- 1. Policy Statement
- 2. Policy Scope
- 3. Policy Principles
- 4. Policy Objectives
- 5. Definitions
- 6. Formal Communications with Students
- 7. Composition and Constitution of Committees
- 8. Penalties
- 9. Record Keeping and Notification
The policy sets out the expectations for student behaviour at ACU, and provides a framework for dealing with instances of alleged student misconduct.
2.1 This policy applies to all students of the University.
2.2 The University may deal with misconduct under this policy if the person was a student at the time of the alleged misconduct, and may proceed as if the person had continued to be a student, even if the person ceases to be a student before proceedings are instituted or finalised.
2.3 In any case where a student is in a gathering or group of students and/or other persons and another of the group engages in activities that constitute misconduct, the student is taken to have engaged in misconduct if they did not take all reasonable steps to dissociate from the gathering or group as soon as practicable after they became aware of the misconduct.
2.4 If a matter being dealt with under this policy becomes subject to a police investigation, then proceedings under this policy will be suspended and until that criminal investigation and/or proceedings have been completed.
3.1 The Australian Catholic University’s (ACU) Mission Statement and the principles underpinning this policy recognise the reciprocal relationship between individual and community rights and responsibilities. All ACU students are expected to behave in a way that:
- allows reasonable freedom to others to pursue their studies, research, duties, community engagement and other lawful University activities, and to participate in the life of the University;
- recognises the University objective of pursuit of academic excellence and that academic standards and proper procedures are essential in achieving that objective;
- promotes the proper use of University facilities, information and the property of the University and of other persons and/or organisations on its campuses, on other sites at which it conducts its activities, and at other legitimate activities organised by the University’s Student Associations;
- ensures that the reputation of the University is upheld.
The objectives of this Policy are to:
- promote the principle of mutual respect by informing students of behaviour which the University considers appropriate;
- discourage inappropriate behaviour which the University defines as misconduct;
- provide a framework and procedurally fair practices for dealing with possible cases of misconduct;
- provide for the imposition and enforcement of penalties for proven misconduct.
In this Policy:
Allegation notice means the notice the University gives to a student to commence formal misconduct proceedings.
Authorised Officer is the person to whom instances of alleged student misconduct can be reported (See Schedule 1 of the Procedures for Dealing with Breaches of Student Conduct and Discipline).
Campus service order means any activity in aid of the University, or a student, of a kind which is declared by an Associate Vice-Chancellor or Campus Dean or nominee to be a campus service order for the purposes of this policy.
Class includes any lecture, tutorial, seminar, laboratory, practical, field or other learning, teaching, research or assessment activity, regardless of the medium or location in which it is conducted.
Computing and network facilities include, but are not limited to, computers, computer systems, email and other communications networks, social media, websites and information facilities, together with associated software, files and data storage and retrieval. It also includes online teaching resources.
Decision Maker means an Associate Vice-Chancellor or Campus Dean, a Discipline Committee or a Discipline Appeals Committee.
Designated Officermeans a person designated as such for each campus, for the purpose of this policy, by the relevant Associate Vice-Chancellor or Campus Dean. A Designated Officer will also be appointed by the Chief Operating Officer for matters relating to students not attached to a specific campus. A Designated Officer will normally be appointed for a term of not less than two years.
Exclusion (except where the context indicates otherwise) means denial of access to all or specified University premises, facilities, activities, services, courses, units, lectures, tutorials, examinations or any aspect of University life.
Misconduct includes, but is not limited to, conduct or behaviour by a student or of a group of persons which includes a student that:
- impairs the reasonable freedom of others to pursue their studies, research, duties, community engagement and other University activities and to participate in the life of the University;
- hinders the pursuit of academic excellence by circumvention of academic standards and proper procedures in relation to teaching and learning, assessment or research;
- interferes with, or causes damage to, or loss of, or obstructs the use of, any facilities, information or property owned or controlled by the University, or owned or controlled by any person or organisation in relation to a University activity;
- misleadingly misrepresents any matter pertaining to that student and/or their status as a student;
- amounts to, causes or contributes to a breach of the policies, regulations, rules or procedures of the University, or of a body where the student is undertaking research, fieldwork, clinical, practical or professional experience, education, assessment, community engagement or other legitimate University activity;
- constitutes a failure to comply with a lawful direction given by a person authorised by the University to ensure the safety of any person, the preservation of any property or the maintenance of good order within the University or under this Policy or any other University policy, regulation, rule or procedure;
- encourages, persuades or incites any other person to engage in conduct or behaviour constituting misconduct;
- is disorderly or detrimental to the interests or reputation of the University;
- hinders actions initiated under this Policy or adversely affects persons in any way associated with the conduct of investigations, determination of cases or imposition or implementation of penalties under this Policy.
