sexual harassment violations, including sexual violence. Following are definitions based on university Student Disciplinary Policies, Part 2 Disciplinary Offenses, item (v) Sexual Misconduct, Sexual Battery or Rape: Committing any act of sexual battery or rape as defined by state law; May include any sexual act or penetration which is accompanied by threat, coercion, use of restraint or force, or any sexual act where the respondent knows, or should have known, that the victim was unable or incapable of giving consent.
Sexual Battery: (a)Unlawful sexual contact with a victim by the defendant or the defendant by a victim accompanied by any of the following circumstances: (1) Force or coercion is used to accomplish the act; (2) The sexual contact is accomplished without the consent of the victim and the defendant knows or has reason to know at the time of the contact that the victim did not consent; (3) The defendant knows or has reason to know that the victim is mentally defective, mentally incapacitated or physically helpless; or (4) The sexual contact is accomplished by fraud. (b) As used in this appendix, “coercion” means the threat of kidnapping, extortion, force or violence to be performed immediately or in the future. (Tenn. Code Ann. § 39-13-505)
Rape: Rape is unlawful sexual penetration of a victim by the defendant or of the defendant by a victim accompanied by any of the following circumstances: (1) Force or coercion is used to accomplish the act; (2) The sexual penetration is accomplished without the consent of the victim and the defendant knows or has reason to know at the time of the penetration that the victim did not consent; (3) The defendant knows or has reason to know that the victim is mentally defective, mentally incapacitated or physically helpless; or (4) The sexual penetration is accomplished by fraud. (Tenn. Code Ann. § 39-13-503)
Advisor: A member of the community each party has selected to provide encouragement and support and who may accompany the party to a meeting and/or hearing. An advisor may be a student, faculty, or staff member, a family member, friend, or lawyer. This person cannot speak on behalf of the respondent or complainant during the hearing but is present only to provide advice and support.
Complainant: An individual who invokes the university’s investigation and resolution process to determine if the sexual misconduct policy has been violated and identifies him or herself as a complainant of the alleged misconduct. In some circumstance, the university may assume the role of complainant.
Complicity: Assisting, facilitating, or encouraging the commission of a violation of the sexual misconduct policy.
Consent: An informed decision, freely given, made through mutually understandable words or actions that indicate a willingness to participate in mutually agreed upon sexual activity. Consent cannot be given by an individual who is asleep; unconscious; or mentally or physically incapacitated, either through the effect of drugs or alcohol or for any other reason; or, is under duress, threat, coercion, or force.
Consensual Relationships: Intimate relationships between supervisors and their subordinates and between faculty members and students are strongly discouraged due to the inherent inequality of power in such situations. These relationships could lead to undue favoritism or the perception of undue favoritism, abuse of power, compromised judgment or impaired objectivity. Engaging in a consensual relationship with a student over whom the faculty member has either grading, supervisory, or other evaluative authority (i.e., member of dissertation committee, thesis director, etc.) constitutes a conflict of interest. The faculty member must take steps to remove the conflict by assigning a different supervisor to the student; resigning from the student’s academic committees; or by terminating the relationship at least while the student is in his/her class. Likewise, it is a conflict of interest for a supervisor to engage in a consensual relationship with a subordinate over whom he or she has evaluative or supervisory authority. The supervisor must take action to resolve the conflict of interest by, for example, assigning another individual to supervise and/or evaluate the subordinate.
Cyber-stalking: A particular form of stalking in which electronic media such as the Internet, social networks, blogs, cell phones, texts, or other similar devices or forms of contact are used to pursue, harass, or to make unwelcome contact with another person in an unsolicited fashion. Some examples of cyber-stalking include, but are not limited to, unwelcome or unsolicited emails, instant messages, and messages on on-line bulletin boards. It also includes, but is not limited to, unsolicited communications about a person, their family, friends, or co-workers, or sending or posting unwelcome and unsolicited messages with another username.
Dating Violence: Dating Violence-Violence against a person when the accuser and accused are dating, or who have dated, or who have or had a sexual relationship. “Dating” and “dated” do not include fraternization between two (2) individuals solely in a business or non-romantic social context. Violence includes, but is not necessarily limited to,
(1) inflicting, or attempting to inflict, physical injury on the accuser by other than accidental means,
(2) placing the accuser in fear of physical harm,
(3) physical restraint,
(4) malicious damage to the personal property of the accuser, including inflicting, or attempting to inflict, physical injury on any animal owned, possessed, leased, kept, or held by the accuser; or,
(5) placing a victim in fear of physical harm to any animal owned, possessed, leased, kept, or held by the accuser. TCA 36-3-601(5)(c).
Domestic Violence: Violence against a person when the accuser and accused:
(1) are current or former spouses;
(2) live together or have lived together;
(3) are related by blood or adoption;
(4) are related or were formally related by marriage; or,
(5) are adult or minor children of a person in a relationship described above.
Domestic violence includes, but is not necessarily limited to,
(1) inflicting, or attempting to inflict, physical injury on the accuser by other than accidental means;
(2) placing the accuser in fear of physical harm;
(3) physical restraint;
(4) malicious damage to the personal property of the accuser, including inflicting, or attempting to inflict, physical injury on any animal owned, possessed, leased, kept, or held by the accuser; or,
(5) placing the accuser in fear of physical harm to any animal owned, possessed, leased, kept, or held by the accuser. TCA 36-3-601.
Harassment: Harassment is conduct that is based on a person’s race, color, religion, creed, ethnic or national origin, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity/expression, disability, age (as applicable), status as a covered veteran, genetic information, or any other category protected by federal or state civil rights law, that adversely affects a term or condition of an individuals employment, education, participation in an institution’s activities or living environment: Has the purpose or effect of unreasonably interfering with an individuals employment or academic performance or creating an intimidating, hostile, offensive or abusive environment of the individual; or is used as a basis for or a factor in decisions that tangibly affect that individuals employment, education, participation in an institution’s activities or living environment. Not every act that might be offensive to an individual or a group will be considered harassment.
Impact Statement: A statement written by a complainant in a sexual misconduct hearing that outlines how s/he has been impacted by the events in question. The hearing officer or board reviews impact statements only after an affirmative decision has been made by a hearing panel regarding responsibility for the violation(s) in question. Impact statements can be used in determining the most appropriate sanctions under the circumstances.
Incapacitation: The inability, temporarily or permanently, to give consent, because someone is mentally and/or physically helpless, unconscious, or unaware due to drug or alcohol consumption (voluntarily or involuntarily), or for some other reason. Where alcohol is involved, incapacitation is a state beyond drunkenness or intoxication. Incapacitation means a person does not have the ability to give consent. Some indicators of incapacitation may include, but are not limited to, vomiting, being unconscious, or being unable to communicate for any reason.
Non-Consensual Sexual Contact: Having or attempting to have non-consensual, non-accidental contact of a sexual nature with another person. Sexual contact can include, but is not limited to, touching or kissing another individual.
Parties: A term referring collectively to the complainant and respondent.
Past Sexual History: Any sexual behavior of any individual involved in a sexual misconduct incident. Past sexual history of a complainant or respondent is not relevant in determining responsibility in an incident of alleged misconduct and is not allowed to be discussed except during the sanctioning phase of a student conduct process during the hearing.
Retaliation: Retaliation is prohibited by the university. Retaliation may be defined as the seeking of revenge, reprisal or injury to another who has exercised the right to file a complaint or make a report of sexual or racial harassment, or has participated in an investigation into allegations of sexual or racial harassment. Any retaliation against a person filing a complaint is strictly prohibited regardless of the outcome of the investigation and may, in itself, be grounds for disciplinary action. Title VII also prohibits discrimination (and harassment) of individuals based on color, ethnicity, national origin, and religion. University policy prohibits discrimination based on sexual orientation. Complaints of discrimination on these grounds may be filed with the University EEO/AA Officer and/or pursuant to the university’s grievance and complaint procedures. However, the procedure utilized for these complaints differs from the process used for sexual and racial harassment complaints.
Respondent: Any individual(s) or organization(s) alleged to have violated the sexual misconduct policy and against whom a complaint has been brought to the attention of the university.
Sexual Assault: The non-consensual sexual contact with the accuser by the accused, or the accused by the accuser when force or coercion is used to accomplish the act, the sexual contact is accomplished without consent of the accuser, and the accused knows or has reason to know at the time of the contact that the accuser did not or could not consent. Sexual contact includes, but is not limited to, the intentional touching of the accuser’s, the accused’s, or any other person’s intimate parts, or the intentional touching of the clothing covering the immediate area of the accuser’s, the accused’s, or any other person’s intimate parts, if that intentional touching can be reasonably construed as being for the purpose of sexual arousal or gratification.
