Review of recent student conduct cases underway

(President Schulz sent this message via email to WSU faculty, staff, and students November 18.)

In light of Wednesday’s ruling by Whitman County Superior Court that granted a temporary stay of the University’s suspension of student Robert Barber, we already have launched a detailed review of other recent student conduct cases.

More specifically, we are examining cases in which the conduct board did not retain a record of the questions students charged with violating the Standards of Conduct for Students asked during a hearing. This was the sole basis of the Superior Court’s decision on Wednesday.

As a second step in rebuilding the Cougar family’s confidence in our student conduct system, we soon will announce an in-depth examination of the entire student conduct process. As I have mentioned previously, we will invite the WSU community to help us create a nationally recognized best-in-class student conduct process. This larger-scale effort will be in addition to the external review of the conduct process led by the law firm Lyons O’Dowd, which is examining the specific issue of alleged racial and ethnic bias in decisions made by the conduct board.

The entire WSU leadership is of a single mind: We will do whatever it takes to make certain that all of our students are treated fairly in their dealings with the University. Likewise, we will continue striving to ensure a safe campus environment for all students—an environment free of fears about physical or mental harm or distress.

For updates about our review process and to provide input about the student conduct system, please visit