Calendar 2022/23

D - Disciplinary Procedure – Non-academic Misconduct

1 Preface
1.1 The University of Exeter is a community, and as members of this community students are expected to adhere to University rules and regulations, to show respect for persons and property, and to behave in a way that does not interfere with normal operations of the University. Each student has the right and ability to make decisions about his or her conduct, and the responsibility to accept the consequences of their decisions. Where there is reason to believe that rules and regulations have been broken, and/or when the behaviour of a student falls below the expected standards outlined in Section 5 below, the Disciplinary Procedures will be instigated by authorised staff acting as Disciplinary Officers (see Section 14 below).
1.2 The maintenance of discipline and good conduct is the responsibility of Senate, and these procedures outline the means by which disciplinary matters involving non-academic misconduct will be managed, and the sanctions that may be imposed.
1.3 The Disciplinary Procedures define misconduct as either minor or major depending on the seriousness of the alleged misconduct, and the specific procedures for each definition are outlined below.
1.4 Where misconduct has occurred, the intention will be to focus on a corrective response rather than one which is solely punitive.
1.5 In cases where the alleged offence may pose a risk to staff and students, the procedures should be used to assess and manage such risk. Where risk is judged to be serious, a recommendation may be made to a Deputy Vice-Chancellor to temporarily suspend or exclude the student from all or parts of the University grounds and facilities. The authority to permanently expel a student from the University is granted exclusively to Senate.
2 Scope of the Disciplinary Procedures
2.1 The Disciplinary Procedures apply to all undergraduate, postgraduate taught and postgraduate research students registered at the University of Exeter on all campuses, and also students registered on INTO programmes.
2.2 Where disciplinary action relates to incidents occurring in student accommodation owned or managed by Falmouth and Exeter Students' Union in Cornwall, these regulations may take precedence.
3 Relationship and interface with other policies and procedures
3.1 The Disciplinary Procedures relate to matters of non-academic misconduct.
3.2 Where the alleged misconduct relates to academic matters, it should be referred for action under either Chapter 12 - Academic Conduct and Practice procedures, or the University's Research Misconduct procedure
https://as.exeter.ac.uk/academic-policy-standards/student-cases-and-conduct/academicmisconductincludingexaminationmisconduct/
http://as.exeter.ac.uk/academic-policy-standards/tqa-manual/pgr/
3.3

Following the outcome of a complaint brought under either the University's Complaints procedure or the Staff Grievance procedure, the behaviour of a student(s) may be referred for handling under Disciplinary procedures.
https://as.exeter.ac.uk/academic-policy-standards/student-cases-and-conduct/studentcomplaints/
http://www.exeter.ac.uk/staff/employment/procedures/grievanceprocedure/

3.4

Complainants will not be entitled to know the outcome of disciplinary proceedings that have resulted from a complaint brought by a student and/or a grievance brought by a member of staff.

3.5

Records relating to minor offences shall be held locally by the Disciplinary Officer responsible for instigating the procedure, except where professional accrediting bodies require notification from the College concerned. Students registered on programmes leading to membership of a professional body should demonstrate appropriate behaviour and standards required for entry into that profession. Alleged misconduct which may be judged to fall short of professional codes of conduct should be considered under the Fitness to Practise Procedures. Details of the programmes of study covered by these regulations can be found in Annex 1 of the Fitness to Practise Procedures.

http://www.exeter.ac.uk/staff/policies/calendar/part1/otherregs/fitness/

3.6

A student may display behaviour as a consequence of a mental or physical health issue, and where this appears to be the case consideration will be given to referral under the Health, Wellbeing and Support for Study process. Where it is deemed relevant that a student's conduct should be referred for action under this procedure, reasonable adjustments may be relevant to ensure that a student can engage with the Disciplinary process.

3.7

Where a student feels that disciplinary proceedings are affecting their wellbeing, or if they  require reasonable adjustments on the grounds of health and/or disability, any requests, for adjustments should be made as required to Student Conduct via studentconductmail@exeter.ac.uk

The University also has a Wellbeing Service who can provide support to students during the disciplinary process. Should a student feel that they would benefit from the support offered by Wellbeing, they may inform Wellbeing that they are seeking support in relation to the disciplinary process, and Wellbeing staff will aim to accommodate support before and/or after any disciplinary investigation meeting/hearing as required. Students may also request support from the University's Welfare team during any investigation meetings and/or hearings, if required.

3.8

In the event that an investigation into an alleged offence raises concerns for the welfare of an individual, the Authorised Officer, with the accused student's consent, may raise their concerns with the University's Welfare Service.

3.9

The University places great importance on its relationship with the local community in which students live and socialise. The University encourages students to engage and participate in community life, and in doing so to develop an ethos of personal and social responsibility. Whilst resident in the local community the University expects students to behave in a way that is respectful and courteous to neighbours and other members of their community and not to engage in anti-social behaviour that causes distress or harm to others. Where possible and appropriate the University will attempt to resolve complaints locally, working in partnership with the police and other statutory authorities if necessary. Persistent cases, or cases which cannot be resolved locally, may be referred to the Student Cases Office for disciplinary action. The University's Anti-Social Behaviour Policy can be found here: http://www.exeter.ac.uk/businessandcommunity/university/students/issues/

This principle also applies to students who are resident in University accommodation, where we would expect a similar level of responsibility and reasonable behaviour. Full details may be found in the Terms and Conditions of Residence.  

