Written notification of the hearing must be sent to the student and to the faculty member at least seven days prior to the hearing date. The notification of the hearing must include the date, time and place of the hearing, the names of the student and faculty member and a copy of the written grievance. It is presumed that notification was given and received if it was sent to the student and faculty member at their last known addresses by regular first class mail, postage prepaid, postmarked at least seven days prior to the hearing.
The academic standards committee serves as a passive, unbiased and nondiscriminatory board. The committee may ask questions of the witnesses and request further information as required. It is the student who has the burden of proving that his or her case is correct. If a grievance is registered against an academic standards committee member, that member disqualifies him- or herself and the faculty council chairperson appoints an alternate for the hearing. The academic standards committee is responsible for tape-recording the hearing and submitting the tape to the vice president for academic affairs with the committee’s recommendation. The hearing is open to members of the academic standards committee, the student, the faculty member who is the subject of the grievance, the vice president for academic affairs, academic deans, dean of continuing education and workforce development and witnesses for the student, faculty member or the academic standards committee. A witness must be able to offer specific information relevant to the grievance in order to be heard by the academic standards committee. The student may request the advice of a faculty member, including advice at the committee hearing.
The chairperson of the academic standards committee opens the hearing with the following standard opening statement: “The academic standards committee, a standing committee of the faculty council of Wor-Wic Community College, has convened this hearing to review a written grievance according to the college’s academic grievance procedures. At this hearing on (date) at (time) in (room number) of (building) in Salisbury, Maryland, the student, (name), who has registered a grievance against the faculty member, (name), has the burden of proving the correctness of his or her grievance. It is the role of the academic standards committee to act as a hearing board to make its recommendation, through the vice president for academic affairs, to the college president concerning this grievance according to the college’s academic grievance procedures. The academic standards committee serves as a passive, unbiased and nondiscriminatory board. All individuals involved in these proceedings are advised to conduct themselves in a professional manner. Failure to heed the warnings of the academic standards committee during these proceedings may warrant your removal from the hearing.” All individuals who intend to make statements are sworn in by raising their right hands and answering “I do” to the following oath: “Do you declare and affirm that the testimony you are about to give is the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth?”
The student makes an opening statement concerning how he or she has been treated unfairly by the faculty member. The faculty member also makes an opening statement concerning the facts that the faculty member expects to prove during the hearing. Witnesses for the student may undergo direct examination by the student and cross-examination by the faculty member. Witnesses for the faculty member may undergo direct examination by the faculty member and cross-examination by the student. The student, faculty member and witnesses are to address their presentations to the academic standards committee and may question each other or witnesses after receiving permission from the chair of the academic standards committee. Witnesses may not ask questions. They may only respond to questions.
The hearing closes with a brief statement by the academic standards committee chairperson. The committee reviews the written grievance and the facts presented during the hearing. The committee has 10 days to make its recommendation, through the vice president for academic affairs, to the president. The recommendation may be in the form of a finding for the student or a finding for the faculty member. The recommendation may grant relief that is different from or less than that sought by either party. The technical rules of evidence do not apply. The decision of the president, upon notification of all parties involved, is final.