Policy STUA-DS-012

Responsible University Administrator:

Vice President for Student Affairs

Responsible Officer:Dean of Students
Origination Date:N/A
Current Revision Date:02/05/13
Next Review Date:02/05/17
End of Policy Date:N/A
Policy Number:STUA-DS-012





PDF Version


Policy Statement

Procedures have been established for the Dean of Students to deal with allegations of prohibited student conduct.

Reason for Policy/Purpose

This policy is required for the effective communication of university policy regarding disciplinary procedures for prohibited student conduct.

Who Needs to Know This Policy

All members of The University of Southern Mississippi community.

Website Address for this Policy






  1. A.          Dean of Students. All questions or allegations of student misconduct shall be referred to the Dean of Students.


The aims of the student judicial process are as follows:

  1. To make students better aware of their behavior(s
  2. To understand the impacts and effects of their behavior on others
  3. To make students aware of how their behavior(s) may impact their status
  4. To better acquaint students with problem-solving skills and critical-thinking strategies
  5. To foster a climate for self-introspection and self-image building


     B.            Written Notification to Student. The Dean of Students will then investigate any such allegations, and if the dean, in his or her discretion, finds significant basis for the allegation, then the dean will deliver to the student a written notification that disciplinary proceedings are being initiated. This written notification will specify the alleged misconduct with sufficient particularity to enable the student to fully respond to the allegations and defend himself or herself. This written notification will also direct the student to attend a pre-hearing conference at a time and place specified by the Dean of Students. A copy of this code will be provided to the student at this time as well.


     C.            Pre-hearing Conference. At the scheduled pre-hearing conference, the Dean of Students or his or her designee will inform the student of his or her right to choose the forum before which he or she can defend the allegation: (1) in a hearing before the Dean of Students or his or her designee or (2) in a hearing before the student judicial council. This same option applies to students who admit to prohibited conduct and who merely want to choose the forum in which their punishment will be decided. Any official in the Dean of Students office who may ultimately conduct such a hearing will not conduct the pre-hearing conference. The student will have 24 hours to inform the Dean of Students of the forum he or she chooses. At this prehearing conference, the student will also be informed of his or her right to appeal the ultimate ruling of the Dean of Students or student judicial council.


    D.            Appeals. All disciplinary actions can be appealed by either party. If a disciplinary decision is appealed, no action will be taken except those measures necessary to ensure the safety of the university community and property and to promote an academic environment until the appellate process has been exhausted. The party desiring to appeal a decision of the Dean of Students or student judicial council must submit a written notice of appeal to the Dean of Students within 72 hours of the decision and provide one of the following:

  1. evidence that there was an error in process or procedure
  2. evidence of additional or missing information
  3. evidence of bias behavior on behalf of the student judicial board or the judicial appeals board
  4. evidence that the judicial decision is arbitrary or unreasonable


Such appeals will be heard by the university appeals committee, whose decisions can likewise be appealed to the university president, who may elect to hear the appeal or designate another university official to do so (such as the vice president for Student Affairs, in which case, the findings and decisions of the designee will have to be accepted and ratified by the university president in writing). In cases of expulsion, decisions of the university president may be appealed to the Board of Trustees of State Institutions of Higher Learning. Any academic credit earned during the appeals process will be void if the original decision of suspension or expulsion is upheld by the university appeals committee.


The Dean of Students is responsible for the review of this policy every four years (or whenever circumstances require immediate review). 






Related Information




Amendments: Month, Day, Year – summary of changes


11/01/11: Formatted for Institutional Policies website

02/05/13: Formatted for template. Minor editing throughout.