Sexual Coercion: See Sexual Battery for definition.
Sexual Exploitation: An act or acts attempted or committed by a person for sexual gratification, financial gain, or advancement through the abuse or exploitation of another person’s sexuality. Examples include observing individuals without consent, non-consensual audio or video taping of sexual activity, unauthorized presentation of recordings of a sexual nature, prostituting another person, allowing others to observe a personal consensual sexual act without the knowledge or consent of all involved parties, and knowingly exposing an individual to a sexually transmittable infection or virus without his or her knowledge.
Sexual Harassment: Unwelcome sexual advances, requests for sexual favors, and other verbal or physical conduct of a sexual nature when one of the following criteria is met: submission to such conduct is made either explicitly or implicitly as a term or condition of the individuals employment or of the individuals status in a program, course, or activity; submission to or rejection of such conduct by an individual is used as a basis for employment decisions, a criterion for evaluation, or a basis for academic or other decisions affecting such individual; such conduct has the purpose or effect of unreasonably interfering with an individuals work performance or educational experience, or creating an intimidating, hostile, or offensive work or educational environment. Whether the alleged conduct constitutes sexual harassment depends upon the record as a whole and the totality of the circumstances, such as the nature of sexual advances in the context within which the alleged incident occurs. Verbal expressions or written material that is relevant and appropriately related to course subject matter or curriculum may not be considered harassment. Sexual harassment and racial harassment have been held to constitute forms of discrimination prohibited by Title VI, Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, as amended, and Title IX of the Educational Amendments of 1972. The University may be held liable pursuant to Title VI or Title VII and/or lose federal funds pursuant to Title IX for failure to properly investigate and remedy claims of sexual or racial harassment.
Stalking: Stalking is a willful course of conduct involving repeated or continuing harassment of another individual that would cause a reasonable person to feel terrorized, frightened, intimidated, threatened, harassed, or molested, and that actually causes the accuser to feel terrorized, frightened, intimidated, threatened, harassed, or molested. Harassment means conduct directed toward the accuser that includes, but is not limited to, repeated or continuing unconsented contact that would cause a reasonable person to suffer emotional distress, and that actually causes the accuser to suffer emotional distress. Harassment does not include constitutionally protected activity or conduct that serves a legitimate purpose. TCA 39-17-315
Student: Any student enrolled at ETSU at the time of the alleged sexual misconduct. For the purposes of this policy, student status begins when a student has accepted an offer for admission to ETSU and ends when the student has graduated, withdrawn, been expelled, or otherwise separated permanently from the university.
Title IX : Title IX refers to the Educational Amendments of 1972 (Title IX), 20 U.S.C. §§1681 et seq., and its implementing regulations, 32 C.F.R. Part 106, which prohibit discrimination on the basis of sex in education programs or activities operated by recipients of federal financial assistance. ETSU is required to comply with Title IX. Sexual harassment of students, which includes acts of sexual misconduct described in this policy, is a form of sex discrimination prohibited by Title IX.
Title IX Officer: A senior administrator at the university appointed by the President to ensure ETSU complies with Title IX who can be contacted by any member of the ETSU community with questions. The ETSU Title IX Officer is:
Michelle Byrd, Interim Equal Employment Compliance Officer
Burgin Dossett Rm 205
Phone: (423) 439-4444 email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Warning Signs of Abusive Behavior - Healthy and Unhealthy Relationships
People in healthy relationships respect each other. They can talk honestly and freely to each other and share power and control over decisions. They trust and support each other and respect each others independence. In contrast, an unhealthy relationship is unbalanced. One partner (a person in the relationship) tries to control the other. The chart below (from the Center for Disease Control and Prevention, Choose Respect Campaign) gives multiple examples:
Equality - Partners share decisions and responsibilities. They discuss roles to make sure they’re fair and equal.
Control - One partner makes all the decisions and tells the other what to do, or tells the other person what to wear or who to spend time with.
Honesty - Partners share their dreams, fears and concerns with each other. They tell each other how they feel and share important information.
Dishonesty - One partner lies to or keeps information from the other. One partner steals from the other.
Physical safety - Partners feel physically safe in the relationship and respect each others space.
Physical abuse - One partner uses force to get his/her way (for example, hitting, slapping, grabbing, shoving).
Respect - Partners treat each other like they want to be treated and accept each others opinions, friends, and interests. They listen to each other.
Disrespect - One partner makes fun of the opinions and interests of the other partner. He or she may destroy something that belongs to the other partner.
Comfort - Partners feel safe with each other and respect each others differences. They realize when they’re wrong and are not afraid to say, “I’m sorry.” Partners can “be themselves” with each other.
Intimidation - One partner tries to control every aspect of the others life. One partner may attempt to keep his or her partner from friends and family or threaten violence or a break-up.
Sexual respectfulness - Partners never force sexual activity or insist on doing something the other isn’t comfortable with.
Sexual abuse - One partner pressures or forces the other into sexual activity against his/her will or without his/her consent.
Independence - Neither partner is dependent upon the other for an identity. Partners maintain friendships outside of the relationship. Either partner has the right to end the relationship.
Dependence - One partner feels that he/she “can’t live without” the other. He/she may threaten to do something drastic if the relationship ends.
Humor - The relationship is enjoyable for both partners. Partners laugh and have fun.
Hostility - One partner may “walk on egg shells” to avoid upsetting the other. Teasing is mean-spirited.
Witness: Any individual who has seen, heard, or otherwise knows or has information about a violation or attempted violation of the sexual misconduct policy.
General Statement on Discrimination and Harassment
All matters involving allegations of impermissible discrimination, harassment (including, but not limited to, sexual violence or misconduct), or retaliation will be governed by the procedures outlined in Student Sexual Misconduct Policy and/or an institutional policy that reflects the requirements of that Guideline. In cases involving alleged sexual assault and/or misconduct, both the accuser and the accused shall be entitled the following:
- a pre-hearing meeting in which rights, procedures, and process are reviewed
- the same opportunity to have others present during a disciplinary proceeding
- to be informed of the outcome of any disciplinary proceeding involving allegations of sexual assault and/or sexual misconduct,
- to be informed at least 2 business days in advance of the judicial board members or hearing officer who will hear a case and of any witnesses who are being called
- that the judicial board members or hearing officer has received sexual assault/misconduct adjudication training
- the accuser will have the same right to appeal (if any) as those afforded the accused
- the accuser will also be notified when the complaint is delivered to the accused
Responding to Hate Crimes and Bias-Related Incidents
Statement of Policy:
East Tennessee State University seeks to provide students, staff and faculty members with a safe and secure learning environment, free of crime and/or violations motivated by discrimination, sexual and other bias-related harassment. ETSU’s Institutional Policy Statement (0240-3-2-.01) specifically addresses student behavioral expectations: University students are citizens of the state, local, and national governments, and of the academic community, and are, therefore, expected to conduct themselves as law-abiding members of each community at all times. Violation of university policy may subject the student to disciplinary action by the institution whether or not such conduct is simultaneously violative of state, local, or national laws.
I. Definition of Terms:
- Hate Crime
Hate crime, as defined by the U.S. Department of Justice, is one which in whole or part is motivated by the offender’s bias toward the targeted person’s status. Hate crimes are intended to hurt and intimidate individuals, because they are perceived to be different with respect to their race, color, religion, national origin, sexual orientation, gender or disability. These acts of hatred can leave lasting emotional impressions upon their targets as well as upon the entire university community. Hate crimes are by definition Bias-Related Incidents.
- Bias-Related Incidents
Bias-related incidents are those that constitute an expression of hostility against the person or property of another because of the targeted person’s race, religion, sexual orientation, ethnicity, national origin, gender, age or disability and yet are not criminal acts. ETSU’s Policy On Sexual, Racial, and Other Harassment defines bias-related incidents “as any person’s conduct which unreasonably interferes with an employee’s or student’s status or performance by creating an intimidating, hostile, or offensive working or educational environment.”
II. University Response:
To report a hate crime or other criminal activity on the ETSU campus:
The Department of Public Safety is open 365 days a year and utilizes Public Safety officers to patrol the campus 24 hours per day. A 24-hour emergency dispatch service is also maintained. Criminal actions, police emergencies, fire emergencies, and requests for ambulance service should be reported by telephoning 911, using the direct emergency telephones placed across campus, or by stopping by the Public Safety Office. Police non-emergencies should be reported by telephoning 439-4480. When a person seeks assistance or files a complaint, all pertinent information is obtained and is documented in an Incident Report. Incident Reports are maintained on file in the public safety office.
Student Conduct and Rights
East Tennessee State University is committed to developing the intellect and ethical behavior of its students. Students found to be in violation of policies on plagiarism, cheating, and/or fabrication will be held accountable for their actions. Any knowledge of academic misconduct should be reported. Students are expected to act with honesty, integrity, and civility in all matters.
