Ethical Considerations and Guidelines
| Instructions: Please read through the following material and answer the questions pertaining to Module 4 on the assessment. When finished with this section, you may go directly to the online assessment.
This portion of the training will cover nine ethical principles that should be followed by hearing panel members.
1. Cases should be heard before they are decided.
2. Educational aims and progressive discipline should guide the imposition of sanctions.
Students are often in the midst of an intense period of growth and development. They are likely to test rules, commit wrongs, and make mistakes. While they should be accorded the dignity of being held accountable for their behavior, the sanctions imposed should seek to accomplish educational aims, including development of the capacity to make reasoned judgments, and to understand the feelings of others.
3. Progressive discipline should encompass the interests of people seen and unseen.
Current and future members of campus communities (e.g. students, faculty, and staff) usually remain unseen and unheard when disciplinary cases are resolved. They can't be present before the hearing panel, even though they have strong interests in maintaining environments where the common good is promoted, and individual liberties protected. What is progressive discipline? Progressive discipline is more than therapy. It requires board members to be tough-minded as well as tender hearted when sanctions are imposed.
4. Hearing board members are role models
Even the best disciplinary process will seem intimidating to most students, since they realize important decisions about their future may be at stake. The words and behavior of hearing board members (even seemingly minor details like facial expressions and body language) will be observed with care and remembered for years. Whether by design or chance, hearing board members are role models. They should display the qualities they seek in others: clarity, courtesy, attentiveness, fairness, honesty, and respect.
5. Hearing board members are learners
Hearing board members have an unsurpassed opportunity to learn more about human nature in general, and themselves in particular. They should use their experience to integrate theory and practice in ways that promote wisdom and insight. It's also likely that qualities and habits acquired while serving in a campus disciplinary system-timeliness, good listening skills, attention to detail, and a sense of fairness and justice-will serve hearing board members for a lifetime.
6. Confidentiality should be explained and protected.
7. The disciplinary process should promote ethical dialogue and critical thinking.
College disciplinary policies reflect an endeavor to codify many core concepts in applied ethics. Those policies should be subjects of frequent debate in campus-wide forums. Dialogue about the purpose and nature of campus rules should also be encouraged in hearings, especially before sanctions are imposed. The aims are to promote ethical thinking, hear student perspectives, and *think anew* about the wisdom of college policies.
8. All panel members should uphold and respect all decisions of the board.
Individual opinions should be expressed during the deliberation process. While there will most likely be dissenting opinions during the deliberation process, all panel members should fully uphold and respect the final decision that is reached by the panel.
9. Each panel member has a responsibility to fulfill the requirements of his/her position.
By volunteering to be on the hearing panel, you have accepted certain responsibilities for the success of the judicial process. If at any time you are unwilling or unable to fulfill your responsibilities/obligations to this panel, please notify the Office of Student Conduct or Residence Life (whichever is appropriate) as soon as possible.
***Note: You will be required to type your name and your social security number on the assessment form stating that you will abide by the aforementioned Hearing Panel Ethical Guidelines.
This training program was created and posted by the Office of Student Conduct at Missouri State University, 2006.