Student Dismissal and Due Process Policy

Policy Manual

TO WHOM THIS POLICY APPLIES 

Medical Students   

WHO NEEDS TO KNOW THIS POLICY

Students, Faculty, Staff, Administration, Residents, Community Partners

PURPOSE/BACKGROUND

The purpose of this policy is to provide students with the procedures that apply when dismissal of the student from University of Nevada, Reno School of Medicine (UNR Med) is considered as part of a disciplinary or other process. The policy specifies the rights of the student and the rights of other parties when dismissal is being considered by the Student Promotion and Conduct Committee (SPCC). Pursuant to Section 1 of Board of Regents (BOR) Handbook Title 2, Chapter 11 UNR Med may establish written policies, procedures and sanctions for program dismissals in lieu of the procedures set forth in BOR Handbook Title 2, Chapter 11. This policy is used for procedures related to student dismissals at UNR Med in lieu of the NSHE Student Program Dismissal Procedures found in the BOR Handbook Title 2, Chapter 11. This policy does not replace or supplant any section of the BOR Handbook other than BOR Handbook Title 2, Chapter 11.

POLICY

    • Dismissal may occur if the student engages in "Prohibited Conduct" as set forth in Section 10.2.1 of the NSHE Code (or any successor section of the NSHE Code defining "prohibited conduct"). Dismissal may also occur at any time a student has not met cognitive, academic or behavioral standards. These standards include, but are not limited to, the standards set forth in:
      1. The Code of Student Professionalism, UNR Med Policy OAA 13-005;
      2. Subsections A and B of the UNR "Academic Standards Policy for Students";
      3. Course syllabi for any course in which the student is or was enrolled;
      4. All other "Medical Student Policies" established by UNR Med; and/or
      5. Policies of an affiliated training site.
    • Dismissal may be considered in conjunction with other disciplinary steps, as a progressive step from other discipline, or independent from any other discipline. The discretion to consider dismissal belongs to the SPCC in consultation with Associate Dean of ASA and/or the Dean of UNR Med.In the event that dismissal will be considered by the SPCC, the procedures in this policy shall apply.
      • Absent an appeal, the decision(s) of the SPCC are final and binding as to all issues.
        • Following an appeal, the decision(s) of the UNR Med Dean are final and binding as to all issues and there is no further right of appeal.
          • If a student's conduct on campus creates a threat to safety, wellbeing, institution property or normal operations, Emergency Removal proceedings may be imposed consistent with NSHE Code Title 2 Chapter 10.4.10, or any successor section of the NSHE Code regarding Emergency Removal.
            • The procedures in this policy only apply to the Fitness for Duty policy if dismissal of the student is sought following a Fitness for Duty evaluation.

          DEFINITIONS

          ASA: refers to the Office of Admissions and Student Affairs at the University of Nevada, Reno School of Medicine.

          Dismissal: permanent termination of student status at UNR Med.

          SPCC: refers to the UNR Med Student Promotion and Conduct Committee.

          UNR Med: refers for the University of Nevada, Reno School of Medicine.

          UNR Med Bylaws: are authorized by the University of Nevada, Reno (UNR) Bylaws; and, the Nevada System of Higher Education (NSHE) Code as adopted by the Board of Regents. The UNR Med Bylaws provide for the organizational and administrative structures and procedures of the UNR Med. They shall, at all times, be subordinate to and consistent with the UNR Bylaws, the NSHE Code, and the laws of both the State of Nevada and the United States.

          Investigating Officer: a UNR Med faculty member appointed by the SPCC in accordance with this Policy.