By becoming a member of the campus community, students agree to live by the standards of the honor code and thereby pledge the following: “I pledge to act with honesty, integrity, and civility in all matters.”
Honor Code and Pledge as revised and adopted February 16, 2012
Complaint Policy and Procedures for Students
East Tennessee State University is committed to respecting all members of the university community and providing fair treatment regarding complaints by students. The objective of the Student Complaint Policy and Procedure is to ensure that concerns and complaints of undergraduate or graduate students are addressed fairly and are resolved promptly. Complaints usually involve actions affecting students that are alleged to be unjust, inequitable, or create unnecessary hardship. A student may pursue this complaint procedure if he or she believes a problem is not governed by other complaint or appeal procedures at the university. (Refer to Selected Appeal Policies.) The Colleges of Medicine and Pharmacy have their own student complaint policies; complaints should be directed to appropriate personnel as identified by those colleges.
East Tennessee State University seeks to provide students, staff and faculty members with a safe and secure learning environment, free of crime and or violations motivated by discrimination, sexual and other bias-related harassment. There are two important complaint policies not governed by the Student Complaint Policy and Procedure; Sexual, Racial, and Other Harassment and Hate Crimes and Bias-Related Incidents. These types of complaints should be filed with the Chief Equity Compliance Officer or, when a charge is by one student against another student, with the Dean of Students according to the procedures described in those policies. Direct complaints or concerns be made to the Office of Equity and Diversity, 205 Burgin Dossett Hall, (423) 439-4444.
When a concern occurs, the student is encouraged to discuss it with the appropriate faculty member or administrator. Often a resolution or an answer can be attained informally. If an informal approach is neither successful nor advisable, the student should use the Student Complaint Policy and Procedure. The procedure for filing student complaints governed by this policy is as follows:
To submit a complaint, a student must complete the official Student Complaint Form and send it via email attachment, within ten working days of the date of the initiating event, to the chair or director most directly involved (if the complaint is directed against the chair or director, it should be referred to the dean of the college or next level administrator). The chair or director will attempt to determine the validity of the complaint and, in the case of a valid complaint, seek resolution including administrative action. He or she will communicate his or her decision on the Student Complaint Form and make every effort to do so within ten working days from the conclusion of this process.
If a student wishes to appeal the decision made in Step 1, he or she must submit the Student Complaint Appeal Form A and the completed Student Complaint Form via email attachments to the appropriate dean or administrator within ten working days from the date of the decision. Undergraduate students submit the materials to the dean of the college where the issue(s) arose and graduate students submit to the Dean of the School of Graduate Studies. In the case of a complaint involving a director, the student submits materials to the next level administrator.
The student will be invited to discuss the complaint with that individual who will attempt to determine the validity of the complaint and, in the case of a valid complaint, seek resolution, including possible administrative action. He or she will communicate his or her decision on Student Complaint Appeal Form A and make every effort to inform the student within ten working days of the conclusion of the appeal.
If the student believes that he or she has not been afforded due process, the student must submit Student Complaint Appeal Form B together with Student Complaint Appeal Form A and the Student Complaint Form via email attachments to the vice president of the university division in which the complaint occurred within ten working days from the date of the decision. The vice president will make the final determination about the matter and communicate his or her decision on Student Complaint Appeal Form B and make every reasonable effort to submit his or her decision to the student within ten working days from the conclusion of this appeal. The determination will include reasons for the decision and direct a remedy, if any, to the student complaint.
A record of all complaints and their resolution will be documented at each level of the review process by the appropriate administrator. Revised March 2009
Complaint Resolution Policies and Procedures for Non-Tennessee Resident Students in State Authorization Reciprocity Agreement States, commonly known as SARA.
Student complaints relating to consumer protection laws that involve distance learning education offered under the terms and conditions of the State Authorization Reciprocity Agreement (SARA), must first be filed with the institution to seek resolution.
Complainants not satisfied with the outcome of the Institution’s internal process may appeal, within two years of the incident about which the complaint is made, to the Tennessee Higher Education Commission (https://www.tn.gov/thec/bureaus/student-aid-and-compliance/postsecondary-state-authorization/request-for-complaint-review.html).
For purposes of this process, a complaint shall be defined as a formal assertion in writing that the terms of SARA or the laws, standards or regulations incorporated by the SARA Policies and Standards (http://www.nc-sara.org/content/sara-manual) have been violated by the institution operating under the terms of SARA.
For a list of SARA member States, please visit the NC-SARA website (http://nc-sara.org/sara-states-institutions). Students residing in non-SARA states should consult their respective State of residence for further instruction for filing a complaint.
Students or prospective students who wish to file a complaint related to accreditation or regarding violations of state law not resolved at the institution may submit a Student Complaint Form by going on line and filing out the form electronically. Under Tennessee’s open records law, all or parts of complaints will generally be available for review upon request from a member of the public.
ETSU students or prospective students attending the Southwest Virginia Higher Education Center in Abingdon, Virginia who wish to file a complaint related to accreditation or regarding violations of Virginia state law not resolved at ETSU may submit a student complaint to http://www.schev.edu/index/students-and-parents/resources/student-complaints.
ETSU students or prospective students attending the Lenoir-Rhyne University Center for Graduate Studies in Asheville, North Carolina who wish to file a complaint related to accreditation or regarding violations of North Carolina state law not resolved at ETSU may submit a student complaint form to http://www.northcarolina.edu/sites/default/files/documents/student_complaint_form.pdf.
Complaints regarding accreditation should follow the ETSU Complaint Policy and Procedure for Students outlined above.
Complaints regarding accreditation can also be made by contacting the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges, 1866 Southern Lane, Decatur, Georgia
30033-4097, telephone: 404-679-4500 (http://www.sacscoc.org).
State Law Violations
Complaints of Fraud, Waste, or Abuse may be made to ETSU.
The ETSU process for reporting fraud, waste or abuse is available at https://www.etsu.edu/intaudit/report-fwa.php.
Complaints of fraud, waste or abuse may be made by calling the Tennessee Comptroller’s Hotline for Fraud, Waste and Abuse at 1-800-232-5454.
Student Disciplinary Policies
Part 1 Institution Policy Statement
Part 2 Disciplinary Offenses
Part 3 Academic and Classroom Misconduct
Part 4 Disciplinary Sanctions
Part 5 Disciplinary Procedures
INSTITUTION POLICY STATEMENT
- INSTITUTION POLICY STATEMENT
- Students enrolled in postsecondary educational institutions are citizens of their civic communities as well as the academic community. As such they are expected to conduct themselves as law-abiding members of each community at all times. Admission to an institution of postsecondary education carries with it special privileges and imposes special responsibilities apart from those rights and duties enjoyed by non-students. In recognition of the special relationship that exists between the institution and the academic community which it seeks to serve, the ETSU Board of Trustees has authorized the presidents of the institution to take such action as may be necessary to maintain campus conditions and preserve the integrity of the institution and its educational environment.
- Pursuant to this authorization and in fulfillment of its duties to provide a secure and stimulating atmosphere in which individual and academic pursuits may flourish, the University has developed rules, which are intended to govern student conduct. The institution may expand on these regulations, subject to Board approval. Following are East Tennessee State University’s (“ETSU” or “the University”) policies. In addition, students are subject to all federal, state and local laws and ordinances. If a student’s violation of such laws or ordinances also adversely affects the institution’s pursuit of its educational objectives, the institutions may enforce their own regulations regardless of the status or outcome of any external proceedings instituted by other civil or criminal authorities.
- For the purpose of these regulations, a “student” shall mean any person who is admitted and/or registered for study at the University for any academic period. This shall include any period of time following admission and/or registration, but preceding the start of classes for any academic period. It will also include any period which follows the end of an academic period through the last day for registration for the succeeding academic period, and during any period while the student is under suspension from the institution. Finally, “student” shall also include any person subject to a period of suspension or removal from campus as a sanction which results from a finding of a violation of the regulations governing student conduct. Students are responsible for compliance with the Rules of Student Conduct and with similar institutional policies at all times.
- Disciplinary action may be taken against a student for violation of the regulations which occur on institutionally owned, leased or otherwise controlled property, while participating in international or distance learning programs, and off campus, when the conduct impairs, interferes with, or obstructs any institutional activity or the mission, processes, and functions of the institution. Institutions may enforce their own regulations regardless of the status or outcome of any external proceedings instituted in any other forum, including any civil or criminal proceeding.
- These regulations, and related material incorporated herein by reference, are applicable to student organizations as well as individual students. Student organizations are subject to discipline for the conduct and actions of individual members of the organization while acting in their capacity as members of, or while attending or participating in any activity of, the organization.
