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Office of the President

FAQ: Student conduct process

Q. What are the Conduct Boards?

A. There are three different boards:

University Conduct Board

Hears matters that may result in suspension or expulsion of a student. Also may be referred cases that involve harm or threat of harm to a person or a person’s property when the accused disputes the facts and/or denies responsibility. The Conduct Board is comprised of trained faculty, staff, and students. Individuals who hear a case are selected from a pool of board members available for the hearing.

University Appeals Board

Hears cases of students who appeal a decision made by the University Conduct Board or a conduct officer. The Appeals Board is comprised of trained faculty, staff, and students. Individuals who hear a case are selected from a pool of board members available for the hearing.

Academic Integrity Hearing Board

Hears appeals by students who have been found responsible for cheating or plagiarism by an instructor. The Academic Integrity Hearing Board is comprised of faculty and students. Individuals who hear a case are selected from a pool of board members available for the hearing.

Q. What is the role of the University Conduct Board?

A. The University Conduct Board provides an opportunity for a student or student group to be heard if charged with violating the Standards of Conduct for Students. The board holds a hearing, examines all the information presented, listens to the testimony of witnesses, and determines whether the student or recognized student organization is responsible for violating the Standards of Conduct for Students, Washington Administrative Code 504-26. The board imposes sanctions as appropriate.

Q. Who serves on the University Conduct Board?

A. The board consists of a pool of individuals including faculty members, staff, and students. A quorum for a board hearing is three members, and up to five can hear a case. One of the board cochairs, plus at least one additional board faculty or staff member, and at least one student member, hear a case. Members are appointed by the vice president for student affairs after they have been interviewed by staff from the Office of Student Conduct and the Office of the Dean of Students.

Q. Can someone in addition to staff from the Office of Student Conduct advise a student facing a hearing?

A. The Dean of Students provides an advisor to help guide students through the conduct process. The complainant’s and/or respondent’s advisor, including an attorney, is allowed to attend the portion of the hearing at which information is received (excluding deliberations). Advisors can provide advice and counsel and assist with preparation of questions and written statements. Breaks in the proceedings are permitted to allow students to consult with their advisor. However, students are expected to speak for themselves during the hearing.

Q. Why is the student conduct process being reviewed?

A. Some community organizations and individuals have raised public concerns about alleged racial and ethnic bias against students in recent decisions made by the boards. Some of those decisions involved student-athletes as well as students of color. Concerns also were raised about the overall fairness of the student conduct process.

Q. Who is Marc Lyons, and why was he chosen to help in the review of the Student Conduct Boards?

A. Mr. Lyons is a principal in the law firm Lyons O’Dowd, a law firm with experience in education law. His law firm is examining whether there is racial or ethnic bias in the University’s student conduct process. The Lyons O’Dowd report will be completed no later than early January.

Q. How do I provide input for consideration during the review process?

A. The WSU community is invited to provide input about the student conduct process using this online form. To ensure the integrity of the review, Mr. Lyons and his team will have direct access to the comments. Input may be submitted anonymously. Input provided may be shared with others in order to facilitate the student conduct review process.

Q. Where can I learn more about the WSU Office of Student Conduct?

A. Please see this website. It includes information about policies, resources, and other details.