AN ACT TO ESTABLISH DUE PROCESS SAFEGUARDS FOR STUDENTS FACING UNIVERSITY DISCIPLINARY PROCEEDINGS.
Amends GS 116-11 to require the UNC Board of Governors (BOG) to adopt mandatory, systemwide policies governing a student's due process rights during disciplinary investigations and hearings. Specifies five items that must be included in the policy with regard to allegations of sexual misconduct by a student, including that the accused student be promptly provided adequate notice including details of the allegations, details of any alleged violation of the Student Code of Conduct, and copies of all evidence at a meaningful time and in a meaningful manner and be advised of the right to consult legal counsel and to an appeal, as well as requiring that the standard of proof of responsibility for proving sexual misconduct be no less than clear and convincing evidence.
Enacts new Part 8, Student Disciplinary Proceedings, under Article 1 of GS Chapter 116. Enacts new GS 116-44.20 requiring each UNC constituent institution to adopt policies to govern student conduct and to establish adequate due process procedures to be followed when conducting disciplinary proceedings against students. Requires the policies to comply with the policies adopted by the BOG under GS 116-11, as described above; Article 1; and US and State laws and regulations. Requires that the University policies include or provide for the development of a Code of Student Conduct that notifies students of the standards of behavior, conduct that may subject a student to discipline, and the range of disciplinary measures that may be used. Allows the suspension, but not expulsion, of a student for conduct not occurring on campus, if the conduct violates the Code of Conduct and the conduct has or is reasonably expected to have a direct and immediate impact on the orderly and efficient operation of the constituent institution or the safety of individuals in the educational environment. Prohibits allowing a student to be suspended or expelled long-term without first providing a hearing and prohibits imposing mandatory suspensions or expulsions for specific violations unless otherwise provided by state or federal law. Requires minimizing the use of long‑term suspension and expulsion. Requires University policies to include the hearing notification procedures and due process procedures to be followed by university officials and students for cases involving a disciplinary outcome that may result in suspension or expulsion, consistent with Article 1.
Recodifies GS 116-40.11 as GS 116-44.21 and includes it in new Part 8. Also amends the statute to give any student enrolled at a constituent institution who is accused of a violation of the Student Code of Conduct (was, violation of the disciplinary or conduct rules) the right to be represented, at the student's expense, by a licensed attorney or nonattorney advocate who must be (was, may be) allowed to participate during any disciplinary hearing or procedure. Provides that a student does not have the right to be represented by an attorney or advocate for any allegation of academic dishonesty (previously also included situations where the institution has implemented a student honor court that is fully staffed by students to address such violations). Makes additional conforming changes.
Applies to investigations and proceedings initiated on or after October 1, 2017.
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