- Confidentiality of Discipline Process. Subject to the exceptions provided pursuant to the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act of 1974 (FERPA), 20 USC 1232g and/or the Tennessee Open Records Act, TCA § 10-7-504(a)(4), a student’s disciplinary files are considered “educational records” and are confidential within the meaning of those Acts.
- DISCIPLINARY OFFENSES
- Institutional disciplinary measures shall be imposed, through appropriate due process procedures, for conduct which adversely affects the institution’s pursuit of its educational objectives, which violates or shows a disregard for the rights of other members of the academic community, or which endangers property or persons on property owned or controlled by an institution.
- ETSU has adopted the following non-exclusive list providing notice of offenses for which both individuals and organizations may be subject to disciplinary action:
- Conduct Dangerous to Self or Others. Causing physical harm to any person (including oneself); endangering the health or safety of any person (including oneself); engaging in conduct that causes a reasonable person to fear harm to his/her health or safety; or making an oral or written statement that an objectively reasonable person hearing or reading the statement would interpret as a serious expression of an intent to commit an act of unlawful violence to a particular individual or group of individuals.
- Hazing. Hazing, as defined in TCA § 49-7-123(a)(1), means any intentional or reckless act, on or off the property, of any higher education institution by an individual acting alone, or with others, which is directed against any other person(s) that endangers the mental or physical health or safety of that person(s), or which induces or coerces a person(s) to endanger such person(s) mental or physical health or safety. Hazing does not include customary athletic events or similar contests or competitions, and is limited to those actions taken and situations created in connection with initiation into or affiliation with any organization;
- Disorderly Conduct. Any individual or group behavior which is abusive, obscene, lewd, indecent, violent, excessively noisy, disorderly, or which unreasonably disturbs institutional functions, operations, classrooms, other groups or individuals;
- Obstruction of or Interference with institutional activities or facilities. Any intentional interference with or obstruction of any institutional, program, event, or facility including the following:
- Any unauthorized occupancy of institution or institutionally controlled facilities or blockage of access to or from such facilities
- Interference with the right of any institution member or other authorized person to gain access to any activity, program, event or facilities sponsored or controlled by an institution,
- Any obstruction or delay of a campus security officer, public safety officer, police officer, firefighter, EMT, or any official of an institution, or failure to comply with any emergency directive issued by such person in the performance of his or her duty;
- Misuse of or Damage to Property. Any act of misuse, vandalism, malicious or unwarranted damage or destruction, defacing, disfiguring or unauthorized use of property belonging to another including, but not limited to, any personal property, fire alarms, fire equipment, elevators, telephones, institution keys, library materials and/or safety devices;
- Theft, Misappropriation, or Unauthorized Sale of Property;
- Misuse of Documents or Identification Cards. Any forgery, alteration of or unauthorized use of institutional documents, forms, records or identification cards, including the giving of any false information, or withholding of necessary information, in connection with a student’s admission, enrollment or status in the institution;
- Firearms and Other Dangerous Weapons. Any possession of or use of firearms, dangerous weapons of any kind, or replica/toy guns, e.g. BB guns, pellet guns, paintball guns, water guns, cap guns, toy knives or other items that simulate firearms or dangerous weapons;
- Explosives, Fireworks, and Flammable Materials.
- Alcoholic Beverages. The use and/or possession of alcoholic beverages on institution owned or controlled property. This offense includes the violation of any local ordinance, state, or federal law concerning alcoholic beverages, on or off institution owned or controlled property, including but not limited to where an affiliated group or organization has alcoholic beverages present and available for consumption;
- Drugs. The unlawful possession or use of any drug or controlled substance (including, but not limited to, any stimulant, depressant, narcotic or hallucinogenic drug, or marijuana), sale or distribution of any such drug or controlled substance. This offense includes the violation of any local ordinance, state, or federal law concerning the unlawful possession or use of drugs and the misuse of legally prescribed or “over the counter” drugs on or off institution owned or controlled property;
- Drug Paraphernalia. The use or possession of equipment, products or materials that are used or intended for use in manufacturing, growing, using or distributing any drug or controlled substance. This offense includes the violation of any local ordinance, state, or federal law concerning the unlawful possession of drug paraphernalia, on or off institution owned or controlled property;
- Public Intoxication. Appearing on institution owned or controlled property or at an institutional sponsored event while under the influence of a controlled substance or of any other intoxicating substance;
- Gambling. Unlawful gambling in any form;
- Financial Irresponsibility. Failure to meet financial responsibilities to the institution promptly including, but not limited to, knowingly passing a worthless check or money order in payment to the institution or to a member of the institution community acting in an official capacity;
- Unacceptable Conduct in Disciplinary Proceedings. Any conduct at any stage of an institutional disciplinary proceeding or investigation that is contemptuous, disrespectful, threatening, or disorderly, including false complaints, testimony or other evidence, and attempts to influence the impartiality of a member of a judicial body, verbal or physical harassment or intimidation of a judicial board member, complainant, respondent or witness;
- Failure to Cooperate with Institutional Officials. Failure to comply with directions of institutional officials acting in the performance of their duties;
- Violation of General Rules and Regulations. Any violation of the general rules and regulations of the institution as published in an official institutional publication, including the intentional failure to perform any required action or the intentional performance of any prohibited action;
- Attempts, Aiding and Abetting. Any attempt to commit any of the offenses listed under this section or the aiding or abetting of the commission of any of the offenses listed under this section (an attempt to commit an offense is defined as the intention to commit the offense coupled with the taking of some action toward its commission). Being present during the planning or commission of any offense listed under this section will be considered as aiding and abetting. Students who anticipate or observe an offense must remove themselves from the situation and are required to report the offense to the institution;
- Violations of State or Federal Laws. Any violation of state or federal laws or regulations proscribing conduct or establishing offenses, which laws and regulations are incorporated herein by reference;
- Violation of Imposed Disciplinary Sanctions. Intentional or unintentional violation of a disciplinary sanction officially imposed by an institution official or a constituted body of the institution;
- Sexual Battery or Rape. Committing any act of sexual battery or rape as defined by state law; May include any sexual act or penetration which is accompanied by threat, coercion, use of restraint or force, or any sexual act where the respondent knows, or should have known, that the victim was unable or incapable of giving consent.
- Sexual Misconduct. An offense including acts of sexual assault, domestic violence, dating violence and/or stalking as defined in East Tennessee State University’s Student Sexual Misconduct Policy. All matters involving allegations of sexual misconduct will be governed by the procedures set forth in East Tennessee State University’s Student Sexual Misconduct Policy.
- Harassment or Retaliation. Any act by an individual or group against another person or group in violation of ETSU policies, as well as federal and/or state laws prohibiting discrimination, including, but not limited to, East Tennessee State University’s Student Sexual Misconduct Policy.;
- Academic Misconduct. Plagiarism, cheating, fabrication. For purposes of this section the following definitions apply:
- Plagiarism. The adoption or reproduction of ideas, words, statements, images, or works of another person as one’s own without proper attribution,
- Cheating. Using or attempting to use unauthorized materials, information, or aids in any academic exercise or test/examination. The term academic exercise includes all forms of work submitted for credit or hours,
- Fabrication. Unauthorized falsification or invention of any information or citation in an academic exercise.
- Unauthorized Duplication or Possession of Keys. Making, causing to be made or the possession of any key for an institutional facility without proper authorization;
- Litter. Dispersing litter in any form onto the grounds or facilities of the campus;
- Pornography. Public display of literature, films, pictures or other materials which an average person applying contemporary community standards would find, (1) taken as a whole, appeals to the prurient interest, (2) depicts or describes sexual conduct in a patently offensive way, and (3) taken as a whole, lacks serious literary, artistic, political or scientific value;
- Abuse of Computer Resources and Facilities. Misusing and/or abusing campus computer resources including, but not limited to the following:
- Use of another person’s identification to gain access to institutional computer resources,
- Use of institutional computer resources and facilities to violate copyright laws, including, but not limited to, the act of unauthorized distribution of copyrighted materials using institutional information technology systems,
- Unauthorized access to a computer or network file, including but not limited to, altering, using, reading, copying, or deleting the file,
- Unauthorized transfer of a computer or network file,
- Use of computing resources and facilities in a manner that interferes with normal operation of the institutional computing system,
- Use of computing resources and facilities that violate ETSU policy or state or federal law,
- Violation of any published information technology resources policy,
- Unauthorized peer-to-peer file sharing;
- Unauthorized Access to Institutional Facilities and/or Grounds. Any unauthorized access and/or occupancy of institutional facilities and grounds is prohibited, including, but not limited to, gaining access to facilities and grounds that are closed to the public, being present in areas of campus that are open to limited guests only, being present in academic buildings after hours without permission, and being present in buildings when the student has no legitimate reason to be present;
- Providing False Information. Giving any false information to, or withholding necessary information from, any institutional official acting in the performance of his/her duties in connection with a student’s admission, enrollment, or status in the institution;
- Unauthorized Surveillance. Making or causing to be made unauthorized video or photographic images of a person in a location in which that person has a reasonable expectation of privacy, without the prior effective consent of the individual, or in the case of a minor, without the prior effective consent of the minor’s parent or guardian. This includes, but is not limited to, taking video or photographic images in shower/locker rooms, residence hall rooms, and men’s or women’s restrooms, and storing, sharing, and/or distributing of such unauthorized images by any means;
- Tobacco/Smoking Violations. Violation of any institutional smoking or other tobacco use rules or policies.