- a person who is enrolled in any program, unit of study or research or non-award study offered by or at the University;
- a student of another university or other education provider who is granted temporary or on-going rights of access to a campus or site or facilities of the University;
- a person who has applied for admission to undertake study offered by or at the University;
- a person who has deferred enrolment in a program, unit or non-award study;
- a person who was previously enrolled in any program, unit or non-award study offered by or at the University and is interacting with the University in relation to their status as a student;
- a person who was a student at the time of any alleged misconduct.
Support person means a person, other than a person with a qualification in law, whom a student designates as their support person in proceedings under this policy. A support person may only make submissions on behalf of a student if invited to do so by the Designated Officer or Decision Maker. A support person may not be a person who was involved in, associated with, or alleged to have been involved in, or associated with, the matter under review.
Suspension means the cancellation of a student’s enrolment at the University for a specified period and the associated entitlement to enter or remain upon any campus or site or participate in any University activity.
University activity means any activity formally associated with the University such as representative sporting activities and University organised social or community activities, activities on student placement or exchange and activities on University student accommodation.
The timelines and associated provisions relating to formal communications contained in the Academic Regulations will apply to any communications with students under this policy regardless of whether or not the matters dealt with under this policy relate to academic misconduct.
7.1 Discipline Committee
7.1.1 A Discipline Committee will be appointed by the relevant Associate Vice-Chancellor or Campus Dean and will comprise:
- The relevant Associate Vice-Chancellor or Campus Dean (chairperson);
- one member of staff, drawn from a panel of staff established annually by the relevant Associate Vice-Chancellor or Campus Dean in consultation with the Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Students Learning and Teaching); and
- one student, drawn from a panel of students established annually by the relevant Associate Vice-Chancellor or Campus Dean in consultation with the Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Students Learning and Teaching).
7.1.2 A quorum of the Committee is all three members.
7.1.3 The chairperson has a deliberative vote and, if required a casting vote.
7.1.4 If an Associate Vice-Chancellor or Campus Dean has previously been involved in any aspect of a student complaint arising from a critical incident which results in an allegation of student misconduct, they may not serve on the Discipline Committee. In such a case the Chief Operating Officer will appoint another Associate Vice-Chancellor or Campus Dean as Chair.
7.1.5 The relevant Associate Vice-Chancellor or Campus Dean may appoint a person to act as secretary to the Discipline Committee. The secretary will provide the Committee with administrative support but is not entitled to vote.
7.2 Discipline Appeals Committee
7.2.1 The Discipline Appeals Committee is appointed by the Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Students, Learning and Teaching) and comprises three persons, at least one of whom must be a member of academic staff:
- a Chair, who must be a member of staff;
- one other member of staff; and
- one student;
7.2.2 Membership of the Discipline Appeals Committee may not include the Associate Vice-Chancellor or Campus Dean, Designated Officer, or any person who was a member of the Discipline Committee which made the decision appealed against, or any person who lodged a report which led to investigation of the alleged misconduct or is otherwise directly involved in the circumstances of the alleged misconduct.
7.2.3 A quorum of the Committee is all three members.
7.2.4 The chairperson has a deliberative vote and, if required, a casting vote.
7.2.5 The Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Students, Learning and Teaching) may appoint a person to act as secretary to the Discipline Appeals Committee. The secretary will provide the Committee with administrative support but does not vote.
7.2.6 The Discipline Appeals Committee may:
- confirm or vary the decision appealed;
- confirm or vary the penalty appealed;
- determine that the appeal is upheld in whole or in part and refer the matter back to a newly constituted Discipline Committee in accordance with section 7.1;
- uphold the appeal in whole or in part;or
- dismiss the appeal in whole or in part.
7.2.7 If the Discipline Appeals Committee upholds an appeal in whole or part and confirms or varies any penalty imposed or substitutes another penalty, it may exercise the same powers as those available to the Discipline Committee under Section 8.1.
8.1 Penalties which may be imposed by Associate Vice-Chancellor or Campus Dean or Discipline Committee
8.2 If the student admits the alleged misconduct or is found to have committed the alleged misconduct, one or more of the penalties listed below may be imposed by the Associate Vice-Chancellor or Campus Dean or by a Discipline Committee.
