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Student Conduct : 3:02:00:01

Responsible Executives: Executive Vice President for Student Success; Executive Vice President for Academic Affairs


This policy is promulgated pursuant to, and in compliance with, Tennessee Board of Regents (TBR) Rule 0240-02-03-.01 and TBR Policy To the extent that a conflict exists between this policy and TBR rule, policy, and/or applicable law(s), the TBR rule, policy, and/or law will control. This policy exists to assist in maintaining the integrity of Motlow State Community College (Motlow State) and the educational environment.

The policy sets out the expectations for student conduct, specific offenses, academic and classroom misconduct, and applicable procedures necessary to establish a framework of due process.


  1. Student – For the purpose of this policy, a “student” shall mean any person who is admitted and/or registered for study at Motlow State (including for non-credit classes) for any academic period. This shall include any period of time following admission and/or registration, but preceding the start of any classes for any academic period, following the end of an academic period through the last day of registration for the succeeding academic period, and during any period while the student is under suspension from Motlow State; who engaged in academic misconduct as part of the application process; and/or who previously attended a TBR institution and who was found to have violated the institution’s student conduct and disciplinary standards policy during the time of enrollment. Finally, “student” shall also include any person subject to a period of suspension or removal from campus resulting from a finding of a violation of this policy. Unless explicitly provided otherwise in this policy, the term “student” shall also refer to a student organization.
  2. Definitions of “Disciplinary Offenses” and “Disciplinary Sanctions” are included in their respective sections IV and VI.


  1. Students enrolled in postsecondary educational institutions are citizens of their civic communities as well as the academic community. As such, they are expected to conduct themselves as law-abiding members of each community at all times.
  2. Admission to an institution of postsecondary education carries with it special privileges and imposes special responsibilities apart from those rights and duties enjoyed by non-students. In recognition of the special relationship that exists between Motlow State and the academic community which it seeks to serve, the TBR has authorized the President of Motlow State to take such action as may be necessary to maintain conditions on Motlow State-owned and controlled property and to preserve the integrity of Motlow State and its educational environment.
  3. Pursuant to this authorization and in fulfillment of its duties to provide a secure and stimulating atmosphere in which individual and academic pursuits may flourish, Motlow State has developed the following policy, which is intended to govern student conduct on all Motlow State campuses.
  4. In addition, students are subject to all federal, state, and local laws and ordinances. If a student’s violation of such laws or ordinances also adversely affects Motlow State’s pursuit of its educational objectives, the institution may enforce their own policies regardless of the status or outcome of any external proceedings instituted by civil or criminal authorities.
  5. Students are responsible for compliance with this policy and with Motlow State policies and regulations.
  6. Disciplinary action may be taken against a student for violation of policies and regulations that occur on Motlow State owned, leased, or otherwise controlled property, while participating in international or distance learning programs, and off campus, when the conduct impairs, interferes with, or obstructs any Motlow State activity or the mission, processes, and functions of Motlow State. In the case of violations that occur off Motlow State owned, leased, or controlled property, Motlow State will take into account whether the violation impairs, interferes with, or obstructs any Motlow State activity, or the mission, processes, and function of Motlow State including, but not limited to, conduct that:
    1. Occurs in connection with any Motlow State activity, including but not limited to international, distance, online, or remote learning programs, athletics events and other extracurricular activities, clinical, internship, practicum, and similar activities;
    2. Occurs while using Motlow State resources, such as computers and network systems;
    3. Involves or affects another member of the TBR community (a student, faculty, staff member, or guest of a TBR institution); or
    4. Poses a credible, serious threat to the health and safety of the TBR community.
  7. This policy, and related material incorporated herein by reference, is applicable to student organizations as well as individual students. Whether a student organization will be held responsible for a violation of these rules by one or more of its members will be based on the following considerations:
    1. The violation is endorsed by the student organization or any of its officers. “Endorsed by” includes, but is not limited to, active or passive consent or support, having prior knowledge that the conduct was likely to occur, or helping to plan, advertise, or promote the conduct;
    2. The violation took place during the course of an activity paid for by the student organization or by members of the student organization to support the activity in question;
    3. The prohibited conduct occurred on property owned, controlled, rented, leased, or used by the student organization or any of its members for an organizational event;
    4. The prohibited conduct was related to initiation, admission into, affiliation with, or as a condition for continued membership in the student organization; and
    5. One or more officers of the student organization had prior knowledge or reasonably should have known the prohibited conduct would likely take place.
