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Honor Code appeals process depends on degree of offense

| Tuesday, October 14, 2014

With updates on four of the five Irish football players involved with academic dishonesty investigations, the attention now shifts to the Honor Code’s appeal process and requirements for readmission to the University.

Irish senior defensive end Ishaq Williams will not play in 2014 and would like to return in 2015, Irish coach Brian Kelly said Tuesday. Senior receiver DaVaris Daniels is “done” at Notre Dame, Daniels said on Twitter on Tuesday, and graduate student linebacker Kendall Moore announced Tuesday evening on Instagram that he will “respectfully leave my alma mater.”

Junior cornerback KeiVarae Russell will not play this season and will most likely miss the spring semester before returning in June 2015, the junior said in an Instagram post Friday evening.

Vice President for Public Affair and Communication Paul Browne confirmed Friday that the appeal process for the five players would be the same as detailed in the Honor Code.

The Honor Code distinguishes between major, minor and flagrant offenses and outlines the notification and appeal process separately for flagrant offenses.

According to the Code, students have the right to appeal the Honesty Committee’s decision that a student is responsible for offense and/or the penalty attached to the dean of the college involved. For a major or minor offense, he or she must appeal “no later than seven days from the date notification of the decision and penalty was sent by the Committee,” although the dean could extend this deadline “at his or her sole discretion.”

“Grounds for appeal are limited to: evidence discovered after the Honesty Committee Hearing which is relevant to the judgment that a violation has occurred or to the evaluation of its gravity; the presence of a procedural defect in the preliminary investigation or honesty committee hearing; or evidence of personal bias on the part of members of the Honesty Committee that likely influenced the committee’s decision that a violation has occurred or its assignment of a penalty,” the Code states.

To appeal the decision or penalty involving a major or minor offense, “the student must provide a detailed written statement of the reasons for the appeal both to the dean of the college or school in which the offense occurred and to the chair of the Honesty Committee.”

The dean “should not conduct a new hearing on the original allegation,” but before making a decision, he or she “is required to speak with the chair of the Honesty Committee to understand fully the Committee’s reasons for its original decision and to discuss the dean’s reasons for considering a change in that decision,” the Code states

The dean deciding the appeal could: overrule the finding of the Honesty Committee that a violation occurred and dismiss the charge in its entirety; remand the case to the original Honesty Committee for a new hearing or follow-up “either because of new evidence or procedural defect;” create a new Honesty Committee to consider the alleged violation if “there is evidence that personal bias may have affected the original Committee’s decision;” agree with the decision but decrease the severity of the penalty; or agree with both the decision and the penalty, affirming the decision.

For flagrant offenses, the case proceeds automatically on appeal to the dean, the Code states. The student can appear before the dean to discuss the appeal, and the dean has the same five options when evaluating appeals of flagrant offenses as he/she does for major or minor offenses.

If a student has been found responsible for repeated violations, the standard penalty is dismissal from the University, according to the Code.

“Dismissal is separation from the University for at least one semester,” the Code states. “Unless otherwise specified, the student is eligible to apply for readmission to Notre Dame, but readmission is not automatic.

“Permanent Dismissal is separation from the University with no opportunity to apply for readmission.”

To be readmitted, a dismissed student must submit an application and his or her readmission must be approved by the dean of the college involved and the associate provost chairing the University Code of Honor Committee (currently Hugh Page, vice president and associate provost for undergraduate affairs and dean of the First Year of Studies).

If the dismissal is permanent, the student has the right to a review “of any aspect of the case for any reason” by the Office of the President, the Code states. Decisions of the President’s Office will be final.

In a statement Oct. 6, Browne acknowledged that “it can be difficult for students, regardless of culpability, who are subject to such reviews, especially when public scrutiny becomes so magnified for those who are student-athletes,” and said “we are working to resolve these situations as quickly as possible.”

These cases provided “a complex set of circumstances that required thoroughness,” Browne said Friday, and “appropriate parties were working as expeditiously as possible on them.”

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About Ann Marie Jakubowski

Senior News Writer, formerly Editor-in-Chief. English and Spanish double major, minor in journalism, ethics and democracy. Grand Rapids, Mich., native. Notre Dame Class of 2015.

Contact Ann Marie
  • POV

    Nicely summarized from the policy for students whose cases are adjudicated by an honesty committee.

    Honor code cases that are decided by the honor code violation report process become irrevocable 7 days after the student signs the form, and there is no appeal process.

    Readers can read the policy at honorcode.nd.edu.