- Disciplinary action may be taken against a student for violations of the foregoing regulations which occur at or in association with enrollment at the institution governed for any academic period. Each student shall be responsible for his/her conduct from the time of application for admission through the actual awarding of a degree including periods prior to or between semesters. Conduct occurring while a student is registered or enrolled at the institution, but not discovered until after the awarding of a degree is actionable under these provisions and may result in the retroactive application of a disciplinary sanction. Should a student withdraw from the institution with disciplinary action or academic misconduct action pending, the student’s record may be encumbered by the appropriate institutional office until the proceedings have been concluded.
- ACADEMIC AND CLASSROOM MISCONDUCT
- The instructor has the primary responsibility for maintenance of academic integrity and controlling classroom behavior, and can order the temporary removal or exclusion from the classroom of any student engaged in disruptive conduct or conduct that violates the general rules and regulations of the institution for each class session during which the conduct occurs. Extended or permanent exclusion from the classroom, beyond the session in which the conduct occurred, or further disciplinary action can be effected only through appropriate procedures of the institution.
- Plagiarism, cheating, and other forms of academic dishonesty are prohibited. Students guilty of academic misconduct, either directly or indirectly, through participation or assistance, are immediately responsible to the instructor of the class. In addition to other possible disciplinary sanctions which may be imposed through the university’s academic misconduct policy as a result of academic misconduct, the instructor has the authority to assign an “F” or a zero (“0”) for the exercise or examination, or to assign an “F” in the course.
- Students may appeal a grade assignment associated with a finding of academic misconduct, as distinct from a student disciplinary sanction, through the university’s academic misconduct procedure. Courses may not be dropped pending the final resolution of an allegation of academic misconduct. (See Part 5 Disciplinary Procedures, Paragraph F. Academic Misconduct Procedures).
- Disruptive behavior in the classroom may be defined as, but not limited to, behavior that obstructs or disrupts the learning environment (e.g., offensive language, harassment of students and professors, repeated outbursts from a student which disrupt the flow of instruction or prevent concentration on the subject taught, failure to cooperate in maintaining classroom decorum, etc.), text messaging, and the continued use of any electronic or other noise or light emitting device which disturbs others (e.g., disturbing noises from cell phones, lap-top computers, tablets, games, headphones, earbuds, etc.).
- Class attendance and punctuality requirements are established by the faculty in the printed syllabus for each course. Students are expected to attend classes regularly and on time and are responsible for giving explanations/rationale for absences and lateness directly to the faculty member for each course in which they are enrolled. In cases where student absences are the result of emergency circumstances (e.g., death in the family, a student’s serious injury or incapacitating illness), for which students are unable to make immediate contact with faculty, the student may contact the Office of Student Affairs for assistance in providing such immediate notification to faculty. However, the student remains responsible for verifying the emergency circumstances to faculty and for discussing arrangements with faculty for completion of coursework requirements. Both give guidance and clarification to both students and faculty on matters of classroom conduct and attendance requirements.
- DISCIPLINARY SANCTIONS
- Upon a determination that a student or student organization has violated any of the disciplinary offenses set forth in these regulations, institutional disciplinary policies, or the general policies of the institution, disciplinary sanctions may be imposed, either singly or in combination, by the appropriate institution officials.
- Definition of Sanctions:
- Restitution. Restitution may be required in situations which involve destruction, damage, or loss of property, or unreimbursed medical expenses resulting from physical injury. When restitution is required, the student or student organization is obligated by the appropriate judicial authority to compensate a party or parties for a loss suffered as a result of disciplinary violation(s). Any such payment in restitution shall be limited to actual cost of repair, replacement or financial loss;
- Warning. The appropriate institutional official may notify the student or student organization that continuation or repetition of specified conduct may be cause for other disciplinary action;
- Reprimand. A written or verbal reprimand or censure may be given to any student or student organization whose conduct violates any part of these regulations and provides notice that any further violation(s) may result in more serious penalties;
- Service to the Institution or Community. A student, or student organization, may be required to donate a specified number of service hours to the institution performing reasonable tasks for an appropriate institution office, official(s), or the local community. The service required shall be commensurate to the offense (e.g., service for maintenance staff for defacing institutional property);
- Specified Educational/Counseling Program. A student or student organization may be required to participate in specified educational or counseling program(s) relevant to the offense, or to prepare a project or report concerning a relevant topic. This may include but is not limited to a mandated visit to the University Counseling Center for an initial evaluation and documented follow through on any prescribed treatment program;
- Apology. A student or student organization may be required to apologize to an affected party, either verbally or in writing, for the behavior related to a disciplinary offense;
- Fines. Penalties in the form of fines may be imposed against a student or student organization whenever the appropriate institutional authority deems appropriate. The sanction of fines may be imposed in addition to other forms of disciplinary sanctions. Failure to pay fines may result in further disciplinary action. All funds from fines for violation of university drug and/or alcohol policies will be used to support the university’s alcohol and drug education and awareness programs.
- Restriction. A restriction upon a student’s or student organization’s privileges for a period of time may be imposed. This restriction may include, for example, denial of the ability to represent the institution at any event, ability to participate in institution sponsored travel, use of facilities, parking privileges, participation in extracurricular activities or restriction of organizational privileges;
- Probation. Continued enrollment of a student or recognition of a student organization on probation may be conditioned upon adherence to these regulations. Any student or organization placed on probation will be notified in writing of the terms and length of the probation. Probation may include restrictions upon extracurricular activities, or any other appropriate special condition(s). Any conduct in further violation of these regulations while on probationary status or the failure to comply with the terms of the probationary period may result in the imposition of further disciplinary action;
- Suspension. Suspension is the separation of a student or student organization from the institution for a specified period of time. Suspension may be accompanied by special conditions for readmission or recognition;
- Expulsion. Expulsion entails a permanent separation from the institution. The imposition of this sanction is a permanent bar to the student’s admission, or a student organization’s recognition to the institution. A student or organization that has been expelled may not enter institution property or facilities without obtaining prior approval from an appropriate campus official with knowledge of the expulsion directive;
- Delay and/or Denial of Degree Award. During the period disciplinary charges are pending against a student, the university may deny and/or delay issuance of a degree. Further, the university may refuse to issue a degree to a student who is serving a suspension or has been expelled from the university;
- Revocation of Admission, Degree, or Credential;
- Housing Probation. Continued residence in campus or student housing may be conditioned upon adherence to these regulations as well as institutional housing regulations. Any resident placed on housing probation will be notified in writing of the terms and length of the probation. Probation may include restrictions upon the activities of the resident, including any other appropriate special condition(s);
- Housing Suspension and Forfeiture. A resident suspended from housing may not reside, visit, or make any use whatsoever of a housing facility or participate in any housing activity during the period for which the sanction is in effect. A suspended resident shall be required to forfeit housing fees (including any unused portion thereof and the Housing Deposit). A suspended resident must vacate the housing unit. Housing suspension shall remain a part of the student resident’s disciplinary record.
- Any alternate sanction deemed necessary and appropriate to address the misconduct at issue;
- Interim Suspension. As a general rule, the status of a student or student organization accused of violation of these regulations should not be altered until a final determination has been made in regard to the charges. However, interim suspension, pending the completion of disciplinary procedures, may be imposed upon a finding by the appropriate institutional official that the continued presence of the accused on campus constitutes an immediate threat to the physical safety and well-being of the accused, any other member of the institution its guests, property, or substantial disruption of classroom or other campus activities. In any case of interim suspension, the student, or student organization, shall be given an opportunity at the time of the decision, or as soon thereafter as reasonably possible, to contest the suspension.
- Student Organization Suspension. In the event that a student organization is suspended from the University, the organization may not, during the term of the suspension, engage in or sponsor any activity or program, and may not hold meetings nor recruit members; engage in social functions of any type; use university buildings, facilities, property, and equipment; use university resources, services, or funds; participate or attempt to participate as an organization in any University event; or co-sponsor or participate as an organization in another registered/recognized organization’s activities. Suspension may be accompanied by special conditions for readmission or recognition.
