Student Conduct

Overview of Conduct Proceedings

Student conduct proceedings are designed to provide a prompt, fair, and impartial process and to protect the rights of students and other individuals involved in the proceeding.

If you have questions about conduct proceedings, please contact your campus conduct office.
Seattle campus
Bothell campus
Tacoma campus

For sexual misconduct (sexual harassment, intimate partner violence, sexual assault, stalking, and retaliation) concerns for all campuses:
Title IX Investigation Office

The following is a brief overview of the stages of a conduct proceeding:

Initial Assessment

When a conduct officer receives a formal complaint that a student has engaged in misconduct, the conduct officer assesses the complaint.  This may include meeting with the complainant, who is the person who is the subject of the prohibited conduct, whether or not that person made the report.

The conduct officer reviews all the information gathered at that point and determines whether the University has jurisdiction over the student alleged to have engaged in the misconduct (who is referred to as the respondent) as well as the alleged conduct itself.  If the University does have jurisdiction, then the conduct officer evaluates whether, on its face, the information indicates that a student may have engaged in conduct prohibited by the conduct code.  If so, the conduct officer will initiate a conduct proceeding and notify the respondent.  In proceedings involving sexual misconduct, the complainant will also be notified whether or not a conduct proceeding is initiated.

In certain circumstances, such as when a conduct proceeding involves sexual misconduct or violence toward another student, the conduct officer will determine if any interim measures should be implemented, such as a no contact directive to prohibit contact between the complainant and the respondent.

Initiating a conduct proceeding or putting a conduct hold in place does not mean that the conduct officer believes the respondent has violated the conduct code.  Instead, the conduct officer will next engage in a neutral, objective fact finding.

Fact Finding

When a proceeding is initiated, the respondent, is sent a Notice of Conduct Proceeding by the conduct officer.  This student is referred to as the Respondent.

After sending the notice, the conduct officer schedules a meeting with the respondent, called the investigative interview.  This is the respondent’s opportunity to learn more about the allegations and review what happens in a conduct proceeding.  During the investigative interview, the respondent is also given the opportunity to share information.

During the fact finding, the respondent (and complainant, if a party) has the opportunity to identify witnesses, provide information (including documents), review information provided by others, and suggest questions for others.  The conduct officer then continues to gather information, including completing interviews with the respondent, the complainant (if a party), and any other relevant witnesses.  The conduct officer will determine the admissibility and relevance of all evidence and information provided.

Unless the 2020 Department of Education’s federal regulations (EDFR) apply, the conduct officer will also evaluate whether to initiate a Full Hearing.

If a full hearing is not initiated, the conduct officer will inform the respondent (and the complainant, if a party) in writing of the result of the fact finding, the rationale for the result, and information about how to request an Administrative Review.  This is called an initial order.

If the EDFR apply, the conduct officer will provide the respondent and complainant an opportunity to review evidence gathered and, after receiving the parties’ feedback, will finalize a report and initiate a full hearing.

Full Hearings

Consistent with Washington State law, a respondent cannot be suspended or dismissed without the University providing a full hearing. Therefore, if, during the fact finding, the conduct officer determines that suspension or dismissal may be warranted as a disciplinary sanction, the conduct officer will initiate a full hearing. All cases in which a respondent was charged with EDFR prohibited conduct will also involve a hearing. A hearing officer will be assigned to evaluate the evidence, determine its admissibility and relevance, and to make a decision about responsibility. A hearing coordinator will also be assigned to work with the hearing officer and all others on logistics.

After a full hearing is initiated, the hearing coordinator will contact the respondent and complainant (if a party) with information about how to participate before the hearing as well as on the day of the hearing itself. Before the hearing, respondent, conduct officer, and complainant (if a party) will have an opportunity to share additional evidence and perspectives during a pre-hearing conference (or meeting). On the day of the hearing, parties will have an opportunity to make opening remarks, question witnesses, and make closing remarks. A full hearing typically involves the conduct officer, respondent, any witnesses, and the complainant (if a party). In addition, advisors may be present for cases involving allegations under Chapters 209 and/or 210 and must be present for cases involving EDFR prohibited conduct allegations. If at any time you have questions about logistics or how the hearing process works, you may contact the hearing coordinator for more information.

After the full hearing has concluded and the hearing officer has reviewed all of the evidence and hearing transcript, the hearing officer will write and send an initial order. The amount of time to send out an initial order can vary based on the complexity of the case. The initial order will be sent to all parties at the same time. The initial order will contain the hearing officer’s decision about the alleged code violations and any findings of responsibility in writing, including the rationale for any decision. If the hearing officer finds a respondent responsible for a code violations, the initial order will also include sanctions and, if there was a complainant, remedies to increase access to their education. Information on how to request an Administrative Review will also be in the initial order.

Standard of Review

The standard of review is “preponderance of the evidence,” which means that based on all the relevant evidence, the facts demonstrate that it is “more likely than not” that the respondent engaged in conduct prohibited by the conduct code.

Administrative Review

Once an initial order is issued by a conduct officer or hearing officer, the respondent (and complainant, if a party) may request an Administrative Review, which must be requested within 21 days of an initial order.  If a review is requested, it will be completed by a panel of Reviewing Officers. Once the review is completed, the respondent (and complainant, if a party) are concurrently informed of the result in writing, including the rationale, and whether there is an option to seek further review.

Disciplinary Sanctions

The following disciplinary sanctions may be imposed for violations of the student conduct code:

  • Disciplinary reprimand
  • Disciplinary probation
  • Restitution
  • Loss of privileges
  • Suspension
  • Dismissal

The following are Sections of Chapter 209 and Chapter 210 — Student Governance and Policies that provide more information about conduct proceedings.

Chapter 209 Student Governance and Policies – Student Conduct Policy for Academic Misconduct and Behavioral Misconduct

Section 6. Definitions for conduct proceedings

Section 7. Prohibited conduct

Section 8. Conduct proceedings

Section 9. Disciplinary sanctions

Section 10. Initiating conduct proceedings

Section 11. Evidence

Section 12. Brief adjudicative proceedings (and fact finding)

Section 13. Brief adjudicative proceeding administrative review

Section 14. Full adjudicative proceedings and full hearing

Section 15. Administrative review from full hearings

Section 16. Reconsideration of final orders

Chapter 210 Student Governance and Policies – Student Conduct Policy for Discriminatory and Sexual Harassment, Intimate Partner Violence, Sexual Misconduct, Stalking and Retaliation

Section 6. Definitions for conduct proceedings

Section 7. Prohibited conduct

Section 8. Conduct proceedings

Section 9. Disciplinary sanctions

Section 10. Initiating conduct proceedings

Section 11. Evidence

Section 12. Brief adjudicative proceedings (and fact finding)

Section 13. Brief adjudicative proceeding administrative review

Section 14. Full adjudicative proceedings and full hearing

Section 15. Administrative review from full hearings

Section 16. Reconsideration of final orders

Part VII, Chapter 478-121 Washington Administrative Code, for 2020 Department of Education federal regulations (EDFR) prohibited conduct