We recognize that families of UMKC students may have questions if their student becomes involved in a conduct situation at the university. We have answered some of the frequently asked questions about our processes below.
My student was contacted about a conduct code violation. Can I call the Office of Student Affairs and Enrollment Management to find out more about what happened?
The Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA) protects the privacy of all students’ educational records. Education records are defined as any records that are directly related to a student and are maintained by an education agency or institution. Common examples of student records protected by FERPA include grade reports and disciplinary files. Due to this law, we cannot give out information about a student’s disciplinary record, even to parents who are paying their student’s tuition, unless that student has filed a release of information form, which waives their FERPA protection. This is generally done during orientation. If a form is not on file with the university, the student must come to the Records and Registration office, Administrative Center, room 115 and sign a release in person.
Will my student be able to tell you their side of the story?
Yes, that is the purpose of the investigation and/or conduct hearing. A student who is suspected of a conduct code violation is given the opportunity to meet face-to-face with a representative of the university to discuss the charge at issue and their account of what took place. Some students meet with the Office of Student Affairs and Enrollment Management or an equity investigator/Title IX coordinator.
My student was charged criminally. Why do they need to go through the student conduct process, too?
The UMKC community and their visitors are subject to all university rules and regulations, including those contained in the Student Standard of Conduct. Additionally, those individuals are also simultaneously subject to all local, state and federal laws. Though most students attend their hearing alone, any person can serve as an advisor for a student in the conduct process. Parents, family members, academic advisors and friends are the most typical individuals asked by students to serve as advisors. Advisors are allowed to attend meetings with students but are not permitted to speak on the student’s behalf.
Can I be present during my student’s hearing process?
You are welcome to be with your student during the hearing process, as long as the student has signed the FERPA release form and approves you being there.
How can I best support my student in this process?
The most important way you can help your student is by being supportive while holding them accountable for their decisions if they were involved in the alleged incident. You can also help identify and encourage them to seek resources on campus for help regarding alcohol or drug use and abuse, anger management and other issues so that your student can be successful at UKMC. Finally, allow and respect your student to make the necessary arrangements to have this matter resolved. This includes setting appointments, attending meetings and completing sanctions.
One of the fundamental rights afforded students in the student conduct process is their right to counsel of their choice. Students may hire a lawyer to assist them through the university’s student conduct process Read More
In brief, a lawyer may:
- Consult with a student during disciplinary proceeding.
- Suggest questions for the student to ask.
- Assist the student in clarifying their response to a question.
A lawyer may not:
- “Cross-examine” witnesses.
- Speak on the student’s behalf.
- Object in any manner to questions asked or discussion raised.
- Interrupt the conduct proceeding.
What is my role in assisting my client through the conduct process?
It is not the role of the lawyer to “win” the case for the student. Rather, the lawyer may lend support to the charged student in developing their defense, attending the conduct hearing proceedings and, if necessary, assisting the student with an appeal.
How do I access information about my client’s case so that I may better assist them?
Lawyers may receive the information directly from the student. If a lawyer wishes to receive information from the university, the student is often required to fill out a release of information. Prior to formal conduct proceedings before the Chancellor’s Committee on Student Conduct, staff will give copies of all the information that will be used by the Committee in the proceedings to the charged student, if requested.
Who do I talk to if I have questions about the case?
Lawyers may contact staff in the Title IX Office at 816-235-6910. Staff are available to assist lawyers in helping them prepare for the disciplinary proceedings of the charged student. If an attorney’s questions relate to specifics of the incident involving a student, staff will require that the charged student sign a release. Otherwise, the staff will only be able to accommodate general questions about the disciplinary process.
What if the student is facing criminal charges?
The university is responsible for upholding the Student Standard of Conduct through a student conduct process separate from that that exists outside its boundaries. If a student is facing criminal charges, the student will be accountable for their behavior through a campus student conduct proceeding independent of any criminal court proceedings.
The university disciplinary process cannot be changed on the grounds that criminal charges have been dismissed or reduced. To encourage the student to consider the impact of their behavior on the university community as a UMKC student, the university may find a student responsible for the violation of the Code and assign sanctions separate for those assigned criminally.