- The president of East Tennessee State University is authorized, at his or her discretion, to intervene in order to negotiate a mutually acceptable resolution to any disciplinary proceeding, or, subsequently, to convert any sanction imposed to a lesser sanction, or to rescind any previous sanction, in appropriate cases.
- DISCIPLINARY PROCEDURES
- General: In the implementation of regulations pertaining to discipline and conduct of students, the University shall insure the constitutional rights of students by affording a system of constitutionally and legally sound procedures which provide the protection of due process of law. In furtherance of this mandate, East Tennessee State University has established the following policies setting forth the disciplinary procedures for the institution.
- UAPA: All cases which may result in: (a) suspension or expulsion of a student, or student organization, from the institution, for disciplinary reasons or (b) revocation of registration of a student organization, are subject to the contested case provisions of the Tennessee Uniform Administrative Procedures Act (UAPA), TCA § 9-8-01 et seq., and shall be processed in accord with the Uniform Contested Case procedures unless the student or organization, after receiving written notice, waives those procedures and elects to have the case disposed of in accord with institutional procedures or waives all right to contest the case under any procedure. These procedures shall be described in the institution’s policy.
- Institutional Procedures: For matters not subject to the requirements of UAPA, or matters in which a student has waived his/her right to a UAPA hearing, East Tennessee State University has established the following procedures to address complaints of student or student organization misconduct.
- Determination of Procedure to be Used
- A disciplinary case involving violations of university regulations or infringements upon student rights may be reviewed under Institutional Administrative Procedures or may be referred to the appropriate judicial board for review under Institutional Judicial Procedures, as determined by the appropriate university official.
- The university official who shall determine who shall hear a case and whether an alleged violation of university regulations shall be processed under the Institutional Administrative Procedures or the Institutional Judicial Procedures is as follows:
- The Director of Housing or designee, where the alleged violation is of the regulations of the Residence Hall Association (RHA).
- The Associate Dean of Students or designee, where the alleged violation of university regulations are other than those of the RHA.
- Determinations of which procedures shall be utilized for processing an alleged violation of university regulations shall be at the discretion of the appropriate university official; provided, however, the relationship between the hearing officer and the accused student must be one which is free from duress or coercion, and is a relationship which is objective and conducive to the purpose of an administrative hearing.
- If a student chooses to admit to a violation of law or university regulations, the student may request that the sanction be imposed by the appropriate university official. At this hearing, the student may present witnesses and other evidence relevant to the offense that may mitigate the disciplinary sanction in the student’s favor.
- Description of Institutional Administrative Procedures
- The university official hearing each case, in cases held under Institutional Administrative Procedures, shall be as follows:
- The Director of Housing, Associate Director of Housing, Area Coordinators, or Apartment Managers, or designee where the alleged violation is of the Residence Hall Association (RHA).
- The Dean of Students or designee where the alleged violation is of university regulations other than those of the RHA.
- Due process procedures shall be observed in all administrative hearings under Institutional Administrative Procedures.
- Appeals Under Institutional Administrative Procedures (See Part V Disciplinary Procedures, Paragraph C. Institutional Procedures, Subpart 4. Appeals)
- Cases heard by the Director of Housing or designee may be appealed to the Dean of Students or designee.
- Cases heard by the Dean of Students or designee may be appealed to the Vice President for Student Affairs or designee.
- Description of Institutional Judicial Procedures
- Purpose of the Judiciary. The purpose of Institutional Judicial Procedures shall be to provide fair and just treatment in cases involving either violation of university regulations or infringements upon students’ rights, and to take appropriate measures for those found guilty.
- Due process procedures shall be observed in all hearings under Institutional Judicial Procedures
- Components of the Judiciary. The Judiciary of East Tennessee State University shall consist of the following components:
- The University Judicial Committee shall be the highest court authorized by the university president.
- The Student Court shall be the next highest court within the student judicial system.
- The Residence Hall Association (RHA), Inter-Fraternity Council (IFC), Panhellenic Council (PC), and the Pan-Hellenic Council (PHC) Judicial Boards shall each be lower courts within the student judicial system.
- All cases may be appealed by the student or organization in question to the next higher judicial authority in accordance with the Appeal Procedures provided below.
- Appeals for decisions of the University Judicial Board will be reviewed by the Vice President for Student Affairs. The decision of the Vice President for Student Affairs is final.
- Appeal Procedures
- If the accused desires to appeal, a statement of reasons for appealing must be forwarded to the Dean of Students (or designated college official for academic misconduct cases). This statement must be filed within three (3) days following receipt by the accused of a copy of the decision being appealed.
- The statement of reasons for appeal will be forwarded to the appropriate appeal board or officer, which will have 15 business days to review the case and render a decision.
- Appeals are not new disciplinary hearings; they are a review of the existing case. It is not the function of the appeals process to permit a rehearing of the factual issues presented to the adjudicating body, but rather to ensure that the disciplinary procedures have been implemented fairly and consistently with these rules.
- Grounds for Appeal. The appeal must specify grounds which would justify consideration. The written appeal must contain the substantive proof upon which the appellant is basing the appeal. Appeals that do not include the specific information that substantiates the appeal will be immediately denied. General dissatisfaction with the outcome of the decision shall not be accorded as a basis for consideration of an appeal. An appeal may be filed based on one of the following conditions:
- an error in procedural due process by the body of original jurisdiction which prejudiced the disciplined student to the extent that he/she was denied a fundamentally fair hearing as a result of the error; or
- the emergence of new evidence which could not have been previously discovered by the exercise of due diligence and which, had it been presented at the initial hearing, would have substantially affected the original decision of the adjudicating body; or
- the respondent feels that the assigned sanctions are unduly harsh.
- Appeals which do not allege sufficient grounds shall be denied consideration and dismissed. Appeals which do allege sufficient grounds will be accepted for consideration and forwarded to the appellate body. The appellate body may, at its own discretion, permit written or oral statements from the concerned parties at the time the appeal is considered.
- The appeal board or officer, upon reviewing the case, will have several options. The original decision may be affirmed or reversed. In cases where the original action is inappropriate as a result of issues involved in the appeal, the appeal board or officer may revert the case back to the original board or hearing officer, modify the original action, or hold a completely new hearing
- The appeal board or officer will notify the accused of the outcome of the appeal in writing within fifteen (15) business days.
- Special Provisions Applicable to Both Institutional Administrative Procedures and Institutional Judicial Procedures
- Failure to Appear. If the accused student fails to appear at the scheduled hearing or provide adequate notice of excuse, the hearing officer or court may:
- Reset a formal hearing of the case for the next scheduled meeting.
- Dispose of the case in whatever manner it deems just based upon available information
- Institutional Judicial Hearings: Composition and Selection of the Courts.
- The composition of the University Judiciary Courts shall be as follows:
- The University Judicial Committee shall be composed of the Assistant Dean of Students or designee, President of the Student Government Association (SGA) or designee, Chief Justice of SGA, an Associate Justice, and three of the faculty members appointed to serve by the Vice President for Student Affairs. Alternates may be appointed. Members are appointed to renewable one year terms. Quorum is 2/3 of the composition of the court. Each member shall have (1) vote. Members may continue to serve until such time as their replacements are appointed or elected and receive all required training.
- The Student Court shall be composed of a Chief Justice and seven (7) Associate Justices, one of whom shall be designated to serve as the alternate Chief Justice. Alternates may be appointed. Each member shall be appointed by the SGA president and confirmed by a majority of the Student Senate present and voting. Members are appointed to renewable one year terms. Quorum is 2/3 of the composition of the court. Each justice shall have (1) vote, with the Chief Justice voting only to break a tie. Alternate Justices may be appointed. Members may continue to serve until such time as their replacements are appointed or elected and receive all required training.
- The Residence Hall Association Judicial Board shall be composed of five members appointed by the Director of Housing after being confirmed by a majority of the Residence Hall Association present and voting. Alternates may be appointed. Members are appointed to renewable one year terms. At least three members must be present to have quorum. Each member shall have (1) vote. Alternate Justices may be appointed. Members may continue to serve until such time as their replacements are appointed or elected and receive all required training.
- The Inter-Fraternity Council Judicial Board shall be composed of one representative from each member organization. The Executive Vice-President of IFC shall chair the Committee. Members are appointed to renewable one year terms. Alternates may be appointed. Quorum is 2/3 of the composition of the court. Each member shall have (1) vote, with the Chair voting only to break a tie.