3.10

Students found in possession of and/or taking drugs may be subject to the University's disciplinary procedures. The University will co-operate fully in any police investigation into the use, supply or provision of controlled drugs and/or substance abuse. The University's Student Alcohol and Drugs Policy can be found here

4 General Principles
4.1 Normally an allegation will be investigated in the first instance in accordance with Section 6 of this procedure, unless the allegations are deemed sufficiently serious as to be considered by the Head of Student Cases (or nominee) as warranting immediate referral to a major disciplinary board (as described in Section 9).
4.2

This procedure seeks to operate in a fair manner; it does not seek to reproduce elements of criminal law or the criminal justice system. It is not a formal legal process, although the University has legal obligations which will apply to this procedure: for instance, the University has the duty to act fairly and reasonably in relation to all parties in the application of this procedure. The rules of evidence in English law do not apply; the standard of proof required is the balance of probabilities: that is, it is more likely than not that the alleged misconduct occurred. This procedure complies with the rules of natural justice, which confer on a student their right to know the case against them; the right to be given an opportunity to defend themselves; the right to confidentiality, and the right for the case to be considered by an impartial arbiter.

4.3

The student may be accompanied, but not represented by, a supporter, who may not act as an advocate. Students involved in disciplinary procedures shall have the right to be accompanied to any investigative meeting or any hearing by a fellow student or member of staff from the University, the Students' Guild or the Falmouth and Exeter Students' Union. The supporter is there to provide moral support. The student is expected to speak on their own behalf, there is no automatic right for a supporter to speak on the student's behalf and it is at the Chair's/Authorised Officer's discretion as to whether the supporter is permitted to address the meeting. Should a supporter act outside those actions described, the Chair/Authorised Officer will suspend the meeting/hearing and ask the supporter to leave; in the event that the student is unable to continue the meeting without the supporter being present, the meeting will continue in the student's absence based on the documentation provided and any verbal representations received up to that point. 

4.4 The University will wherever possible seek to adhere to the time limits outlined within these procedures, but in cases where there are special circumstances which require variance from specified time limits, students will be advised of the reasons for this by the Disciplinary Officer handling the investigation or hearing.
4.5 Where possible and practical, students will be given the opportunity to attend disciplinary hearings to defend themselves in person, either in person or by virtual means e.g. via Teams. However, the University reserves the right to proceed with any investigative meeting or disciplinary hearing in the absence of a student, subject to the student having been properly notified of the date and time of the hearing (failure to attend without due notification may lead to further disciplinary action, see Section 7.1 below), or in cases where criminal proceedings do not allow the student to attend in person. The University will ensure that the student is given opportunity to make written representation when they cannot attend in person.
4.6 The University reserves the right not to proceed with any investigation following an allegation against the behaviour of a student if it is considered that there is insufficient grounds and/or evidence to do so.
4.7 During the application of these Disciplinary Procedures the University reserves the right to adjourn any disciplinary investigation or hearing and reconvene at a later date.
4.8

When investigating an alleged breach of University regulations, the Authorised Officer will request any relevant information which may include CCTV/body worn camera footage from Estate Patrol.

When the alleged breach of regulation has occurred in premises, run by the Students' Guild, the University will work in partnership with the Students' Guild and share any relevant data which may include CCTV footage. 

4.9

Meetings with students may be held in person or by other means, such as via Teams or telephone conferencing. Students registered for online programmes would not be required to attend a meeting in person where other means exist. If a student is unable to attend a meeting by any means, they may submit written representations in lieu of attendance. Failure to attend a meeting or to submit representations would not invalidate proceedings, and a case may be heard in a student's absence where reasonable attempts to engage them with the disciplinary process may have been made.

5 Definition of disciplinary offences
5.1 In general terms, disciplinary offences are likely to fall into one of the categories below and maybe heard under the minor or major disciplinary processes depending on the severity of the case:
  • Actions which cause actual or potential distress or harm to others irrespective of whether or not distress or harm was intended
  • Actions which cause actual or potential damage to property of others
  • Actions which disrupt the normal operations, and/or safe use of, the University including where applicable, reputational damage to the University
  • Actions which impede or interfere with the pursuance of work/ study of University members, or impact on normal operations of the University.
Examples of alleged offences are below, the examples given are intended to be illustrative and are not exhaustive:
5.1.1

Actions which cause actual or potential distress or harm to others irrespective of whether or not distress or harm was intended:

