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*Formerly part of the University Handbook
Washington Administrative Code

Title 478 WAC – University of Washington


Chapter 478–120 WAC: Student Conduct Code for the University of Washington

WAC 478–120–030: General procedures for disciplinary sanctions.


(1) This section describes the general process under the student conduct code for enforcing the university's rules, regulations, procedures, policies, standards of conduct, and orders. The specific procedures to be used at each step of the process are described in the following sections of this chapter. In all situations, whether handled formally or informally, basic standards of fairness will be observed in the determination of:

  (a) The truth or falsity of the charges against the student;

  (b) Whether the alleged misconduct violates this code; and if so,

  (c) The sanctions to be imposed, if any.

  The criteria for judging student misconduct shall include, but not be limited to, the standards of conduct as stated in WAC 478-120-020 and 478-120-025. Informal hearings shall use the procedures in chapter 34.05 RCW governing brief adjudicative proceedings. Formal hearings conducted by the faculty appeal board shall follow the procedures required by chapter 34.05 RCW for formal adjudicative proceedings. Informal settlements may be conducted under the authority of RCW 34.05.060.

(2) Persons who believe that a violation of the student conduct code has been committed should contact the vice-president and vice-provost for student life at the University of Washington Seattle campus, or the chancellor of the University of Washington Bothell or Tacoma campuses, whichever is appropriate.

(3) Only the vice-president and vice-provost for student life, the dean of the school or college at the University of Washington Seattle or, at the University of Washington Bothell and Tacoma campuses, the dean or director of the program in which a student is enrolled or the chancellors of the University of Washington Bothell and Tacoma campuses, may initiate disciplinary proceedings against a student under this code of conduct. (See WAC 478-120-050.) The deans, the vice-president and vice-provost for student life, or the chancellors of the University of Washington Bothell and Tacoma campuses may delegate the authority to initiate disciplinary proceedings consistent with this chapter to members of their staffs and to students. They may also establish student or student-faculty hearing bodies to advise or to act for them in disciplinary matters. The person initiating a disciplinary proceeding shall be referred to as the initiating officer.

(4) The initiating officer will begin a disciplinary proceeding by holding, or directing a member of his or her staff to hold, an informal hearing with the student charged with misconduct. Based on this informal disciplinary hearing, the initiating officer may choose to exonerate the student, dismiss the action, impose an appropriate sanction, and/or refer the matter to the appropriate university disciplinary committee. (See WAC 478-120-065.) If the initiating officer identifies a potential or existing exceptional circumstance, as defined in WAC 478-120-100 (3)(b)(i),

  "Exceptional circumstances exist when:

  (A) The sanction of dismissal has been recommended; or

  (B) The student has been charged with hazing; or

  (C) The sanction of restitution (in excess of three hundred dollars) has been recommended; or

  (D) Suspension has been recommended," the matter shall be referred
  directly to the faculty appeal board. (See WAC 478-120-100.)

(5) Students have the right to appeal any sanction imposed at an informal hearing to the appropriate university disciplinary committee, except that when such sanction identifies an existing or potential exceptional circumstance as defined in WAC 478-120-100 (3)(b)(i), the matter shall be referred directly to the faculty appeal board.

(6) Any decisions of the university disciplinary committees may be appealed to the faculty appeal board. All decisions of the university disciplinary committees identifying existing or potential exceptional circumstances as defined in WAC 478-120-100 (3)(b)(i) shall be referred directly to the faculty appeal board. In addition, the university disciplinary committees may, at any time, at their discretion, refer a matter directly to the faculty appeal board. The faculty appeal board performs distinct functions. In most cases, the faculty appeal board conducts an administrative review. In certain cases (defined in WAC 478-120-100(3)), the faculty appeal board conducts a formal hearing.

(7) Any decision based on a formal hearing conducted by the faculty appeal board may be appealed to the president of the university or the president's delegate for a final review. All orders of dismissal shall be reviewed by the president or the president's delegate. Orders entered by the president or the president's delegate are final. (See WAC 478-120-125.)

(8) The president or delegate, or chancellors or their delegates, may take emergency disciplinary action when a student's conduct threatens the health, welfare, or safety of the university community or members thereof. (See WAC 478-120-140.)

(9) When questions of mental or physical health are raised in conduct cases, the dean, the vice-president and vice-provost for student life, the chancellors of the University of Washington Bothell and Tacoma campuses or their delegates, the university disciplinary committees, or the faculty appeal board may request the student to appear for examination before two physician-consultants designated by the dean of the school of medicine. The physician-consultants may call upon the student health center for any other professional assistance they deem necessary. After examining the student and/or consulting with the student's personal physician, the physician-consultants shall make a recommendation to the dean, the vice-president and vice-provost for student life, the chancellor of the University of Washington Bothell or Tacoma campuses, whichever is appropriate, or their delegates, the appropriate university disciplinary committee, or the faculty appeal board as to whether the case should be handled as a disciplinary matter or as a case for medical or other treatment. Any decision made based upon the recommendation of the physician-consultants may be appealed in accordance with the provisions of this chapter.

(10) The following persons conducting proceedings under this chapter shall have the authority to issue protective orders and subpoenas: Deans, or at the University of Washington Bothell and Tacoma campuses, the dean or director of the program in which the student is enrolled, the vice-president and vice-provost for student life, the chancellors of the University of Washington Bothell and Tacoma campuses, or the chairs of their respective university disciplinary committees, the chair of the faculty appeal board, and the president or his or her delegate.

(11) In a case involving an alleged sexual offense, the accuser and the accused are entitled to the same opportunities to have others present during a disciplinary hearing and they shall both be informed of the outcome of such disciplinary proceeding.

(12) Any final order resulting from a disciplinary proceeding shall become a part of the student's disciplinary record, unless the student is exonerated. (See WAC 478-120-145.)

(13) In accord with the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act and pursuant to RCW 34.05.250, all hearings conducted under this chapter generally will be held in closed session out of respect for the privacy of all the students involved. However, the students involved may waive in writing this requirement and request a hearing in open session, and the initiating or presiding officer shall conduct the hearing in a room that will accommodate a reasonable number of observers. The initiating or presiding officer may exclude from the hearing room any persons who are disruptive of the proceedings and may limit the number who may attend the hearing in order to afford safety and comfort to the participants and orderliness to the proceedings.

[Statutory Authority: RCW 28B.20.130 and University of Washington Board of Regents Standing Orders, Chapter 1, Section 2. 10-23-039, § 478-120-030, filed 11/10/10, effective 12/11/10. Statutory Authority: RCW 28B.20.130 and 28B.10.900 through 28B.10.903. 07-23-068, § 478-120-030, filed 11/19/07, effective 12/20/07; 96-10-051, § 478-120-030, filed 4/29/96, effective 5/30/96; Order 72-9, § 478-120-030, filed 11/30/72.]