- The Panhellenic Council (PC) Judicial Board shall be composed of one representative from each member organization. The Executive Vice-President of the PC shall chair the Committee. The Vice-President for Internal Communication shall serve as Vice-Chair. Members are appointed to renewable one year terms. Alternates may be appointed. Quorum is 2/3 of the composition of the court. Each member shall have (1) vote.
- The Pan-Hellenic Council (PHC) Judiciary Committee shall be composed of the president from each member organization. The Vice-President of the PHC shall chair the Committee. Members are appointed to renewable one year terms. Alternates may be appointed. Quorum is 2/3 of the composition of the court. Each member shall have (1) vote, with the Chair voting only to break a tie.
- Board members will receive annual training on the student conduct system process, due process, and the hearing of cases. Additionally Student Court and University Judicial Committee members will receive specialized annual training related to hearing Sexual Misconduct cases.
- Powers and Limitations. The relative powers of the components of the Judiciary are as follows:
- The University Judicial Committee shall exercise the highest judicial authority on campus, next to that of the Vice President for Student Affairs and the University President or his/her designee. This committee’s authority shall include the right to suspend or expel a student.
- The next highest judicial authority shall be vested in the Student Court. All sanctions, with the exception of suspension and expulsion, are available to the Student Court. The Student Court shall have the power to request any member of the student body, a representative from any campus organization, or any faculty member or administrator to appear before the court, provided that the subpoena/request is issued in writing at least five (5) days prior to the appearance.
- The Residence Hall Association, the Inter-Fraternity, Panhellenic, and the Pan-Hellenic Judicial Boards shall provide, through their respective constitutions, the powers and limitations of their respective judicial boards, all of which shall be subordinate to the Student Court
- Operation of the Courts. All cases that enter the University Judiciary shall be administered through the appropriate channel:
- Any member of the university community may file a complaint against any student for misconduct. Complaints shall be submitted in writing and directed to the Dean of Students. A complaint should be submitted as soon as possible after the event takes place, preferably within ten (10) days of the alleged misconduct.
- Violations of official university regulations other than regulations of the RHA, IFC, the PC’s, or General Policies on Student Organizations shall be reported directly to the Dean of Students, who shall either direct that the case be reviewed under the Institutional Administrative Procedures or referred to the appropriate judicial board.
- Violations of the internal standards of the RHA, the IFC, or PC’s shall be reported to the authorities designated in their respective constitutions. Violations of General Policies on Student Organizations shall be reported to the Director of Student Activities.
- The RHA authorities shall report the case to the Housing office, where the Director of Housing or designee shall either direct that the case be reviewed under the Institutional Administrative Procedures or referred to the Residence Hall Judicial Board.
- The IFC, PC, and PHC authorities shall report the case to the Director of Student Activities who shall refer the case to the Dean of Students who will either direct that the case be reviewed under the Institutional Administrative Procedures or referred to the Inter-Fraternity Judicial Board, the Panhellenic Judicial Board, or the Pan-Hellenic Judicial Committee.
- Violations of the Student Government Constitution or Code of Laws shall be reported to the Student Government Vice President, who shall refer the case to the Dean of Students. The Dean of Students shall direct that the case be heard by the Student Court.
- All judicial decisions must be reported in writing to the Dean of Students within two (2) class days from such time as the decision has been reached.
- Due process procedures shall be observed in all hearings under Institutional Judicial Procedures.
- The circumstances surrounding all cases handled by the University Judiciary shall be confidential
- The official records of all cases shall be maintained by the Student Affairs office.
- All official correspondence concerning the decision of a judicial board, court, or committee shall be by the Dean of Students or designee, except in cases involving interpretation of the Student Government Constitution or Code of Laws. The Chief Justice of the Student Court shall make written report of the decision and the circumstances surrounding it, taking care to exclude any information of a personal nature, to the Attorney General of the SGA.
- All hearings by the judicial boards, court, or committee shall be held in closed session unless otherwise requested by the defendant.
- All subsequent meetings concerning readmission of students or reinstatement of organizational charters shall be initiated through the Dean of Students Office or designee.
- Jurisdiction of the Courts
- Each judicial board or court may serve as a court of original jurisdiction
- The University Judicial Committee shall hear those cases involving a student who is accused of violating general university regulations, and if found guilty, may be subject to suspension or expulsion from the institution, who have waived their right to a hearing pursuant to UAPA procedures. The Committee shall also hear other cases deemed appropriate by the Dean of Students.
- The Student Court shall have original jurisdiction in those cases involving alleged violations of general university regulations which do not warrant suspension or expulsion. The Student Court shall also hear those cases involving alleged violations of the Student Government Constitution or Code of Laws, and any other cases deemed appropriate by the Dean of Students.
- The Residence Hall Judicial Board shall have the original jurisdiction in cases involving violation of Housing regulations, standards established by its constitution, and any other cases referred to it by the Director of Housing.
- The IFC, the PC, or PHC Judicial Boards shall have the original jurisdiction only in cases involving violations of regulations specified in their own Constitution and By-Laws.
- Minimum Requirements of Due Process for Institutional Hearings: Students subject to any disciplinary sanction are entitled to a due process hearing unless that right is waived by the student after receiving written notice of the available procedures. For matters not subject to the requirements of UAPA, or matters in which a student has waived his/her right to a UAPA, East Tennessee State University has established the following guidelines and rights to address complaints of student or student organization misconduct.
- Hearing Guidelines
- At least seventy-two (72) hours prior to the hearing the accused student is entitled to written notification of the time, date, and place of the hearing and of his rights as outlined below.
- At least seventy-two (72) hours prior to the hearing the accused student is entitled to a written statement of the charges in sufficient detail as to enable the student to prepare a case, including how the alleged violation came to the attention of the university.
- All administrative hearings and hearings of judicial bodies will be closed, except to the accused, his/her advisor, the complainant, his/her advisor, the members of the appropriate judicial board/committee, or individual administrator assigned to the case. Witnesses may also appear upon request of the members of the appropriate judicial board/committee, or individual administrator assigned to the case, the accused, or the complainant.
- In hearings involving more than one accused student, the chairperson of the judicial body or individual administrator assigned to the case, in his or her discretion, may permit the hearings concerning each student to be conducted separately
- In cases heard by a judicial board, the accused student or complainant may challenge the ability of a judicial member to render an impartial judgment and may request the member’s removal at that time. The judicial board will rule on the request. If any members of a judicial board feel that their relationship with either the case or the individuals involved would affect their ability to render an impartial judgment, they may disqualify themselves
- The complainant and the accused have the right to be assisted by any advisor they choose, at their own expense. The advisor may be an attorney. The accused is responsible for presenting his or her own case and advisors are not permitted to speak or to participate directly in any hearing before a judicial body.
- The university, the accused, the complainant and the judicial body shall all have the privilege of presenting witnesses, subject to the right of questioning by the judicial body.
- Pertinent records, exhibits and written statements may be accepted as evidence for consideration by a judicial body at the discretion of the chairperson
- The accused student and the complainant are entitled to ask questions of the hearing officer, of the judicial board, and of any witnesses called before the administrative or judicial hearing.
- Hearings shall proceed in the following order:
- Reading of the charges
- The student’s denial or admission of the charges
- Presentation of evidence by the university and questions by the student charged and/or the hearing body
- Presentation of evidence by the student charged and questions by the university and/or the hearing body, and
- Closing statement by both parties
- After the hearing, the judicial body shall determine (by majority vote if the judicial body consists of more than one person) whether the student has violated each section of the Student Code of Conduct which the student is charged with violating.
- The judicial body’s determination shall be made on the basis of the “preponderance of the evidence”, meaning, whether it is “more likely than not” that the accused student violated the Student Code of Conduct.
- The student shall be notified in writing of the decision of the hearing body/authority within five (5) days of the hearing or the judicial body’s decision. Every attempt will be made to verbally notify the student of the decision prior to the five (5)-day period. In cases involving alleged sexual assault and/or sexual misconduct, both the accused and accuser shall be notified in writing within five (5) days of the judicial body’s decision.
- There shall be a single record, such as minutes or a tape recording, of all hearings before a judicial body. The record shall be the property of the university.
- Any question of interpretation regarding the Student Code of Conduct shall be referred to the Vice President for Student Affairs or the Dean of Students
- The student shall be advised of the method and time limitations for appeal, if any is applicable
- Victim’s Rights
- Some actions that violate the university regulations involve victimization of one or more students by another student(s). This behavior may include acts of theft or damage to property, physical violence, and other acts that endanger the safety of others in the university community. If a student has filed a complaint and is identified as a victim, that student is entitled to certain rights during the disciplinary process.
- If a charge is filed with the appropriate judicial official, it is important to remember that the accused student is being charged with violating a university rule or regulation. Although a victim’s input may be sought during the disciplinary process, the ultimate disposition of the case rests with the university. If a victim withdraws his or her complaint during the course of the disciplinary proceeding, the university reserves the right to proceed with the case on the basis of evidence other than the testimony of the victim.