  • Sexual misconduct
  • Verbal abuse or intimidation
  • Assault of causing physical harm
  • Threatening, offensive or indecent behaviour
  • Persistent acts of bullying, harassment or intimidation
  • Breaches of precautionary action imposed under this or other procedure, such as being on campus when under exclusion and/or contacting a member of the University community when under contract not to do so
  • Causing distress to others through excessive and unacceptable levels of noise in University residence, either on campus or in the local community irrespective of the level of intoxication
  • Anti-social behaviour which causes distress to others and/or reputational harm and/or damage to the University’s relationship with the local community irrespective of the level of intoxication
  • Theft, fraud, handling stolen goods (on the University's campuses) or deliberate falsification of records
  • Possession and/or intent to supply illegal substances (including drugs, psychoactive substances, and nitrous oxide)
  • Possession and/or misuse of any weapons, illegal items or items which we consider to be offensive or dangerous (including but not limited to, licenced firearms; models, paintball guns; replica, ceremonial or toy weapons; knives) 
  • Trespassing and/or unauthorised entry
  • Infringement of the University's Health and Safety rules; for example, failure to vacate a building or other areas during fire alarms, lighting fires or barbecues in unauthorised areas, or tampering with safety equipment
  • Failure to comply with explicit rules or regulations; for example unauthorised parties in residences, smoking/vaping in non-designated areas, burning candles/incense, causing a disturbance in examinations, repeated unauthorised parking on campuses
  • Display or distribute any material (including posters and leaflets that we (acting reasonably) deem as offensive or potentially offensive
  • Multiple or repeated minor offences
5.1.2

Actions which cause actual or potential damage to property of others:

  • Causing minor damage to property
  • Causing serious and deliberate damage to property
  • Multiple or repeated minor offences involving damage to property
5.1.3

Actions which disrupt the normal operations, and/or safe use of, the University including where applicable, reputational damage to the University:

  • Sexual misconduct
  • Assault of causing physical harm
  • Threatening, offensive or indecent behaviour
  • Persistent acts of bullying, harassment or intimidation
  • Breaches of precautionary action imposed under this or other procedure, such as being on campus when under exclusion and/or contacting a member of the University community when under contract not to do so
  • Causing distress to others through excessive and unacceptable levels of noise in University residence, either on campus or in the local community irrespective of the level of intoxication
  • Anti-social behaviour which causes distress to others and/or reputational harm and/or damage to the University’s relationship with the local community irrespective of the level of intoxication
  • Theft, fraud, handling stolen goods (on the University's campuses) or deliberate falsification of records
  • Possession and/or intent to supply illegal substances (including drugs, psychoactive substances, and nitrous oxide)
  • Possession and/or misuse of any weapons, illegal items or items which we consider to be offensive or dangerous (including, but not limited to, licenced firearms; models; paintball guns; replica, ceremonial or toy weapons; knives)
  • Infringement of the University's Health and Safety rules; for example failure to vacate a building or other area during fire alarms, lighting fires or barbecues in unauthorised areas, or tampering with safety equipment
  • Actions which are likely to bring the University into disrepute and/or cause interference to the normal operations of the University, for example when the student is acting in connection with University business: such as a member of the Students' Guild or Falmouth and Exeter Students' Union, a member of an Athletic Union Club, or participating in a field trip
  • Failure to comply with explicit rules or regulations; for example unauthorised parties in residences, smoking/vaping in non-designated areas, burning candles/incense, causing a disturbance in examinations, repeated unauthorised parking on campuses
  • Display or distribute any material (including posters and leaflets that we (acting reasonably) deem as offensive or potentially offensive
  • Multiple or repeated minor offences
5.1.4

Actions which impede or interfere with the pursuance of work/study of University members, or impact on normal operations of the University:

