Conduct Process Overview

Overview of the Conduct Process

 This overview gives a general idea of how the University’s campus conduct proceedings work, but it should be noted that not all situations are of the same severity or complexity. Thus, these procedures are flexible, and are not exactly the same in every situation, though consistency in similar situations is a priority. The campus conduct process and all applicable timelines commence with notice to an administrator of a potential violation of University rules.

The purpose of the student conduct review process is to:

  1. Uphold and maintain the rights and responsibilities of the students of Rockford University;
  2. Address behavior inconsistent with University expectations and causes of such behavior;
  3. Maintain the safety and well-being of the community;
  4. Contribute to the educational mission and learning outcomes of the student experience; and
  5. Reduce the likelihood of behavior inconsistent with University expectations from reoccurring in the future.


  • Respondent/Responding Person: Any student suspected of violating a University policy.
  • Reporting Person: Any student negatively impacted or victimized by a policy violation. If there is no immediate student reporting person the University community will be considered the reporting person.
  • Victim: Any person who experiences a loss of health, general and reasonable well-being, or property. This person does not have to make or file a complaint or report with the University to be considered the victim of a specific act.
  • Witness: Any person who through direct sensory input is aware of behavior that is considered a risk under or contrary to the Code of Conduct, and who did not create, promote or allow the act.
  • Hearing Officer: Any professional staff member with experience or appropriate training in the type of student conduct review process that will be heard by them. The Hearing Officer must also be free from any known biases toward those involved in the incident or the type of incident under consideration.
  • Review: A structured meeting designed to elicit the information needed to reach a decision about a policy violation while providing the Respondent with the ability to challenge the statements and evidence.
  • Evidence: Any information submitted to a review. This may include but is not limited to written reports, written statements, audio recordings, video recordings, and photographs.
  • Standard of Proof: The University bases all conduct related decisions on a preponderance of evidence which means simply that based upon the evidence it is more likely than not that a violation has occurred.
  • Sanction: Any outcome from a conduct review process that is meant to educate a student, restore the community from the impact of an incident, and/or reduce the likelihood of subsequent violations.
  • Substantive grounds: Direct or verifiable information a reasonable person would use to form a basis for the supposition that either a policy violation occurred or that a respondent was responsible for the violation.
  • Responsible for: A student may be held responsible for any violation of policy he or she creates, promotes or allows to happen.
  • Prompt timeframe: The University will strive to complete all steps of the conduct process within 60 days from the date the University is first notified. This timeline can be impacted by breaks and by students leaving and then returning to the University.