- During the course of a disciplinary proceeding, victims have the following rights:
- During the course of a disciplinary proceeding, victims have the following rights:
- To submit a written account of the alleged incident.
- To be advised of the date, time and location of the disciplinary hearing, and to request rescheduling of the hearing for good cause.
- To be accompanied by an advisor of the victim’s choosing during the hearing process, although the advisor will not be permitted to speak for the victim during the hearing.
- To testify as a witness during the hearing.
- To decline to testify, with knowledge that such action could result in dismissal of the university’s charges for lack of evidence.
- To submit a written impact statement to the hearing panel for consideration during the sanctioning phase of the disciplinary process
- All matters involving allegations of impermissible discrimination, harassment (including, but not limited to, sexual violence or misconduct), or retaliation will be governed by the procedures outlined in Student Sexual Misconduct Policy and/or an institutional policy that reflects the requirements of that Guideline. In cases involving alleged sexual assault and/or misconduct, both the accuser and the accused shall be entitled the following:
- a pre-hearing meeting in which rights, procedures, and process are reviewed.
- the same opportunity to have others present during a disciplinary proceeding
- to be informed of the outcome of any disciplinary proceeding involving allegations of sexual assault and/or sexual misconduct,
- to be informed at least 2 business days in advance of the judicial board members or hearing officer who will hear a case and of any witnesses who are being called
- that the judicial board members or hearing officer has received sexual assault/misconduct adjudication training
- the accuser will have the same right to appeal (if any) as those afforded the accused
- the accuser will also be notified when the complaint is delivered to the accused
- ACADEMIC MISCONDUCT PROCEDURES
Academic misconduct will be subject to disciplinary action. Any act of dishonesty in academic work constitutes academic misconduct. Penalties for academic misconduct, beginning with the first offense, will vary with the seriousness of the offense and may include, but are not limited to: a grade of “F” on the work in question, a grade of “F” of the course, reprimand, probation, suspension, and/or expulsion. For a second academic misconduct offense the penalty may be permanent expulsion from the University. Allegations of academic misconduct will be handled pursuant to the procedures described below as distinct from other student disciplinary matters. In any cases where suspension or expulsion are possible sanctions, the student shall be entitled to the option of having a UAPA hearing (detailed in Part 6 Disciplinary Procedures, Paragraph (2) UAPA) and shall be given at least five (5) days in which to choose the UAPA or the formal hearing process.
- Administration of Discipline Procedures
- Charges of academic misconduct may be brought by members of the faculty, staff, or student body.
- For undergraduate and graduate students, cases in which an instructor, or other individual, determines that a student has committed an act of academic misconduct, the matter will be reported in writing to both the student and to the dean of the school or college in which the alleged misconduct occurred. Cases of alleged academic misconduct involving graduate students (including those enrolled in the Ph.D. program in Biomedical Sciences within the College of Medicine) will be reported to the Dean of the Graduate School. Alleged violations of students at the Quillen College of Medicine (COM) or the Gatton College of Pharmacy (COP) will be adjudicated through the respective college procedure: the Student Honor System as detailed in the COM Student Handbook and the Academic Misconduct section of the COP Student Handbook.
- The dean of the school or college in which the alleged misconduct occurred or their designee will investigate the report of misconduct and will obtain all information pertinent to the investigation. After having made this investigation, the official will arrange a conference with the student against whom the allegations of misconduct have been made. At this conference the student will be informed, in writing, of the allegations.
- The student will not be subjected to any form of pressure to coerce admission of guilt or information about his/her conduct or that of others after gathering all the facts of the case
- Based on the investigation of the reported misconduct, including any information provided by the accused student, the official shall determine whether the allegations have been substantiated. In cases where the charges are substantiated, the official shall determine an appropriate sanction, and attempt to resolve the matter without initiating a formal disciplinary hearing. Potential sanctions may include any penalty up to, but not including, suspension or expulsion from the institution.
- The student may accept the proposed resolution of the matter or elect to have a formal hearing. In the event the student elects to waive the hearing and accept the suggested punishment the official shall prepare a waiver of hearing for the student’s signature.
- Formal Hearing Procedures
For undergraduate and graduate students, the student will be informed, in writing, of the time and place of the hearing, as well as the specific allegations. The student also will be advised of the structure and procedure for the hearing, the range of possible punishment, and his/her right to be accompanied by an advisor. Such notice should be given at least seven (7) days in advance of the hearing. The dean or designee will designate three (3) faculty members and three (3) students, from a standing college or school committee on academic misconduct to hear the charges. The standing committee shall be appointed by the Dean of each school or college for one year and shall consist of a minimum of eight (8) members, four (4) faculty members and four (4) students). Neither the individual bringing the charges, nor the dean or his/her agent shall be members of the hearing committee.
- Both the accused and the accuser shall be entitled to be present throughout the hearing, until the hearing committee goes into executive session.
- At the hearing, it shall be the responsibility of the dean or designee to be present and to coordinate the presentation of evidence relevant to the alleged misconduct.
- The student will bear the burden of proof by a preponderance of the evidence.
- The student may be accompanied by an advisor.
- The student shall be given an opportunity to testify and present evidence and witnesses relevant to the charges and penalties involved and to cross-examine any witnesses. In no case will the committee consider statements against the student unless he/she has been advised of their contents and the names of those who made them and given opportunity to rebut any unfavorable inferences which might be drawn from them. The student may decline to testify, with knowledge that silence may be considered as evidence.
- The committee is not bound by strict rules of evidence. Determinations as to the admissibility of evidence in the hearings rest solely in the discretion of the committee.
- The disciplinary hearing shall be private, unless otherwise requested by the student, in writing, and a record of it shall be made.
- After all evidence has been presented; members of the committee will meet in executive session to deliberate on the charges. The committee’s decision and recommendation shall be based on a majority vote of the six committee members, all of whom must be present at the hearing.
- Upon a finding against the student, the committee shall recommend such penalty as deemed appropriate.
- If the committee recommends expulsion or suspension and the dean concurs, the approval of the vice president for academic affairs must be obtained. The dean then advises the student of the dean’s decision and of the student’s right to appeal to the president.
Appeal from a finding of guilt of academic misconduct and the imposition of a sanction for the offense may be taken to the president of the university. (See Part V Disciplinary Procedures, Paragraph C. Institutional Procedures, Subpart 4. Appeals)
- Interim Suspension Hearings: Hearings conducted with regard to interim suspensions imposed pending the outcome of a disciplinary investigation or proceeding shall be conducted consistent with the minimum requirements of due process applicable to an institutional hearing, taking into account the need for a timely hearing. The evidence presented at the hearing shall be limited to that which is relevant to the basis asserted for imposition of the interim suspension.
- The president of East Tennessee State University is authorized, at his or her discretion, to intervene in order to negotiate a mutually acceptable resolution to any disciplinary proceeding, or, subsequently, to convert any finding or sanction imposed to a lesser finding or sanction, or to rescind any previous finding or sanction, in appropriate cases.
Misrepresentation of Academic Credentials
It is a Class A misdemeanor to misrepresent academic credentials. A person commits the offense of misrepresentation of academic credentials who, knowing that the statement is false and with the intent to secure employment at or admission to an institution of higher education in Tennessee, represents, orally or in writing that such person:
- Has successfully completed the required coursework for and has been awarded one (1) or more degrees or diplomas from an accredited institution of higher education;
- Has successfully completed the required coursework for and has been awarded one (1) or more degrees or diplomas from a particular institution of higher education; or
- Has successfully completed the required coursework for and has been awarded one (1) or more degrees or diplomas in a particular field or specialty from an accredited institution of higher education.
Henry Campbell Black defines plagiarism as “The act of appropriating the literary composition of another, or parts of passages of his writing, or the ideas or language of the same, and passing them off as the product of one’s own mind” (Black’s Law Dictionary, West Publishing Company, St. Paul, Minnesota, 1968, p. 1308). In other words, plagiarism involves using someone else’s words or ideas without giving proper credit to the original author. Even if one does not copy the words exactly or even if one copies only a small part of someone else’s work, one must cite the name of the original author and provide a reference to that person’s work (e.g., title of work, year of publication, and name of publisher) using a format based on the publication manual of a nationally recognized scholarly association, such as the American Psychological Association or the Modern Language Association. One should enclose an exact quotation in quotation marks or indent the quotation, depending upon the style manual used. A page number or numbers must be cited for each quoted passage. Even if one does not use an author’s exact words, if one uses an author’s ideas one must provide documentation to give credit to the author. These standards apply to print and non-print media and include the Internet.