  • Sexual misconduct
  • Assault of causing physical harm
  • Threatening, offensive or indecent behaviour
  • Persistent acts of bullying, harassment or intimidation
  • Breaches of precautionary action imposed under this or other procedure, such as being on campus when under exclusion and/or contacting a member of the University community when under contract not to do so
  • Possession and/or intent to supply illegal substances (including drugs, psychoactive substances, and nitrous oxide)
  • Failure to comply with explicit rules or regulations; for example unauthorised parties in residences, smoking/vaping in non-designated areas, burning candles/incense, causing a disturbance in examinations, repeated unauthorised parking on campuses
  • Infringement of the University's Health and Safety rules; for example failure to vacate a building or other area during fire alarms, lighting fires or barbecues in unauthorised areas, or tampering with safety equipment
  • Refusal to respond to reasonable requests from relevant University staff; for example refusing to confirm identity when requested by a member of staff during the normal course of their duties, failure to attend a disciplinary meeting without good reason, repeated unauthorised parking on campuses
  • Causing distress to others through excessive and unacceptable levels of noise in University residences, either on campus or in the local community irrespective of the level of intoxication 
  • Anti-social behaviour which causes distress to others and/or reputational harm and/or damage to the University’s relationship with the local community irrespective of the level of intoxication
  • Possession and/or misuse of any weapons, illegal items or items which we consider to be offensive or dangerous (including but not limited to licenced firearms; model weapons; paintball guns; replica, ceremonial or toy weapons; knives)
  • Actions which are likely to bring the University into disrepute and/or cause interference to the normal operations of the University, for example when the student is acting in connection with University business: such as a member of the Students' Guild or Falmouth and Exeter Students' Union, a member of an Athletic Union Club, or participating in a field trip
  • Persistent refusal to pay a fine, or to observe another penalty imposed following a disciplinary hearing
  • Trespassing and/or unauthorised entry
  • Display or distribute any material (including posters and leaflets that we (acting reasonably) deem as offensive or potentially offensive
  • Multiple or repeated minor offences
5.1.5 Multiple and/or repeated offences will be regarded with more seriousness than a first offence.
5.1.6 The University will normally only investigate disciplinary offences which occur on premises and facilities owned or operated by the University. However, the University reserves the right to investigate allegations which occur off its campuses if it is deemed that a student's action may impact specific members of the University and/or the wider University community. The University cannot act in the place of a private landlord or the police.
5.2 Violation of Examination Regulations specifically a noise disturbance, will be considered as a disciplinary offence. Following an invigilator's report as submitted to the Student Cases Office a minimum fine of £50 will be levied against a candidate for a first offence. There will be no requirement for a disciplinary investigation meeting under Section 6 of this Procedure. A student will have the right of appeal against such a fine as set out in Section 12 of this procedure 'Right of Appeal for Minor Offences'.
6 Investigation Stage and Meeting(s)
6.1 Authorised Officers will undertake whatever investigation they feel is necessary to establish the facts of the case. Incident(s) that suggest a breach of the University's regulations and/or Terms and Conditions of Residence may be conducted via an investigative meeting in the first instance; and in some cases it may be necessary to undertake investigative meetings simply in order to establish the facts of a case. An example of this would be an incident(s) involving a number of students where it is necessary to establish who was involved, in what capacity, and to what extent in order to identify who could be ruled in or out of an investigation. 
6.2 Where investigative meetings are required, invitations will be conveyed to the Student's University of Exeter email account (which should be checked daily); this email will outline the nature of the matter under investigation. Where possible, this invitation should be written and should give the student at least 48 hours' notice of the meeting. However, there may be circumstances when an urgent investigation is required and, in this case, an invitation may be made verbally and/or in writing, and less than 48 hours' notice may be given.
6.3 Where possible and appropriate, action in respect of minor disciplinary offences should be taken locally and close to the source of the alleged offence by staff authorised to act as Disciplinary Officers, as outlined in Section 14 of this procedure.
6.4

Where an investigative meeting is called, it is in order to allow the student to hear the nature of the matter under investigation and to present their response to the investigation. 

6.5 In cases where video/audio footage is to be used in the investigation of an alleged offence, the video/audio footage may be shown to a group where more than one individual is involved in the alleged offence.
6.6

The outcome of the investigative stage will normally be one of the following:

  • In accordance with Section 4.6 of this procedure where there is insufficient evidence to progress with any investigation the University reserves the right not to proceed
  • The matter requires further investigation before classification as minor or major can be identified. A student will be informed of this by the Authorised Officer(s) at the earliest opportunity.
  • The Authorised Officers determine that a breach of the University's regulations and/or Terms and Conditions of Residence, classified as minor, has been committed and therefore proceed as described in Section 7 (Procedures for Hearings - Minor Offences).
  • That the matter should be referred to the Head of Student Cases (or their nominee) to determine whether the matter should be referred for consideration by a Major Disciplinary Board (as described in Section 9).
7 Procedures for Hearings - Minor Offences
7.1

When an allegation is deemed to be proven, and it is concluded that the offence(s) is minor, the Authorised Officer(s) may apply penalties in accordance with those allowed under Section 7.3.

Where the Authorised Officer(s) conclude that the allegation(s) should be treated as a minor offence as part of an investigative meeting, the student will normally be offered a hearing to conclude the matter, subject to the student's consent and subject to the requirements of natural justice. If the student does not consent, or the Authorised Officer concludes that it is not in the interests of natural justice, the disciplinary hearing will be convened at a later date.

