Dean's Discipline

A student charged with a disciplinary infraction subject to “Dean’s Discipline” is entitled to notice of the charges, an opportunity to be heard and an opportunity to appeal a disciplinary decision to the dean of the Columbia University Vagelos College of Physicians and Surgeons (VP&S).*

Faculty, staff or students with concerns that a student has committed a non-academic infraction should contact the Senior Associate Dean of Student Affairs. Students may instead report concerns through the Student Honor Code Committee.  Based on the information provided to the Senior Associate Dean of Student Affairs, a dean’s discipline proceeding may then follow.  An dean’s discipline proceeding begins with a written communication from the Senior Associate Dean of Student Affairs requiring the student to attend a disciplinary hearing to respond to a specified charge. The hearing is held, in collaboration with the Columbia University Office of Student Conduct and Community Standards (SCCS), before a committee comprised of three members of the VP&S faculty, appointed by the VP&S dean or his designee. The Senior Associate Dean of Student Affairs is ex officio and non-voting. The OSCCS provides note taking at the hearing.  The hearing is a fact-finding proceeding; the student need not be present to hear other witnesses and there is no formal cross examination of witnesses or objecting to evidence. In addition, although students are always free to consult an attorney, they may not have an attorney present during a disciplinary hearing or at any appeal.

The student is informed of the evidence that led to the charges against him or her and asked to respond in the hearing. The student may request witnesses to appear on his or her behalf and may submit relevant documents or information.

After the disciplinary committee has heard the student and others and considered all the evidence, it reaches a determination, and consults with the Office of SCCS regarding sanctions.  The Senior Associate Dean of Student Affairs notifies the student in writing of that decision. If the student is found to have committed an infraction, the penalty can include remediation, probation, suspension, dismissal, or any combination of these.

The student has the right to appeal a decision that results from a dean’s discipline hearing to the dean of the faculty of medicine, who may refer the matter to the Executive Committee of the Faculty Council. There is no further appeal within the University.

*The University-wide Rules of University Conduct govern conduct incident to demonstrations, rallies and picketing and may displace “Dean’s Discipline” in cases of serious violations.

Revision approved by Curriculum and Education Policy Committee 8/31/18