Conduct Review Board
The Bowdoin College Conduct Review Board (“Board”) is a fact-finding body charged with determining whether a student is responsible for violating the Code of Community Standards, including the Academic Honor Code and Social Code. The Conduct Review Board does not select the cases that come before it. Most typically, cases are referred to the Board by the Office of the Dean of Students.
Board Hearings are conducted by a representative Panel of Conduct Review Board members. The process is conducted in two phases: (1) a live hearing; and (2) private and confidential deliberations. The hearing is attended by the Panel, the Respondent, the Conduct Review Board Advisor, and the Dean of Students or designee acting in their capacity as the Presiding Dean. The Presiding Chair reserves the right to recall any witness during the hearing.
At the conclusion of the hearing, the Panel will begin deliberations in private. The Conduct Review Board Advisor will attend deliberations to advise the Panel on matters of procedure and precedent but does not vote.
If, at the conclusion of deliberations, the Panel concludes that the evidence demonstrates a violation has occurred, the Panel will recommend a sanction(s) to the Presiding Dean and the dean has sole responsibility for assessing the appropriate sanction. The Presiding Dean may accept or modify the Conduct Review Board’s recommended sanction but may not change the Board’s determination of responsibility. The Board’s determination of responsibility and the sanction imposed by the Presiding Dean become final unless the opportunity to appeal is initiated. (See Appeal of Conduct Review Board Decisions.)
2. Board Composition
The Conduct Review Board is a College administrative body that consists of student members and faculty members. The two chairs are student members and preside over hearings. If both chairs are unavailable or need to recuse themselves, the Conduct Review Board Advisor may appoint another student member of the Conduct Review Board to preside over the matter.
3. Panel Composition
Academic Honor Code cases typically consist of a panel of five (5) members: The Presiding Chair, two student members, and two faculty members. Matters involving alleged violation of the Social Code are typically heard by a panel of five (5) student members.
In matters that involve interrelated issues of Academic Honor Code and Social Code violations, the composition of the Panel will be determined at the discretion of the Dean of Students. Cases that involve alleged Academic Honor Code and Social Code violations that are interrelated will be heard by the same Panel. In cases involving allegations of Social Code violations that relate to a particular course or within an academic department, the Dean of Students may convene a panel of three students and two faculty members to hear the case.
Deviation from the stated number of Panel members may occur only with the approval of the parties or, under certain circumstances, as determined by the Dean of Students and the Conduct Review Board Advisor. The Dean of Students may call on previous faculty Board members to serve as needed.
Newly-selected Conduct Review Board members are required to observe a hearing and deliberations as part of their training. New members shall not vote in deliberations. With permission of the Conduct Review Board Advisor, staff members from Student Affairs or members of the Student Appeals Committee may observe a hearing for training or educational purposes, but they may not attend deliberations.
The Panel shall determine, by a majority vote, whether the student has violated the Academic Honor Code and/or Social Code, as charged. The decisional standard is preponderance of the evidence.
5. Selection of the Conduct Review Board
- Student Members
- Student Selection Process
New student members are selected by the existing Conduct Review Board student members and the Conduct Review Board Advisor annually during the spring semester. The selection process is overseen by the Conduct Review Board Advisor and the current Chairs of the Conduct Review Board.
Any student interested in serving on the Board may apply, including students with disciplinary records. However, student applicants must be in good academic and social standing at the time of their application in order to be considered.
The application process consists of two rounds: (1) An in-person interview with a representative committee of current Conduct Review Board student members and the Conduct Review Board advisor; and (2) for applicants who advance to the second round, an in-person group interview with three to four other candidates before the full board.
All current Conduct Review Board members are eligible to vote in the selection process. In the event of a tie, the continuing Conduct Review Board student members and the Conduct Review Board Advisor shall have final decision-making authority regarding the slate of new members. The slate is subject to approval by the Dean of Students.
- Election of Chairs
Following the selection during the spring semester, the current student members of the Conduct Review Board shall elect current student members to serve as the future chairs for the following year. All current Conduct Review Board members are eligible to vote, subject to approval by the Dean of Students.
- Student Selection Process
- Faculty Members
Faculty members shall be appointed by the Committee on Governance and Faculty Affairs.
6. Expectations of Conduct Review Board Members
Members of the Board are expected to uphold and exemplify the standards of the Bowdoin College Academic Honor Code and Social Code. Student members must be in good academic and social standing. Members of the Board are expected to respect and maintain confidentiality of all matters that come before the Board. Violation of this confidentiality will lead to dismissal from the Board and serious disciplinary consequences.
If a Board member is formally charged with an alleged violation of the Academic Honor Code or Social Code, they must dismiss themselves from all Board activity until their case is resolved. Members who face disciplinary action for serious breaches of any Bowdoin College policy may be temporarily suspended from Board activity until the matter is resolved. Board members found responsible for serious violations either Code may be dismissed from the Board in addition to facing disciplinary consequences.
All members of the Conduct Review Board must participate in annual training program. The Conduct Review Board Advisor shall convene the Board for training each academic year. At a minimum, training will address the Code of Conduct, the Academic Honor Code, Social Code, policies and procedures, and sanctions.