7.2 At all times the Authorised Officer should be mindful of any ongoing risk posed to students and staff in relation to the alleged offence. In cases where a risk assessment suggests that there may be an ongoing risk, the Authorised Officer may seek to consult the Head of Student Services (or their nominee) in relation to the management of risk, and where appropriate may take precautionary action as outlined in Section 12. It is unlikely that any offence classified as minor would require temporary suspension and/or exclusion from the University, although it may be necessary for a precautionary behavioural contract  to be agreed, or for a  limited exclusion from specific facilities or services to be put in place.
7.3 The Authorised Officer will advise the student in writing of the outcome, within ten working days, and will confirm the imposition of any sanction, including:
  • No further action
  • A Caution, which means that no penalty is imposed, but if the student is found guilty of the same or similar offence on a subsequent occasion in the following 12 months (or some other specified period) they will then be dealt with for both offences
  • A written warning
  • A behavioural contract
  • A suspended fine of not less than £50 but not exceeding £200 (in the case of a suspended fine the Disciplinary Officer will advise the student of the circumstances in which the fine would become payable)
  • A fine of not less than £50 but not exceeding £200 per offence
  • Compulsory attendance at an appropriate workshop
  • Restitution of damage (where physical damage has been caused)
  • Restorative justice (eg a letter of apology)
  • Temporary or permanent exclusion from the use of specific University facilities or services
7.4 In addition the Authorised Officer may recommend to the Students' Guild the imposition of a ban from specific Guild outlets and/or Guild activities. 
8 Right of appeal for minor offences
8.1 A student may exercise the right to appeal against the outcome of a minor disciplinary hearing by completing the Disciplinary Offences Appeal Form and submitting it to the Authorised Officer at studentconductmail@exeter.ac.uk - this must be submitted within ten working days of the date of the letter notifying the student of the outcome of the disciplinary hearing. All relevant evidence which is to be considered must be submitted with the appeal application. The University will not gather evidence on a student's behalf.
8.2 The request for the right to appeal will be considered by the Director of Compliance, Governance and Risk (or their nominee). The student will be asked to select the ground(s) on which their appeal is being invoked; the right to appeal will only be granted if the student has presented, on the face of it, evidence of one or more of the following grounds:
  • Procedural irregularity
  • Bias, or failure to reach a reasonable decision in handling the process
  • Evidence of further material circumstances which could not reasonably have been expected to have been submitted for consideration at the time of the investigation/hearing.
  • The penalty imposed was disproportionate to the offence
8.3 If, on the face of it, there are grounds for appeal, the Director of Compliance, Governance and Risk (or their nominee) will undertake a review of the papers, but will not re-hear the case or interview the student. They may then decide to take action as follows:
  • Uphold the original decision
  • Uphold the original decision but reduce the penalty
  • Overturn the original decision and remove the penalty
8.4 The student will be notified of the decision within ten working days of receipt of the letter requesting the right to appeal.
9 Procedure for Hearings – Major Offences
9.1 If an allegation(s) is deemed by the Head of Student Cases (or nominee) to be sufficiently serious, the case will be referred to a (non-standing) Disciplinary Board (Major Offence).
9.2 Where the alleged offence has been classified as major, an Authorised Officer may conduct an investigation under Section 6 above for referral to a Major Disciplinary hearing.
9.3 The membership of the Major Disciplinary Board shall comprise the following;
  • Director of Education and Student Experience/Head of Professional Services (Cornwall) (or his/her nominee) as Chair
  • One other senior University manager, for example a member of Professional Services Leadership Team 
  • An officer of the Students’ Guild or the Athletic Union President (in Exeter)/Falmouth and Exeter Students' Union (in Cornwall)
The proceedings will be recorded by a person acting as Secretary to the Board
9.4 In cases which involve alleged reputational damage to the University, the Board will also include an additional member who is independent from the University, whose role will be to ensure the Board adheres to the principle of impartiality in consideration of the alleged offence.
9.5 The student will be advised in writing of the nature of the alleged offence and the date of the Major Disciplinary hearing. This notification will usually be sent at least ten working days in advance of the hearing to the student's University email account (which should be checked daily). When the Chair deems there are exceptional circumstances which require a shorter period of notice to be given, the reasons for this will be explained to the student.
9.6 The Authorised/Investigative Officer or the student may wish to invite witnesses to appear before the board or to provide written statements. If this is the case the student should advise the Secretary of the Board at least seven working days before the hearing, in order to allow the Secretary to advise potential witnesses, collect statements, and circulate any statement to both the Board and the student.
9.7 Statements and other documentation, such as a report on the referral of the alleged offence(s) to a Major Disciplinary Board, will be circulated to both the Board and the student not less than five working days in advance of the meeting, although later circulation than this may be allowed at the discretion of the Chair.
9.8

Failure on the student's part to attend the Disciplinary Board meeting would not invalidate proceedings where reasonable attempts to engage the student with the process have been made. 

9.9 The procedure of the meeting will be as follows:
  • Board members meet without the student present to consider matters of process
  • The student and their support (if relevant) will join the meeting
  • The Authorised/Investigating Officer will join the meeting and outline the case
  • The student will be invited to make a statement in response to the alleged offence
  • The Board may ask questions of the student
  • Witnesses may be called by the Authorised/Investigating Officer
  • Witnesses may be called by the student
  • Where witnesses have been called, they will be invited to make a statement or confirm the contents of a written statement; they may be questioned by the Board, the student and/or the Authorised/Investigating officer
  • Witnesses will be asked to withdraw
  • The Board may ask further question of the student following the representations submitted by witnesses
  • The student will be asked to make concluding remarks
  • The Board will hear further statements and concluding remarks from the Authorised/Investigating Officer
  • The student (and suporter) and Authorised/Investigating Officer will be asked to withdraw to allow the Board to consider its decision
9.10

