The formal hearing body at UMD is known as the Student Hearing Panel (SHP). Membership of the SHP is comprised of students, faculty, and staff of UMD. Those that wish to be a member of the panel undergo an extensive training process and must be in good standing with the University. OSCCR then appoints the respective students, faculty and staff members to individual panels for Formal Hearings as needed.
Hearing Panel Composition
When a formal hearing is requested, OSCCR polls the panel to assess their availability to serve in a formal hearing. Names of the complainant and respondent are provided with the poll so that those with a conflict of interest or a possible perceived conflict of interest will recuse themselves. Panel members are assigned to cases with a goal of diversity of University role (faculty, staff or student), race, and gender on each panel and to ensure that certain members of the panel pool are not hearing a disproportionate amount of cases. After an initial panel is selected, the panel is provided the case file to review in advance of the hearing. The case file may include the investigation report and initial findings, and case correspondence between OSCCR and the students. During their review of the case file, should a panelist come to realize a conflict of interest, or a perceived conflict of interest, they are responsible for recusing themselves.
A quorum for the Student Hearing Panel is three (3) members.
The Secretary of the panel is designated by the Director of OSCCR. The Secretary is not a voting member. The Secretary attends the hearing and handles all logistics, but does not participate in panel deliberations. After the panel reaches a conclusion, the secretary writes the panel decision explaining the panel’s reasoning based on the information provided to them by the panel. Each panel member reviews and approves the decision.
The Student Hearing Panel has autonomy in their decisions. The Office of Student Conduct & Conflict Resolution does not have the authority to override a panel’s decision regarding the determination of responsibility or sanctions assigned.
Hearing officers and panelist will receive annual and on-going training throughout their service as a member of the SHP pool. Trainings include but are not limited to understanding student rights, civil rights, cultural competencies, bias training, effective questioning, trauma informed interviewing, sanction practices, restorative justice, etc.