8.3 The following penalties may be imposed by an Associate Vice-Chancellor or Campus Dean or a Discipline Committee:
- require the student to apologise formally to another party, in person or in writing;
- reprimand the student, including the ability to direct that any reprimand be recorded on the student’s file and/or student record;
- require the student to pay compensation for damage to any person, or to property or facilities of the University;
- fine the student an amount equal to the amount determined to be the reimbursement of costs arising from unauthorised use by the student of any service or facility provided by the University;
- require the student to refrain from having any, or any specified contact with any particular student(s) or member(s) of staff for such period of time as deemed necessary or appropriate;
- impose a campus service order.
8.4 The following penalties may only be imposed by a Discipline Committee:
- fine the student over and above 8.3(c) and 8.3 (d);
- apply a fail grade for all or part of the student’s result for the study period concerned;
- impose a maximum grade which the student may gain for the unit in relation to which the misconduct occurred and/or downgrade the final grade overall in the unit;
- require the student to do further work or repeat work in any unit;
- refuse or cancel credit for any unit;
- suspend the student from the University for any nominated period of time;
- terminate the student’s enrolment;
- withdraw the student’s right to use any vehicle (motorised or non-motorised) on any campus or site for any nominated period of time;
- exclude the student either permanently, or for such period and on such terms and conditions as are deemed appropriate, from one or more of:
- the University, a Faculty or School;
- specified areas of a campus or site;
- a course, unit or non-award study; or
- use of any or nominated University facilities
8.5 Without limiting the range of penalties available, penalties which are academic in nature (namely penalties 8.4(b) to (e)) should normally be imposed only for misconduct under the Academic Honesty Policy.
8.6 In addition to, or in lieu of, the penalties above, the Discipline Committee may require that the student consult a counsellor, medical practitioner or specialist. Where such requirement is invoked in lieu of any other penalty, the substantive penalty will remain in effect until that requirement is satisfied.
8.7 Consequences of exclusion or suspension
8.7.1 Where a student has been excluded or their enrolment has been suspended under this policy, the following provisions apply:
- where the exclusion or suspension does not exceed two weeks, the student may resume studies after the expiry of the nominated period of exclusion or suspension;
- where the exclusion or suspension exceeds two weeks, the student may not resume studies, after the expiry of the nominated period of exclusion or suspension, without first obtaining the approval of the Course Coordinator;
- where the period of exclusion or suspension is greater than one standard study period, in order to be considered for re-enrolment, the person must first submit an application for readmission which will be determined in accordance with the Admission to Coursework Programs Policy;
- if the student subsequently re-enrols, no credit may be granted for any studies or other learning or practical experience undertaken at this University or elsewhere during the period of exclusion or suspension.
8.8 Undischarged penalties
8.8.1 While any penalty imposed under this policy remains outstanding, unfulfilled or unpaid, or while a student is suspended or excluded from any campus or site, the student is not entitled, without the written consent of the Vice-Chancellor or Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Students, Learning and Teaching), to:
- receive any results of assessment;
- receive or be granted credit for any course or unit; or
- graduate or receive any statement indicating eligibility to graduate or receive a diploma or certificate of the University.
8.9 While a student is suspended they must not, without the prior written consent of the Vice-Chancellor or Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Students, Learning and Teaching):
- attend any class;
- sit any examination;
- submit any work for assessment;
- gain any credit;
- access the whole or any nominated part(s) of any campus or site or any of the University’s library, computing and network or other facilities or services;
- be reimbursed any fees paid, or be relieved of responsibility to pay any fees payable, by the student in relation to any such period; or
- be re-enrolled.
- to persons within the University if, in the opinion of the Academic Registrar, they have a legitimate need to know; and
- to persons outside the University in response to a court order, warrant or subpoena.
9.2 Where there is a finding of misconduct, the following documentation will be maintained on the student’s file:
- a copy of the allegation notice sent to the student;
- a copy of the student’s response (if any);
- a copy of the notice of decision forwarded to the student;
- a copy of any student appeal;
- a copy of the notice of decision on any appeal.
9.3 If there is no finding of misconduct, either on the initial hearing or on appeal, no documentation regarding the matter will be placed on the student’s file.
9.4 Each year, the Academic Registrar will prepare a report for the Academic Board on findings of misconduct and identify action, if required, to be taken to address any underlying causes.
Page last updated: 2017-06-26
Short url: https://handbook.acu.edu.au/823023