On retiring, the Board will consider:-

  1. Is the offence deemed to be proven?
  2. On what basis is the offence deemed to be proven?
  3. What penalty should be applied in the case, and why?
9.11 Following the meeting the student will be notified of the outcome in writing within five working days, confirming the imposition of any sanction as outlined below, (or those outlined in, Section 11.8 where the Board consider that the offence should be classified as minor):
  • A written warning
  • A Caution, which means that no penalty is imposed, but if the student is found guilty of the same or a similar offence on a subsequent occasion in the following 12 months (or some other specified period), they will then be dealt with for both offences
  • A suspended fine of not less than £50 but not exceeding £500
  • A fine of not less than £50 but not exceeding £500. (in the case of a suspended fine the Authorised/ Investigating Officer will advise the student of the circumstances in which the fine would become payable)
  • Compulsory attendance at an appropriate workshop
  • Restitution of damage (where physical damage has been caused)
  • Behavioural contract
  • Restorative justice (eg a letter of apology)
  • Exclusion from use of the use of specific University facilities or services
  • Temporary exclusion from the University
  • A recommendation that Senate exercise the authority granted under the University Statutes to permanently exclude the student from the University, which can include exclusion from University facilities, grounds and premises
9.12 In addition the Authorised/Investigating Officer may recommend to the Students' Guild/Falmouth and Exeter Students' Union the imposition of a ban from specific Guild outlets and/or activities. 
9.13 The student will be notified of the Board's decision in the form of a summary outcome which will include the penalty imposed and reasons for it within 5 working days of the hearing. This will be followed up with a full report, which will be the full written record of the meeting and a formal outcome letter. The student will have 10 working days following receipt of the full report and outcome letter to submit an appeal (for further information on appeals please see Section 10).
10 Appeals – Major Offences
10.1  A student may exercise the right to appeal against the outcome of a major disciplinary hearing, by completing the Disciplinary Offences Appeal Form and submitting it to the Student Cases Office within 10 working days of receipt of the full report and outcome letter. All relevant evidence which is to be considered must be submitted with the appeal application. The University will not gather evidence on a student's behalf.  
10.2 The University should normally aim to resolve the appeal within 30 calendar days of receipt of the appeal, or otherwise inform the student of the expected delay.
10.3 

The consideration of an appeal against the outcome of a Major Disciplinary Board will be conducted differently depending on the penalties applied. Section 10.5 explains how an appeal is considered in cases where the decision of the Disciplinary Board (Major offence) is to recommend that Senate grant a permanent exclusion. Section 10.7 explains how an appeal is considered in cases where any other penalty (or range of penalties) has been applied. 

10.4 An appeal is not a re-hearing of the disciplinary case. The student will select the ground(s) on which their Appeal is being invoked, and the request for the right to appeal will only be granted if there is, on the face of it, evidence of the following grounds:
  • Procedural irregularity
  • Bias, or failure to reach a reasonable decision in handling the process
  • Evidence of further material circumstances which could not reasonably have been expected to have been submitted for consideration by the Disciplinary Board.
  • The penalty imposed is disproportionate
10.5

In cases where the decision of the Disciplinary Board (Major Offences) is to recommend that Senate grant a permanent exclusion, the student may request an appeal against this decision. This appeal will be considered initially by a Board constituted of three members of Senate who will not previously have been involved in the case. A member of Compliance, Governance and Risk will be appointed as Secretary to the Senate Appeal Board.

10.6 The Senate Appeal Board will appoint one of its members to act as Chair. The consideration of the appeal will explore if the student has presented, on the face of it grounds for appeal (on the grounds described in 10.4) based on the documentation submitted by the student as part of the appeal as well as the full documentation originally submitted as part of the Major Disciplinary Board. If the Senate Appeal Board are agreed (by verdict of 2:1 vote or greater) that the student has presented, on the face of it, grounds for appeal, a Senate Appeal Board will be convened in line with Section 10.9 below.
10.7 All appeals relating to an outcome of a Major Disciplinary Board that applied a penalty (or range of penalties) other than permanent exclusion from the University will be considered by the Director of Compliance, Governance and Risk (or their nominee), or by a senior manager of similar status within the Professional Services Leadership Team. The consideration of the appeal will explore if the student has presented, on the face of it, grounds for appeal (on the grounds described in Section 10.4) based on the documentation submitted by the student as part of the appeal as well as the full documentation originally submitted as part of the Major Disciplinary Board. 
10.8

If the Director of Compliance, Governance and Risk (or their nominee) considers that there are grounds, on the face of it, for appeal, the case will be referred to a Disciplinary Appeal Board (Major Offence). The membership of which shall comprise 

  • A member of the Vice Chancellor’s Executive Group as Chair
  • A member of the University's Senior Leadership Team
  • An Officer of the Students' Guild or Athletic Union President (in Exeter)/Falmouth and Exeter Students' Union (in Cornwall) who has not previously been involved with the case

A member of Compliance, Governance and Risk will be appointed as Secretary to the Disciplinary Appeal Board (Major Offence)

10.9

Procedures for Senate Appeal Board/Disciplinary Appeal Board (Major Offence)

10.10

The student will be informed of the date of the relevant Appeal Board meeting at least 10 working days in advance. The student may choose to attend the Appeal Board but the Appeal Board may also hear a case in the student's absence. If the student is unable to attend the Appeal Board in person they may attend the meeting via Teams or by other electronic means.

10.11

A member of the Major Disciplinary Board will also be asked to attend the Appeal Board.