          RESPONSIBILITIES & PROCEDURES

            1. Student Promotion and Conduct Committee's (SPCC) Function and Membership
              1. Pursuant to the UNR Med's Bylaws, the UNR Med SPCC is charged with overseeing the personal and professional development of medical students at UNR Med. The SPCC is also the medical school's disciplinary committee.
              2. The SPCC shall include faculty members as stated in the UNR Med Bylaws.
              3. When the SPCC considers to vote on a student dismissal, the SPCC will appoint an Investigating Officer who will conduct an investigation of the facts giving rise to potential dismissal and present them to the SPCC.  The scope of the investigation will be defined by the SPCC. The Investigating Officer may be appointed by the SPCC at any time.  The Investigating Officer may be any full-time (0.5 FTE or higher) administrative or academic faculty member of UNR Med that does not currently serve as a voting member of the SPCC and cannot be the Associate Dean for Student Affairs.
            2. Procedure
              1. When the policy indicates a potential dismissal, an Investigating Officer shall be appointed to conduct an investigation to determine if there are grounds for dismissal.
                • Within five (5) days of appointment either the Investigating Officer and/or the Associate Dean for Student Affairs shall provide written notice to the student that the investigation is taking place.  That notice shall state: the alleged violation being investigated; the identity of the Investigating Officer; the expected time frame of the investigation; that dismissal is a potential sanction under consideration; that additional notice will be provided when the SPCC considers dismissal; and where the student can access this policy.
                • The Investigating Officer may include in their investigation review of applicable policies, review of the student's academic file, interviews with the student, interviews with faculty, interviews with other witnesses (including other students), and review of other relevant documents.
                • Unless additional time is sought by the Investigating Officer and granted by the Chair of the SPCC, the Investigating Officer shall submit their written report to the SPCC within fourteen (14) calendar days of appointment of the Investigating Officer. The Investigating Officer will present findings and advice regarding dismissal at a committee meeting.
                • The report of the Investigating Officer shall, at a minimum, include whether the Investigating Officer advises dismissal to the SPCC, recommends that the SPCC consider a sanction other than dismissal, or recommends that no action be taken with respect to the student.  If the Investigating Officer advises dismissal, the report must also state the policy or standard giving rise to the advice and a short statement of the reasons for dismissal.                                                           
                • The notes and file of the Investigating Officer are confidential and not subject to review by the Student or the SPCC.  Any documents provided to the SPCC by the Investigating Officer, including the recommendation, shall be made available to the student prior to any meeting to consider dismissal of the student. The report of the Investigating Officer shall be filed in the student's academic file.
              1. If the SPCC considers dismissal of the student following the receipt of the Investigating Officer's report, the student will be notified in writing of the proposed action and the reason(s) for the proposed action(s).  Such notice will be provided at least ten (10) calendar days before the SPCC meets to consider dismissal unless the student agrees in writing to a shorter notice period. 
              2. The notice will include: the date and time of the meeting; a statement that dismissal will be considered; a brief description of reasons for the meeting; a copy of this policy; a copy of the Investigating Officer's report; the deadline for identification of witnesses and documents for the meeting; and the amount of time that will be allotted by the SPCC to consider the matter based on the SPCC agenda
              3. If a student consents to not challenge dismissal, an Investigating Officer will not be appointed.
              4. The student and the Investigating Officer will exchange material to be introduced at the meeting and the name(s) of witnesses who will testify at least five (5) calendar days prior to the meeting. The student will be given the opportunity to discuss the proposed action with the committee, to present witnesses, to respond to the reason(s) given for the proposed action, and to otherwise present their side of the issue(s) raised by the proposed action.
              5. At the meeting the Investigating Officer may present documents, witnesses, and/or other evidence to support their advice to the SPCC. 
              6. The SPCC shall, in its sole discretion, determine the amount of time allotted to consider the matter based on the SPCC agenda
              7. The student may request that the meeting be transcribed at their own cost.  The SPCC may elect to have the meeting transcribed at the cost to UNR Med.
              8. The standard of proof that the SPCC will use to make a determination is the preponderance of evidence.
              9. The meeting with the SPCC shall be informal and non-adversarial. The student may have one representative present at the meeting. The student representative's participation is limited to giving advice to the student. If the student elects to have an attorney present as the representative, the Associate Dean for Student Affairs and/or the Investigating Officer may also elect to have an attorney present, who will also be limited to giving advice. The Chair of the SPCC may also request the presence of legal counsel at any time to provide advice to the SPCC. In no event shall an attorney present evidence, make oral arguments, or examine witnesses on behalf of the student, the Associate Dean for Student Affairs or the SPCC.
                1. The student is entitled to be present throughout the SPCC meeting with the exception of SPCC deliberations.
                2. Witnesses will be permitted and may be questioned by the student, the Investigating Officer and the members of the SPCC. Witnesses will be in attendance only while providing their testimony. Witnesses will maintain confidentiality of all meeting proceedings
                3. The Chair of the SPCC will preside over the meeting, maintain order, and determine the relevancy of the information presented to the SPCC.
                4. The SPCC meeting will be closed unless both the student and the Associate Dean for Student Affairs agree in writing to an open meeting. To the extent permitted by the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act, 20 U.S.C., Sec. 1232g; 34 CFR Part 99 (FERPA) or other law, the record of the proceedings will be confidential. All meeting participants will maintain confidentiality of all meeting proceedings except as required by law or called by witness in litigation.
                5. Prior to the SPCC meeting, the student may inspect their UNR Med academic file, excluding any contents of the file which the student has waived their right to review.
                6. The student may request a copy of their academic file, excluding those matters mentioned above, at their expense. The student may also request a copy of the record of the SPCC meeting at their expense as it relates to their appearance before the SPCC.
              10. The SPCC will provide the student and the Associate Dean for Student Affairs a written decision within fourteen (14) calendar days of the close of the meeting.  The SPCC maintains sole discretion on whether a matter should be continued to a future meeting for discussion and/or decision. 
            1. Appeal Process
              1. The student may appeal the decision of the SPCC to the Dean.
                1. The notice of appeal must be in writing and must be received by the Associate Dean for Student Affairs within five (5) calendar days of the date on which the SPCC's written decision was issued.
                2. The student will continue enrollment at UNR Med during the time period for an appeal and, if the student has provided written notice of appeal, pending the decision of the Dean.
                3. Failure to appeal within the time limit and protocol set forth in this section renders the decision of the SPCC final and binding as to all issues.
              2. Within five (5) calendar days after the date of the notice of appeal, the following materials will be submitted to the Dean by the Associate Dean for Student Affairs and the student, where appropriate:
                1. All materials considered by the SPCC during the meeting including the record of the applicable proceedings.
                2. The report of the Investigating Officer to the SPCC.
                3. The SPCC and the student shall each submit a written statement of issues to be considered by the Dean.
                4. The SPCC may submit a written summary in support of its decision.
                5. Written statements or summaries from the Chair of the SPCC may not exceed five (5) pages unless the Dean approves a request to exceed this page limitation.
                6. The Dean may meet with the student at the Dean's discretion.

          The Dean will provide a written decision to the student's appeal within a reasonable amount of time, not to exceed fourteen (14) calendar days, after the submission of materials. The Dean's decision is final and binding as to all issues and there is no further right of appeal