  8. Confidentiality of Discipline Process – Subject to the exceptions provided pursuant to the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act of 1974 (FERPA), 20 U.S.C. 1232g, the Tennessee Public Records Act, T.C.A. § 10-7-504, and/or other state and federal law, a student’s disciplinary records and files are considered “education records” and are confidential in accordance with those statutes.
  9. Matters involving sexual harassment, sexual assault, stalking, domestic violence and dating violence occurring within an education program or activity, if within the scope of Motlow State Policy 8:02:00:00, which implements 34 C.F.R. Part 106 related to Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972, shall proceed in accordance with Policy 8:02:00:00, and not this policy.


  1. Motlow State disciplinary measures shall be imposed according to this policy and TBR Policy and applicable procedures and processes.
  2. Motlow State shall use the “preponderance of the evidence” standard. A preponderance of the evidence means the greater weight of the evidence or that, according to the evidence, the conclusion sought by the party with the burden of proof is the more probable conclusion.
  3. These rules shall not be used to violate rights guaranteed under the constitution of the State of Tennessee or the constitution of the United States.
  4. Motlow State adopts and publishes notice of offenses for which both individuals and student organizations may be subject to disciplinary action.
  5. Both students and student organizations may be subject to disciplinary action for the following disciplinary offenses identified in this policy:
    1. Threatening Conduct – Any conduct, threatened conduct, or attempted conduct that poses a threat to a person’s safety, health, or personal well-being including, but not limited to, endangering the health, safety, or welfare of any person; engaging in conduct that causes a reasonable person to fear harm to their health, safety, or welfare; or making an oral or written statement that an objectively reasonable person hearing or reading the statement would interpret as a serious expression of an intent to commit an act of unlawful violence to a particular individual or group of individuals;
    2. Disruptive Conduct – Any conduct, threatened conduct, or attempted conduct that is disruptive to Motlow State’s learning environment, including, but not limited to, engaging in any action that interferes with the ability of the instructor to teach or other students to learn. Disruptive conduct in the class setting (which includes but is not limited to remote education and off-site locations) includes, but is not limited to, behavior that obstructs or disrupts the learning environment (e.g., offensive language, harassment of students or instructors, repeated outbursts from a student that disrupts the flow of instruction or prevents concentration, failure to cooperate in maintaining class decorum, etc.), text messaging, and the continued use of any electronic or other nose or light emitting device which disturbs others;
    3. Hazing – Hazing, as defined in T.C.A. § 49-7-123(a)(1), means any intentional or reckless act, on or off the property, of any higher education institution by an individual acting alone, or with others, which is directed against any other person(s) that endangers the mental or physical health or safety of that person(s), or which induces or coerces a person(s) to endanger such person(s) mental or physical health or safety. Hazing does not include customary athletic events or similar contests or competitions, and is limited to those actions taken and situations created in connection with initiation into or affiliation with any organization; 
    4. Disorderly Conduct – Any individual or group behavior which is abusive, obscene, lewd, indecent (including, without limitation, public exposure of one’s sex organs, public urinating, and public sexual acts), violent, excessively noisy, disorderly, or which unreasonably disturbs Motlow State functions, operations, classrooms, other groups or individuals;
    5. Obstruction of or interference with Motlow State activities or facilities – Any intentional interference with or obstruction of any institutional program, event, or facility (including computer facilities), including the following:
      1. Any unauthorized occupancy of facilities owned or controlled by Motlow State or blockage of access to or from such facilities;
      2. Interference with the right of any Motlow State member or other authorized person to gain access to any activity, program, event, or facilities sponsored or controlled by Motlow State;
      3. Any obstruction or delay of a campus public safety officer, police officer, firefighter, EMT, or any Motlow State official, or failure to comply with any emergency directive issued by such person in the performance of their duty;
      4. Participation in a demonstration that substantially impedes Motlow State operations; or