10.12

The student will have the right to be supported at the meeting, normally by a registered student or employee of the University and/or an officer of the Students' Guild Advice Unit/Falmouth and Exeter Students' Union. The supporter is there to provide moral support, to support the student in their preparations for the meeting, and to support the student with asking and answering questions during the meeting. The student will be expected to speak on their own behalf and it will be at the Chair's discretion whether the supporter is permitted to address the Appeal Board. Should the supporter act outside those actions described the Chair will suspend the meeting and ask the supporter to leave. In the event the student is unable to continue the meeting without the supporter the meeting will continue in the student's absence based on the documentation provided and any verbal representation received up to that point. The student must inform the Secretary of the Appeal Board of the name of anyone the student wishes to accompany them at least 1 working day before the meeting. The person accompanying the student may address the Appeal Board only with the agreement of the Chair.

10.13

Copies of all the documents to be considered will be circulated to the student and the Appeal Board at least 5 working days before the meeting.

10.14

The meeting will begin with private discussions by the Appeal Board to clarify matters of process.

10.15

The order of the meeting will normally be as follows:-

  • The student (and their supporter, should they have one) and a member of the Disciplinary Board (Major Offices) will be invited to join the meeting
  • The Student will be invited to present their case
  • The Appeal Board may question the student about their case
  • The member of the Disciplinary Board (Major Offences) will be invited to present the case on behalf of the Disciplinary Board (Major Offences) about the case
  • Once all questions have been asked and answered the member of the Disciplinary Board (Major Offences) will be invited to make any closing remarks
  • The student will then be invited to make any closing remarks
  • The Appeal Board will retire to consider its verdict
10.16 The Senate Appeal Board (Major Offence) shall have the authority to:
  • Uphold the original decision and penalty imposed
  • Uphold the original decision but reduce the penalty imposed
  • Overturn the original decision and remove any penalty imposed
In instances where new information which is presented at the appeal stage causes the Appeal Board to conclude that the offence is more serious than was originally considered, the Board is empowered to impose a greater sanction, up to the limits outlined in Section 9.10 above.
10.17 Where the student is not deemed to have presented, on the face of it, grounds for appeal they will receive an outcome letter which explains the decision made and the reasons for it. When a Senate Appeal/Disciplinary Appeal Board (Major Offence) has been convened the student will receive a summary outcome within 5 working days of the Appeal Board with a full report and outcome letter to follow. In either case the outcome letter will explain that the student's case has exhausted the University's procedures, and will explain the student's right to request a review of their case by the Office of the Independent Adjudicator for Higher Education.
11 Disciplinary offences which are also subject to criminal investigation
11.1

When a case is being investigated by the police, the University will first and foremost co-operate with the criminal investigation. This will not preclude the University from taking precautionary action where there is deemed to be a  risk to the wider University community.

11.2 

When a complaint is made by a student against another student which results in an investigation by the police, the University reserves the right to inform the complainant of any requirements that the police have placed on the University's Disciplinary case.

When a matter is subject to police investigation, as well as the University's Disciplinary procedure the University reserves the right to communicate with the police as relevant. 

11.3  When there is a criminal investigation the University's Authorised Officer will make regular contact with the student under investigation of the Disciplinary procedure and/or police to review any progress and/or change in status regarding the case. When there are updates to the progress and/or status regarding the case the student must update the University's Authorised Officer within 24 hours. 
11.4 When a charge or conviction has been brought, the University's Authorised Officer will make recommendations to the Director of Education and Student Experience who will recommend next steps in-line with Sections 6, 7, 9 and 12 taking into account the following guidance:
11.4.1 When the student has been charged or convicted of a criminal offence, the University will review if the offence(s) are a breach of the University's Regulations that may be considered under the procedure. In the case that the matter has resulted in a conviction in a criminal court, this shall be taken as conclusive evidence that the alleged offence has occurred, and no investigation shall be required by the University.
11.4.2 When a charge or criminal conviction has been made, the focus of University disciplinary proceedings may include an assessment of the risk posed to staff or students. It may also include an assessment of the material impact caused by reputational damage to the University, particularly when this impedes or interferes with the normal operations of the University, or when it affects important relationships between the University and key individuals, agencies and stakeholders. If disciplinary action is taken, the penalty imposed by the court shall be taken into account when determining any further penalty.
11.4.3 In the case of a charge or criminal conviction, where criminal proceedings (including bail conditions, period of time spent on remand, period of time served in custody following conviction) result in a student being absent from his/her study for a period of less than 12 months it will normally be the case that his/her studies will be interrupted for this period. In such circumstances it will be the responsibility of the student to notify the Student Cases Office regarding the date of release from custody. The Director of Education and Student Experience (or their nominee) will then assess the case in accordance with Section 9.3 above.
11.4.4 In the case of a criminal conviction where criminal proceedings (including bail conditions, period of time spent on remand, period of time served in custody following conviction) result in a student being absent from his/her study for a period in excess of 12 months, the student will be deemed withdrawn from the University. This does not preclude the student seeking re-entry to the University at a later date, subject to meeting Admissions policies and procedures. 
11.4.5 When the student has been acquitted, the University will take into account the decision of the court. 
12 Precautionary action in advance of a disciplinary hearing
12.1 When the nature of the alleged disciplinary offence suggests that there may be risk to the safety of others, or where the student accused of the offence may be at risk of harm themselves, or where the student's presence on campus may impede an investigation, the Head of Student Services (or their nominee) will undertake a risk assessment, This may result in action as follows:
12.1.1

Precautionary contract:-

The student will be required to comply with specific conditions set out in the precautionary contract. The precautionary contract is not a penalty, and does not indicated that the student is presumed guilty of any offence. The purpose of the precautionary contract is to outline the expectations of the student's conduct during a period of investigation. For example, it may set out that the student must not contact, by any means or for any reason, named student(s).

