Section 5: Administrative Panel Procedures

Please note that a * denotes a section that has corresponding CJC comments that the committee wishes the public to review.

The procedures under this Code provide two types of hearings: (1) by an Administrative Panel hearing and (2) by a Hearing Panel.
The Administrative Panel conducts hearings in cases where the OSCCS is recommending sanctions less than a disciplinary probation, suspension, or expulsion. Consistent with the less severe nature of the sanctions, the Administrative Panel will rely primarily on written statements from the parties and the respondent’s testimony, if the respondent wishes to testify. The Administrative Panel has the discretion to call other witnesses, including those requested by the OSCCS or the respondent. The Administrative Panel may also conduct a limited “sanctions-only” hearings, where the OSCCS and the respondent disagree only on the proper level of sanctions.
The Hearing Panel conducts hearings in cases where the OSCCS is recommending sanctions of a disciplinary probation, suspension, or expulsion. As these are the most severe sanctions possible, the Hearing Panel relies primarily on information presented through testimony by witnesses called by the OSCCS, the respondent, and the Hearing Panel.
In all hearings, strict rules of evidence are not applied. Panel members will consider all information that is reliable and relevant to the case at hand.
*The CJC voted 5-2 to keep disciplinary probation with the Hearing Panel process, not the Administrative Panel. The 2 who voted against believed that since disciplinary probation cases are such a small percentage of current cases that the Administrative Panel could handle the workload and that disciplinary probation was not as serious of a sanction as suspension or expulsion.*
When a Formal Complaint is not resolved by Administrative Resolution or Administrative Resolution by Mediation/ADR and the OSCCS recommends sanctions less than disciplinary probation, suspension or expulsion, the case will be referred to an Administrative Panel. The Administrative Panel shall be composed of a faculty Administrative Panel Chair (non-voting), two students, and one faculty member, all drawn from the Administrative, Hearing, and Appeal Panels pool.
The OSCCS will notify the Logistics Chair of the need to schedule an Administrative Panel and will provide the Logistics Chair with the case number. The Logistics Chair will randomly select the Panel from the pool of available panelists and set a hearing date. [2]
Once scheduled, all other decisions pertaining to the Administrative Panel will be directed to the Administrative Panel Chair. The Administrative Panel Chair will be selected on a rotating basis from the pool of faculty members who serve as Administrative Panel and Hearing Panel Chairs. If the selected Chair cannot serve as the Chair because of good cause shown, such as scheduling issues, the Chair may recuse themselves if a different Chair is willing to and can serve as the Chair at the scheduled hearing.
The Administrative Panel shall hold a hearing within twenty (20) business days from the date the Administrative Panel receives notice of the case by the OSCCS, unless postponed by agreement of the OSCCS and respondent, or postponed by the Administrative Panel Chair for good cause shown.
In any case referred to the Administrative Panel for a hearing:
  • The OSCCS shall make a good faith effort to give notice of the hearing at least ten (10) business days prior to the hearing
  • The notice of the hearing shall contain:
    • the time and place of the hearing;
    • specification of the charges against the respondent;
    • statement of the respondent’s rights to be accompanied by counsel or an advisor of the respondent’s choice, to hear the evidence against the respondent, to question witnesses, and to give evidence in the respondent’s own behalf; and
    • the name of the Administrative Panel Chair; and, if determined, the Administrative Panel members. If the notice does not include the name of the Administrative Panel members, the parties will be so notified, in writing, at a later time, prior to the hearing.
Both the OSCCS and the respondent will have an opportunity to provide written pre-hearing submissions to the Administrative Panel.
The OSCCS will provide a written summary of the investigation, including the initial complaint or Formal Complaint made to the OSCCS, the list of witnesses interviewed, any information gathered, and the proposed Administrative Resolution, to the Administrative Panel and to the respondent at least 10 business days prior to the hearing.
The respondent may submit a written response to the Administrative Panel. Any written response must be submitted within five business days of receipt of the OSCCS’s summary of the investigation. This submission may function as the respondent’s opening statement and may not exceed 2500 words. If the respondent wants the Administrative Panel to hear directly from witnesses other than the respondent, the respondent must submit a written request to the Administrative Panel within five business days after receipt of the OSCCS’s investigation summary. This request should include the names of proposed witnesses and an explanation of why the individual’s presence is relevant and helpful to the Administrative Panel’s determination. The respondent is encouraged to include proposed questions for or general topics to be addressed by each witness.
The Administrative Panel Chair and the Administrative Panel will review the respondent’s witness requests and determine whether those witnesses will be called at the hearing. At least three (3) business days prior to the hearing, the OSCCS and the respondent will be provided with a witness list.
