The Academic Hearings Procedure

If you need help in navigating the Academic Hearing Procedure of the University of Central Florida, the Orange County Public School District, or any other public or private educational institution in Florida, then we are here to help you. Our attorneys have helped others navigate these tricky processes and are ready to lend that expertise and experience to you.

Whether your case is due to a Title IX investigation, you are facing a UCF Golden Rule Hearing, are under investigation for a Rollins Academic Honor Code case, or you have a similar hearing at another school, there are some very important things you need to know.  Carefully read this page and then email us or give us a call to discuss your case in more detail at (407) 906-JLAW (5529).

Consequences

Violations of the student code of conduct can have a wide spectrum of consequences. They range from simple warnings to expulsion from the academic institution. It is true that expulsion is traditionally reserved for the most serious and repeated violations, but it is still a tool that schools use when they deem it necessary.

Other punishments may seriously endanger your ability to complete school. This, in turn, has an impact on your ability to apply for future job opportunities and your entire life going forward.

Code of conduct hearing officers have the power to revoke campus housing, scholarships, university employment, and involvement in school activities. They can also place you on probation and subject you to further monitoring by the conduct office. Additionally, your disciplinary record may affect your applications for graduate programs, transferring education and your options for professional licensing.

Process

Explore an overview of the process for academic hearings and contact us today to learn more

  • You will receive notice of a potential code of conduct violation by email or regular mail.

    The letter will notify you of the alleged violations and give you a time/date range to meet with a code of conduct advisor.

  • During your meeting with the advisor for a Golden Rule or Academic Honor Code Hearing,

    They will review the allegations with you, discuss the evidence against you, and explain the academic punishment process to you.

  • Depending upon what the allegations are, they might make you an offer of punishment if you admit to the violations that day.

    Otherwise, they will set you for a hearing.  Usually, any punishment that might result in suspension or expulsion will be required to be taken to a hearing.

  • If you deny the allegation, you may elect to have a hearing in front of a panel of officers or one officer.

    Some allegations require a panel for your hearing.  This decision can be the difference between beating these allegations or being punished for them.

    1. During these initial meetings and the resulting hearing, you are permitted to have an advisor to assist you. They may be a school employee, an attorney, or a trusted friend. However, most school employees and outside individuals are unfamiliar with the rules, process, and how to combat the evidence. At UCF, the advisor is not permitted to speak during the hearing but can consult with you at any point.  At Rollins, the advisor is usually given more leeway to argue on your behalf.  Make sure you have an advisor who has discussed with you the pros and cons of all of your options.
  • At the hearing you will again be given the chance to admit to the allegations or deny them.

    If you admit to them, you will be given a chance to speak about the punishment you are hoping for and why.  If you deny them, the hearing will start.

  • Attorneys for Jordan Law have all attended college in Florida, giving them the proper insight into how Florida schools run their academic hearings.

    Furthermore, our experience with trial team – teaching college and law students how to be attorneys and witnesses – is the same technique you will need to be prepared for your academic hearing.

  • The Code of Conduct Office will begin the hearing by allowing you to make an opening statement and then they will present their evidence,

    Including witness statements, records, police reports, photographs or other information helpful to their case.

    1. You will have the opportunity to question the witnesses or at least have them ask questions that you’ve written on your behalf. ​This will help provide clarification and fortify important information you find pertinent to the overall case.
  • At the end of the evidence, you are permitted to make a closing statement,

    Arguing why you are not in violation of the code of conduct.  Or what punishment you should be given and why.

  • The hearing officer will then deliberate to decide if you are in violation.

    The officer will then announce whether you are in violation and if there is any recommended penalty.  Usually they will also make some written findings of why they ruled that way.

Important notes

Things you need to remember about your Academic Hearing

  • Everything is being recorded and can be used against you in a criminal proceeding.

  • Also, just because the criminal case is dismissed or dropped down, doesn’t mean that the school has to agree with that decision.

  • The hearing officer must find that you are in violation by preponderance of the evidence. This means that they must decide that the evidence against you proves that more likely than not, you violated the code of conduct.

  • Hearing officers are school employees and sometimes students. They are not trained legal professionals or experts at understanding an implementing the hearing process.

  • You must address your violation immediately. The school will place a hold on your records and prevent you from involvement in school activities pending resolution of the case. You can also be punished for not participating in this process.

  • You can be expelled from school if found in violation. You can also lose scholarship money, on-campus jobs, on-campus house, etc. allegations

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