12.1.2

Precautionary suspension from studies and/or exclusion from the University's facilities, grounds and premises:-

In addition to, or as well as, a precautionary contract as set out above, a request may be made to Deputy Vice Chancellor to exercise the authority granted under University Statutes to suspend the student from any class or classes and/or to exclude the student from any part or all of the University facilities, grounds and premises, until such time as any criminal proceeding and/or University disciplinary proceedings have been concluded. A precautionary suspension or exclusion is not a penalty, and does not indicate that the student is presumed guilty of any offence.

12.1.3 A breach in precautionary contract and/or campus exclusion may result in referral to a major disciplinary Board in accordance with Section 6.5 above.
12.1.4 The decision to temporarily suspend and/or exclude the student from all or part of the University, and the reasons why this action is being taken may be communicated verbally in the first instance. When this is the case, written confirmation outlining the reasons for this decision and notice of the right of appeal should be provided to the student within two working days of being communicated verbally.
12.2 The decision to suspend and/or exclude a student will be reviewed by the University at regular intervals so as to ensure that any relevant change in circumstance are considered in a timely manner. Whilst the precautionary suspension and/or exclusion is in place, the student may request a review of this if there is a relevant change to his/her circumstances. This request should be made in writing to the Vice-Chancellor and Chief Executive, who will respond within 10 days of the receipt of the letter.
12.3 In cases where precautionary action has been taken this will normally be referred to a Major Disciplinary Board unless the Head of Student Cases (or their nominee) determines there are sufficient grounds to classify the case, on investigation, as minor or to dismiss the case in accordance with Section 4.6 of this procedure.
12.4

Right of Appeal against the imposition of a precautionary contract:- A student may exercise their right to appeal against the imposition of a precautionary contract by completing the Disciplinary Offences Appeal Form and submitting it to studentconductmail@exeter.ac.uk within ten working days of the imposition of the precautionary contract. The appeal will be considered in accordance with the arrangements set out Section 8 of this procedure. All relevant evidence which is to be considered must be submitted with the appeal application. The University will not gather evidence on a student's behalf.

Right of Appeal against a temporary suspension and/or exclusion:- The student may appeal against the decision to suspend and/or exclude them from all or part of the University, by submitting a written request stating the reason for the appeal to the office of the Vice Chancellor and Chief Executive (or their nominee) within five working days of the date issued on the notice of the exclusion. All relevant evidence which is to be considered must be submitted with the appeal application. The University will not gather evidence on a student's behalf.

12.5 The Vice Chancellor and Chief Executive, or their nominee, will consider the appeal and may take action as follows:
  • Uphold the original decision and confirm the terms of the suspension and/or exclusion
  • Uphold the original decision but reduce or restrict the terms of the suspension and/or exclusion
  • Overturn the original decision and remove the suspension and/or exclusion
In cases where additional information presented as part of the appeal suggests that the level of risk is higher than previously assessed, the Vice Chancellor and Chief Executive (or their nominee) may increase or extend the terms of the suspension and/or exclusion
12.6 The student will normally be notified of the decision within ten working days of the receipt of the letter requesting an appeal.
13 Reporting and Monitoring
13.1 Records relating to minor offences shall be held locally by the Authorised Officer responsible for instigating this part of the Disciplinary procedure, except where professional accrediting bodies require notification from the College concerned.  
13.2 Authorised Officers holding records of minor offences will submit an annual report outlining the numbers, types and outcomes of minor disciplinary offences to the Student Cases Office.
13.3

A member of the Student Cases team will compile an annual report of all minor and major disciplinary cases for submission to Senate annually.

14 

Authorised Officers (Minor Offences)

14.1 

When alleged offences are classified as minor in line with the guidance in Section 6, disciplinary proceedings may be instigated locally by relevant staff within the University (Exeter and Cornwall campuses), INTO and Athletics Union (AU)

14.2

Senate has authorised the following staff to investigate and impose penalties for minor disciplinary offences:

  • Director of Education and Student Support (or nominated representative)
  • A member of the Student Cases team (or nominated representative)
  • Head of Library (offences related to use of the Library)
  • Director of Campus Infrastructure and Operational Support (or nominated representative)
  • Member of the Contracts and Residence Experience team
  • Member of the Residence Operations team
  • Head of Security (or nominated representative)
  • AU President
  • AU Manager
  • Director of Sport
  • Community Liaison Officer
  • INTO Centre Director (or nominated relevant INTO staff)
  • Head of Professional Services (Cornwall)
  • Education Business Partner (Cornwall)
  • Education Support Manager (Cornwall)
14.3 Where alleged misconduct is deemed to be major, a Disciplinary Board (Major Offences) will be convened with membership as outlined in Section 9)