Due Process/Definition of Terms


     No. 9-10      Rev. 04-14-09   Date 3-7-87




PPM 9-20, Security at Weber State University Hearings


The following definitions have been accepted by the University to apply to the various terms used in describing the procedures of academic due process as outlined in PPMs 9-9 through 9-18:

A. Accuser

Any individual or group (e.g., faculty member, administrator, citizen, student, investigative team, etc.) who registers a complaint or files a formal charge. The individual who registers the complaint need not also be the individual who files an associated formal charge.

B. Administrative Disposition

The resolution of a complaint made at any stage of the proceedings in which a responsible administrator dismisses the complaint or institutes appropriate disciplinary action. An administrative disposition must be acceptable to both the respondent and the accuser and must fall within the range of disciplinary actions contained in Policy No. 9-14, Disciplinary Actions.

C. Administrative Officer

A faculty member, administrator, or other individual designated by the president and confirmed by the Executive Committee of the Faculty Senate to represent the University during the informal (optional) and formal hearing processes. This person shall serve as a neutral observer endeavoring to insure that due process is afforded to all parties in the proceedings. This person need not be the same individual in all cases.

D. Chair of the Faculty Board of Review

The individual responsible for conducting the formal hearing process. The chair receives the formal charge, conducts the prehearing conference, conducts the formal hearing, keeps records and minutes, and makes the Board's recommendation to the president. 

E. University Counsel

The lawyer assigned to the University by the Attorney General's Office. The University Counsel will serve as a representative of the University to provide advice at any stage of the academic due process procedure to the chair of the Faculty Board of Review in appropriate cases. It should be recognized by all parties, however, that in this assignment the University Counsel serves to protect the interests of the University.

F. Complaint

An informal accusation filed by an accuser (any person or group) to a responsible administrator of the University (e.g., department chair, dean, vice president) that a violation of University policy or procedure has allegedly occurred.

G. Disciplinary Action

Includes measures or sanctions which are imposed by the president following a formal hearing as a penalty for the violation of University policy or procedure. The disciplinary actions authorized under this code are defined in this document in Policy No. 9-14, Disciplinary Actions.

H. Faculty Board of Review

The Faculty Board of Review is described in the Faculty Senate Constitution as follows: An elected committee which performs the review functions of the faculty. It is composed of seven tenured members of the teaching faculty. The Faculty Board of Review is principally concerned with, but not limited to, retention of tenured faculty cases of academic due process with regard to granting of tenure/promotion, salary, work conditions and other pertinent matters of faculty concern.

In the event that the accuser is a student of Weber State University, two students shall be added to the Faculty Board of Review. Student representatives will be designated by the WSUSA Executive Officers and confirmed by the Executive Committee of the Faculty Senate. The student representatives need not be the same individuals in all cases. 

The Faculty Board of Review will normally operate from the first day of fall semester to the last day of spring semester and be in recess during the summer.  While in recess, all board action deadlines will be suspended until fall semester.  In exceptional cases, the chair of the Faculty Board of Review, in consultation with the Executive Committee and upon availability of board members, may call a meeting(s) in the summer. (See PPM 1-13.)

I. Formal Charge

A concise statement of the complaint, summarizing the facts, conduct or circumstances reported to constitute failure to comply with the standards set forth in this document (PPMs 9-3 through 9-8). The formal charge is issued to the chair of the Faculty Board of Review who in turn informs the respondent.

J. Formal Hearing

Conducted by the seven-member Faculty Board of Review as set forth in Article VI of the Weber State University constitutional by-laws. The function of this hearing is to hear and evaluate evidence and to make a recommendation for appropriate action to the president.

K. Informal Conciliatory Meeting

Brings together in conference the respondent and a responsible administrator. The meeting is initiated and conducted by a responsible administrator. Attendance of the accuser and/or the administrative officer is optional and may be requested by either the respondent or the responsible administrator. The purpose of the meeting is to provide enough information to the responsible administrator to determine the validity and/or seriousness of the complaint. The outcome of this meeting may be dismissal of the complaint, an administrative disposition or the filing of a formal charge.

L. Prehearing Conference

A meeting held after a formal charge has been filed with the chair of the Faculty Board of Review. At this meeting, initiated and conducted by the chair, the issues to be examined at the formal hearing are delineated.

M. Preliminary Investigation

A fact-finding activity conducted following the receipt of a complaint, conducted by a responsible administrator or an appointed task force. The purpose is to determine whether a complaint merits further action.

N. Procedural Due Process

Refers to the receiving of adequate notice, right to an impartial forum, meeting of deadlines, completion of committee assignments and deliberative actions in accordance with established policies and other procedural matters, many of which are outlined in PPM 9-9, Due Process/General Statement. In general, procedural due process will be deemed to have been afforded when the preponderance of the evidence shows reasonable care in following established procedures. Reasonable care in the performance of the various committees and administrators (allowing for exigencies and unanticipated problems) is sufficient to meet the requirements for procedural due process. Therefore, only cases of prejudicial failure to meet procedural guidelines are to be considered cause for recommendations for rehearings.

O. Reasonable Care

The level of performance recognized in the profession as reasonable in light of obligations one has assumed, competing demands upon energy and time, the nature and quality of the work and all other circumstances which the academic community, after being fully informed, would properly take into account in determining whether the respondent was discharging responsibilities at an acceptable performance level.

P. Representative

Any individual selected by the respondent to attend the informal conciliatory meeting or the formal hearing, including counsel, if desired.

Q. Respondent

A faculty member or an administrator with a faculty appointment against whom a complaint has been made or a formal charge has been issued.

R. Responsible Administrator

The person who receives or is otherwise delegated to review a complaint about an individual's alleged non-compliance with policies set forth in this document. The responsible administrator may be a department chair, program director, supervisor, dean, vice president or other appointed administrator of the University. This person is responsible for preliminary investigation of the complaint and for conducting the informal conciliatory meeting. The responsible administrator may or may not have administrative jurisdiction over the respondent.