Statement of Student Rights and Code of Student Conduct

A. Introduction

When students choose to accept admission to the University of Michigan-Dearborn (“the University”), they accept the rights and responsibilities of membership in the University’s academic and social community.

The primary purpose of the Statement of Student Rights and Code of Student Conduct (“the Code”) is to assist the University in providing an environment which supports the educational process and the well-being of the campus community. The responsibility for maintaining such an environment is shared by all members of the campus community. The Code was written by students, faculty, and staff of the University of Michigan-Dearborn.

Free inquiry and free expression are essential attributes of the University community. As members of the community, students are encouraged to develop the capacity for critical judgment and to engage in a substantial independent search for truth. The freedom to learn depends upon the opportunities and conditions in the classroom, the campus, and in the larger community. The responsibility to secure and respect general conditions conducive to the freedom to learn should be shared by all members of the academic community.

As members of the University community, students are expected to uphold its values by maintaining a high standard of conduct. Such values include, but are not limited to, civility, dignity, diversity, education, equality, freedom, honesty, and safety. The Code is an articulation of the University's commitment to recognize and support the rights of its students and to provide a guide for defining behaviors the University considers inappropriate. It is not, however, meant to be an exhaustive list of all rights supported by the University or of all actions which may be considered misconduct. The Code defines student rights and conduct standards in order to give general notice of conduct expectations, to identify sanctions that will be imposed when misconduct occurs, and to ensure that students are treated with fundamental fairness and personal dignity.

Disciplinary proceedings initiated in response to a charge of violation will be the responsibility of the Code Process and will be undertaken according to the provisions and procedures articulated by the Code. The focus of inquiry in disciplinary proceedings will be on the question of responsibility of those charged with violating the Code.

Members of the University community are accountable to both civil authorities and to the University for acts which violate the law and this Code. Disciplinary action at the University will, normally, proceed during the pendency of external civil or criminal proceedings and will not be subject to challenge on the grounds that external civil or criminal charges involving the same incident are pending or have been invoked, dismissed, or reduced.

Within the University, entities (such as schools and colleges, business units and student organizations) have developed policies that outline standards of conduct governing their constituents and that sometimes provide procedures for
sanctioning violations of those standards. This Code does not replace those standards; nor does it constrain the procedures or sanctions provided by those policies. The Code will be used to address violations of other University policies when the violation warrants a process or sanction beyond what is available in those policies. In such cases, the policy administrator may take intermediate action regarding a violation of their individual policy; however, final resolution will occur under the procedures outlined in this Code.

Nothing in this document should be construed so as to limit the Chancellor’s authority to maintain health, diligence, and order among students under Regents’ Bylaw 2.02.

B. Academic Rights

  1. Protection of Freedom of Expression. Students are responsible for learning thoroughly the content of any course of study, but are free to take exception to the data or views presented and to reserve judgment about matters of opinion.
  2. Protection Against Improper Disclosure. Protection against improper disclosure of information regarding student views, beliefs, and political associations which instructors acquire in the course of their work as instructors, advisors, and counselors is considered a professional obligation.
  3. Protection Against Improper Academic Evaluation. Students can expect protection, through orderly procedures, against prejudice, arbitrary or capricious evaluation. Students are also expected to respect the academic freedom of faculty and their rights and responsibilities to determine curriculum and evaluate academic performance.
  4. Academic Policies. If any student has a grievance regarding academic practices and policies, there are established procedures within each college and school of the University for resolving such problems. See the appropriate school or college section of the Catalog for a statement of the academic grievance procedure to be followed.
  5. For conflicts involving a faculty or staff member, students are encouraged to try to resolve the matter through consultation with that individual. If the conflict relates to unlawful discrimination or harassment, the student should consult with the Office of Institutional Equity. Formal complaints must be filed with the Office of Institutional Equity.

C. Student Rights

Students at the University have the same rights and protections under the Constitutions of the United States and the State of Michigan as other citizens. These rights include freedom of expression, press, religion, and assembly. Higher education has a long tradition of student activism and values freedom of expression, which includes voicing unpopular views and dissent. As members of our University community, students have the right to express their own views, but must also take responsibility for granting the same right to others.

Students have the right to be treated fairly and with dignity regardless of race, color, national origin, age, marital status, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, gender expression, disability, religion, height, weight, or veteran status, and as revised in the University of Michigan Nondiscrimination Policy. The University has a long-standing tradition of commitment to pluralistic education. Accordingly, the University, through this Code, will not unlawfully discriminate on the basis of protected group status.

Students have the right to be protected from capricious decision-making by the University and to have access to University policies which affect them. The University has an enduring commitment to provide students with a balanced and fair system of dispute resolution. Accordingly, this Code will not deprive students of the appropriate due process protections to which they are entitled. This Code is one of the University’s administrative procedures and should not be equated with procedures used in civil or criminal courts.

Students and student organizations are free to discuss questions of interest to them and to express opinions publicly and privately without penalty. In conveying the ideas and opinions of students, the student press is free from censorship and the need of advance approval.

Editors, managers, and writers must subscribe to the standards of responsible journalism. At the same time, they are protected from arbitrary suspension and removal because of student, faculty, administrative, or public disapproval of editorial policy or content. Students have the right to privacy of personal possessions. Searches and seizures may be conducted by appropriate University officials, but only for specific reasons of probable cause and not freely at will. The student(s) being searched must be notified of the object of the search, unless there is immediate danger to person or property.

D. Student Conduct

Along with rights come certain responsibilities. Students are expected to conduct themselves in a manner conducive to an environment of academic integrity and of respect for the educational process and the safety and well-being of all members of the campus community. Students are also expected to comply with published University policies.