      5. Obstruction of the free flow of pedestrian or vehicular traffic on property owned, leased, or controlled by Motlow State or at a Motlow State activity;
    6. Misuse of or Damage to Property – Any act of misuse, vandalism, malicious or unwarranted damage or destruction, defacing, disfiguring, or unauthorized use of property belonging to Motlow State or a member of the TBR community including, but not limited to, any personal property, fire alarms, fire equipment, elevators, telephones, Motlow State keys, library materials, and/or safety devices;
    7. Theft, Misappropriation, or Unauthorized Sale of Property;
    8. Misuse of Documents or Identification Cards – Any forgery, alteration of or unauthorized use of Motlow State documents, forms, records or identification cards, including the giving of any false information or withholding of necessary information, in connection with a student’s admission, enrollment or status at Motlow State;
    9. Weapons – Possessing, carrying, using, storing, or manufacturing any weapon on Motlow State controlled property or in connection with a Motlow State affiliated activity, unless federal or state law provides a student with an affirmative right to possess or carry a weapon on Motlow State controlled property or in connection with a Motlow State-affiliated activity (See TBR Guide to Gun Laws on Campus);
    10. Explosives, Fireworks, Flammable, and Hazardous Materials – The unauthorized possession, ignition, or detonation of any object or article that represents a potential danger to the Motlow State and/or TBR community, including, but not limited to, explosives, fireworks, flammable materials, ammunition, hazardous liquids, chemicals, or hazardous materials;
    11. Alcoholic Beverages and Alcohol-Related Conduct – The use, possession, and/or sale of alcoholic beverages on Motlow State owned or controlled property or in connection with any Motlow State activity unless expressly permitted by Motlow State;
    12. Drugs – The unlawful possession, use, sale, or manufacture of any drug or controlled substance (including, but not limited to, any stimulant, depressant, narcotic, or hallucinogenic drug, or marijuana). This offense includes using or possessing a prescription drug if the prescription was not issued to the student, as well as the violation of any local ordinance, state, or federal law concerning the unlawful possession or use of drugs;
    13. Drug Paraphernalia – The use, possession, distribution, sale, or manufacture of equipment, products or materials that are used or intended for use in manufacturing, growing, using or distributing any drug or controlled substance. This offense includes the violation of any local ordinance, state, or federal law concerning the unlawful possession of drug paraphernalia;
    14. Public Intoxication – Appearing on Motlow State owned or controlled property or at a Motlow State-sponsored event while under the influence of alcohol, a controlled substance, or of any other intoxicating substance;
    15. Gambling – Unlawful gambling in any form;
    16. Financial Irresponsibility – Failure to meet financial responsibilities to Motlow State promptly including, but not limited to, knowingly passing a worthless check or money order in payment to Motlow State;
    17. Unacceptable Conduct in Disciplinary Proceedings – Any conduct at any stage of an institutional disciplinary proceeding or investigation that is contemptuous, threatening, retaliatory, or disorderly, including false complaints, false testimony or other falsification of evidence, and attempts to influence the impartiality of a member of an adjudicatory body, verbal or physical harassment or intimidation of a Motlow State official, hearing panel member, complainant, respondent, or witness;
    18. Failure to Cooperate with Motlow State Officials – Failure to comply with directions of Motlow State officials acting in the performance of their duties. This includes, but is not limited to, failing to respond to a request to report to a Motlow State administrative office, failing to cooperate in a Motlow State investigation, and/or failing to appear at a Motlow State hearing, including, without limitation, a disciplinary hearing;
    19. Attempts, Aiding and Abetting – Any attempt to commit any of the offenses listed under this section or the aiding or abetting of the commission of any of the offenses listed under this section (an attempt to commit an offense is defined as the intention to commit the offense coupled with the taking of some action toward its commission). Being present during the planning or commission of any offense listed under this section without having made an immediate report to Motlow State prior to the commission of the planned offense will be considered aiding and abetting. Students who anticipate or observe an offense must remove themselves from the situation and are required to report the offense to the Motlow State Office of Public Safety;
    20. Violation of State or Federal Laws – Any conviction of violation of state or federal laws, rules, or regulations prohibiting conduct or establishing offenses;
