I was involved in an incident. What do I need to do?

If you were documented (by Marshall University’s Office of Public Safety, our Housing and Residence Life, faculty or anyone else) as being involved in an incident, expect a Notice of Charge letter that will include your appointment date/time with a conduct officer. Please reply to confirm your attendance. You should also consider reviewing the Student Code of Conduct and specifically the policy in question and the procedure. If you did violate the Code, you are encouraged to take responsibility for your actions. If you did not do anything wrong, understand that the process is fair and that your side of the story will be heard.

I’m a good student! I didn’t do anything wrong.

Sometimes there are mix-ups and students find themselves “in the wrong place at the wrong time.” You will be treated fairly and given an opportunity to explain what happened. Experienced staff and a highly trained University Conduct Board (made up of faculty, staff and fellow students) make determinations about what occurred. The process, at its core, is educational and that will be the focus when meeting with you.

What can happen to me?

If you are in violation of the Code, sanctions can range from a disciplinary reprimand (a written warning) or suspension and expulsion for more serious or repeat violations. Also, there are additional educational sanctions that could be assigned dependent on the case. If you are not in violation or charges are withdrawn, there would be no sanctions and no conduct record.

Do I have a “record”? Can this go on my transcript?

Conduct records are confidential and cannot be released without the written consent of the student. Many graduate, law, and medical schools and employers with sensitive information (like the United States government) often ask for a release of the applicant’s conduct record. Files are retained for at least seven years after the date of the incident; expulsion files are retained indefinitely. The following formal sanctions are recorded on the academic transcript.

  • Probationary Suspension
  • Suspension
  • Expulsion

Do my parents find out?

The Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA) keeps university students’ academic records (including grades and conduct) confidential. A student must complete a waiver for our office to share details with anybody besides the student.

What took so long?

The staff tries to resolve cases as soon as possible, but sometimes there are delays. It may take a while to get a completed investigation report or we may be backed up with other cases. If your case is going to the University Conduct Board, it may take time to coordinate everyone’s schedules.

What rights do I have?

Students’ rights include the assistance of an advisor, the right to review the complaint made against them, the right to have witnesses and the right to appeal.

Should I get a lawyer?

If you or your family wishes to be advised by an attorney, this is a personal decision to be made only by you. Unless you can provide documentation that there are concurrent criminal charges pending, lawyers are permitted to participate in the conduct process as advisors. They may not be witnesses or provide testimony. You are always permitted to have an advisor, and a list of those internal advisors to Marshall University can be made available to you upon request. Our office has a list of faculty and staff members who are well-versed in process and can help students prepare their cases.


University Conduct Board: A group of Marshall students, faculty, and staff that hear cases involving alleged student misconduct. The Board is trained to evaluate the information regarding a case, ask questions, and determine whether or not a violation has occurred. They also recommend sanctions. The University Conduct Board also hears appeals.

Formal Warning: The student is warned that further misconduct shall result in more severe disciplinary action. This is the lowest sanction available.

Conduct Probation: A specific period of time during which the University provides the student with the opportunity to prove that they will contribute in a positive manner to the University community. Should a student violate University policies while on Disciplinary Probation, more severe sanctions shall be imposed.

Deferred Suspension: Serves as a final warning to a student that if he/she is again found in violation of any University policy, the University is obligated to consider suspension as a primary response.

Probationary Suspension: Suspension is withheld pending careful evaluation of a student’s behavior during a probationary period, not to exceed one year. If the student is involved in any further offense, or if otherwise warranted, this suspension of disciplinary action may be revoked by the Vice President of Student Affairs or his/her designee and the full sanction of suspension enforced subject to appeal to the Hearing Board. While a student is on Probationary Suspension, any of the conditions under probation may be imposed.

Suspension: A separation of the student from the University for a specified period of time. A suspended student will be withdrawn from all courses and may not attend classes, take exams, receive grades, maintain a position as a co-op student, hold a leadership position or be on University premises. A student may return to Marshall University after the suspension period is completed.

Expulsion: A permanent disaffiliation between the student and the University. An expelled student shall not be permitted on University property.