Student Conduct

Undergraduate Disciplinary System

The purpose of the undergraduate disciplinary system is to promote honesty, fairness, respect, and accountability within the university community and to provide a fair and effective mechanism for resolving cases in which an undergraduate student (or group) is alleged to have violated the standards or policies of the university.

All reports of inappropriate student behavior may be filed with or forwarded to the Office of Student Conduct. Staff within the Office of Student Conduct will determine the most appropriate means by which to handle a report. Resolution may include mediation, arbitration, alternative/informal resolution, or disciplinary action.

Any alleged violation of university policy, including academic dishonesty, is within the scope of the Office of Student Conduct. If the Office of Student Conduct determines that another office is more appropriate to handle the situation, the case may be referred to that office. (Violations that occur within residential areas will often be referred to Housing and Residence Life [HRL].)

The Office of Student Conduct coordinates a mediation program, which may be accessed upon referral or at the request of a student to resolve disputes between students.

In general, residence life staff will handle complaints of conduct within residential areas unless the alleged behavior is of a serious nature or the student has had prior violations, in which case the case may be referred for disciplinary action through the Office of Student Conduct.

  • The Office of Student Conduct is designated to oversee the disciplinary system for undergraduates. It also oversees and implements the procedures of the Student Sexual Misconduct Policy for all students, and responds to alleged violations of student conduct policies that could be bias-/hate-related for all students.
  • Hearing officers are designated to resolve disciplinary matters through informal or formal disciplinary resolution.
  • The Undergraduate Conduct Board (UCB) is designated to resolve formal disciplinary matters that involve complicated circumstances, serious infractions of university policy, and/or repeated misconduct. The UCB is comprised of students, faculty, and staff. Consideration shall be given to the appointment of a board reflective of the population of the university community. Rising juniors and seniors are selected each spring semester to serve as student members. (Once selected, student members will serve for the remainder of their undergraduate careers, as long as they meet expectations.) Student co-chairs are elected by the board. Faculty members are appointed/approved by the Dean of Arts and Sciences or the Dean of the Pratt School of Engineering, or designee(s). Staff members are appointed/approved by the Vice President/Vice Provost for Student Affairs.
  • The Appellate Board considers appeals of students/groups found responsible and sanctioned through a panel hearing, and/or complainants in harassment-related cases. The Vice President/Vice Provost for Student Affairs appoints the chair and other members of the Appellate Board, consisting of faculty, staff, and students.
  • Disciplinary Advisors are available to assist students/groups through the disciplinary process. Advisors include students and staff who have been trained and are familiar with the disciplinary system. A list of advisors is available from the Office of Student Conduct.
  • The university may respond to any complaint of behavior that occurred within a student’s undergraduate career, from application to graduation.
  • Any undergraduate student is subject to disciplinary action. This includes students who have matriculated to, are currently enrolled in, are on leave from, or have been readmitted (following a dismissal) to programs of the university.
  • The accused (also referred to as the respondent) may also be a cohesive unit of the university, such as a living group, athletic team, or other recognized organization.
  • The university reserves the right to respond to any report of alleged misconduct on or off campus.
  • Student group leaders most directly responsible may be held accountable for acting as an accomplice through action or negligence to the commission of prohibited acts at a group-identified event.
  • In cases of alleged policy violations by a student enrolled in a joint degree program or interdisciplinary coursework within Duke, each school or unit (the home unit and the host unit) may have a stake in the adjudication. Thus, an ad hoc process shall be developed and an ad hoc panel may be formed with representatives from both institutions/units to handle the case. The sanctions may be different for each school or unit.
  • For students doing inter-institutional coursework at other institutions, whether domestic or international, or for visiting students enrolled in classes at Duke, the home and the host institutions should confer and decide the process to be followed, which may include combined or separate elements. The sanctions may be different for each institution.
  • The Office of Student Conduct exercises jurisdiction over any student alleged to have violated the Student Sexual Misconduct Policy.
  • Alleged violations of Duke student conduct policies which could be bias-/hate-related should be communicated to the Office of Student Conduct (OSC); and, for students outside of Trinity College or the Pratt School of Engineering, to the appropriate administrator in the student’s school or college as well. Reports of alleged violations by undergraduates will be addressed through the undergraduate disciplinary process. For all other students, whichever entity—the school or OSC—learns of the allegation first will promptly notify the other and will schedule a conversation to determine how the allegation will be handled. The general expectation is that OSC will handle the case, though the school or college has the authority to take the lead in investigating and/or adjudicating any alleged behavior it feels it is best positioned to handle. If OSC handles the case, it will follow the investigation, hearing, and appellate procedures set forth in this guide; the college or school will implement any final sanction. If the case is handled by the college or school, it will follow the college’s/school’s procedures as published and disseminated by the college/school.
  • The Office for Institutional Equity (Smith Warehouse, Bay 8, 919-684-8222) receives reports and handles complaints alleging sexual misconduct by employees and all other non-Duke students, as well as complaints alleging discrimination by any member of the Duke community (including students), under the Duke Policy on Prohibited Discrimination, Harassment and Related Misconduct, available at