The Administrative Panel Chair manages the hearing procedure and logistics. The Administrative Panel shall endeavor to evaluate all relevant information given at the hearing. The Administrative Panel may proceed in the absence of a respondent and the decision rendered by the Administrative Panel can be based on the information that has already been presented.
All hearings shall be private.
*The CJC voted 5-3 to make all hearings private. The 3 who voted against believed that there should be some exceptions to allow for a public hearing. The existing code allows for public hearings in certain circumstances and believed those exceptions should be included.*
If the Administrative Panel requested the presence of any witnesses, the OSCCS, the respondent, and the panelists will have the opportunity to question the witnesses. Except for the Judicial Codes Counselor, the respondent’s advisor shall not normally participate in the hearing in the capacity of counsel. The respondent will have the opportunity to provide testimony at the hearing, but no respondent shall be compelled to testify. Witnesses shall be excluded from all hearings, except for the period of their questioning. Witnesses shall not see or hear other evidence presented at the hearing, such as any police report, except as the Administrative Panel Chair determines to be appropriate.
For cases involving interpersonal misconduct, such as harassment, hazing, and assault and endangerment, and when the Administrative Panel Chair believes that direct questioning of a witness would result in undue intimidation, the Chair and the Panelists will ask questions instead of the respondent. In such circumstances, the respondent shall have the opportunity to submit proposed questions to the Administrative Panel Chair and Administrative Panel.
After all questioning concludes, the OSCCS and the respondent shall have the opportunity to present a closing statement, typically no longer than five minutes.
*The CJC voted 7-1 to maintain the language around questioning and appropriate questioning with necessary judgment by the Chair to determine what is appropriate. The one person who voted against believed all questions no matter what should go through the Chair.*
After the closing statements conclude, the Administrative Panel may begin its deliberations. Deliberations will be completed as expeditiously as possible. The Panel Chair may participate in deliberations but may not vote. The Panel will make a decision on responsibility based upon a majority vote.
An Administrative Panel that finds the respondent responsible will continue its deliberations to consider sanctions and remedies. The Administrative Panel may impose any of the sanctions and/or remedies, excluding disciplinary probation, suspension or explusion, listed in section 4.2 of these Procedures.
Prior to deliberating on sanctions and remedies, the Panel Chair will distribute to the Administrative Panel any prior disciplinary record information regarding the respondent or any written or recorded Impact/Mitigation Statements previously submitted by the OSCCS and respondent.
The respondent is permitted, but not required, to prepare a written or recorded Impact/Mitigation Statement relevant to any sanctions. The respondent may submit the statement up until the end of a hearing but is advised to begin to compose such statements in advance. The respondent may include an Appendix with additional information, including witness statements, to serve as character evidence.
The OSCCS may supplement the sanctions recommendation made in the Administrative Resolution and included in the pre-hearing submissions with its rationale for proposing those sanctions. This information may include impact statements by individuals who were affected by the Respondent’s conduct. The OSCCS shall also submit any records of prior misconduct by the respondent, including the respondent’s previous disciplinary record at Cornell University, and any criminal convictions.
When the respondent accepts responsibility but the OSCCS and the respondent are unable to resolve a Formal Complaint by Administrative Resolution or Administrative Resolution by Mediation/ADR because of a disagreement about the appropriate sanctions, the respondent may elect to have a sanctions-only hearing. The OSCCS and the respondent shall submit to the Administrative Panel a joint statement of facts and responsibility and the impact/mitigation statements described in section 5.6 of these procedures. Within five business days prior to the hearing, the respondent may submit a written request that the Administrative Panel hear directly from witnesses, including the respondent, concerning sanctions. This request should include the names of proposed witnesses and an explanation of why the individual’s presence is relevant and helpful to the Administrative Panel’s determination on sanctions. The Administrative Panel Chair and the Administrative Panel will review the respondent’s witness requests and determine whether those witnesses will be called at the hearing.

[2] It is recommended that the Logistics Chair set a standing meeting time with a rotating group of Administrative Panel members. That way, the Administrative Panel Process will not be delayed by scheduling complications. If a hearing does not occur on the date scheduled, the Logistics Chair should inform the Administrative Panel members as soon as possible that their service on the previously set hearing date is no longer necessary.

**Please submit comments on the main 2020 Proposed Amendments to the Campus Code of Conduct page.**