    21. Violation of Imposed Disciplinary Sanctions – Intentional or unintentional violation of a disciplinary sanction imposed through a Motlow State disciplinary proceeding;
    22. Sexual Misconduct – Committing any act of sexual assault, rape, sexual battery, domestic violence, or dating violence as defined by state or federal law;
    23. Harassment, Stalking, or Retaliation – Any conduct that falls within T.C.A. § 39-17-308 (Harassment) or T.C.A. § 39-17-315 (Stalking) or “student-on-student harassment,” which means unwelcome conduct directed toward a person that is discriminatory on a basis prohibited by federal, state, or local law, and that is so severe, pervasive, and objectively offensive that it effectively bars the victim’s access to educational opportunity or benefit. Engaging in “retaliation,” which is an act or omission committed by a student because of another person’s participation in a protected activity that would discourage a reasonable person from engaging in protected activity. Retaliation violates these standards regardless of whether the underlying allegation of a violation of policy is ultimately found to have merit. Retaliation can include, without limitation: an act or omission committed against a person’s family, friends, advisors, and/or other persons reasonably expected to provide information in connection with a Motlow State investigation or hearing, and an act or omission committed by a student through a third party;
    24. Discrimination – Any conduct prohibited by any federal or state law, rule, or regulation related to discrimination, harassment, or retaliation;
    25. Academic Misconduct – Any action or attempted action designed to provide an unfair advantage or disadvantage for oneself or others. Academic Misconduct includes a wide variety of behaviors such as plagiarism, cheating, fabrication, and other academic dishonesty. For purposes of this policy, the following definitions apply:
      1. Plagiarism – The adoption or reproduction of ideas, words, statements, images, or works of another person as one’s own without proper attribution1 [1 This can include the use of or over reliance on AI software, writing software, and/or translation tools. The ethical and responsible use of these resources is subject to the instructor’s classroom policies.]. Examples include but are not limited to copying of passages from works of others into one’s own work without acknowledgement, summarizing or paraphrasing ideas from another source without proper attribution, unless such information is recognized as common knowledge, and using facts, statistics graphs, representations, or phrases without proper attribution;
      2. Cheating – Using or attempting to use unauthorized materials, information, or aids in any academic exercise or test/examination. Examples include but are not limited to copying another’s work, obtaining or giving unauthorized assistance, unauthorized collaboration or collusion with another person, having another person take a test for a student, and the use of unauthorized materials or devices. The term academic exercise includes all forms of work submitted for credit or hours;
      3. Fabrication – Falsifying, fabricating, or misrepresenting data, research results, citations or other information in connection with an academic assignment. Unauthorized falsification or invention of any information or citation in an academic exercise;
    26. Unauthorized Duplication or Possession of Keys – Making, causing to be made or the possession of, with the intent to use or make available for use by others, any key for a Motlow State facility without proper authorization;
    27. Litter – Dispersing litter in any form onto the grounds or facilities of any Motlow State campus(es);
    28. Pornography – Public display of literature, films, pictures or other materials which an average person applying contemporary community standards would find:
      1. Taken as a whole, appeals to the prurient interest;
      2. Depicts or describes sexual conduct in a patently offensive way; and/or
      3. Taken as a whole, lacks serious literary, artistic, political or scientific value;
    29. Abuse of Computer Resources and Facilities – Misusing and/or abusing campus computer resources including, but not limited to, the following:
      1. Use of another person’s identification to gain access to Motlow State computer resources;
      2. Use of Motlow State computer resources and facilities to violate copyright laws, including, but not limited to, the act of unauthorized distribution of copyrighted materials using Motlow State information technology systems;
      3. Unauthorized access to a computer or network file, including but not limited to altering, using, reading, copying, or deleting the file;
      4. Unauthorized transfer of a computer or network file;
      5. Use of computing resources and facilities to send abusive or obscene correspondence;
      6. Use of computing resources and facilities in a manner that interferes with normal operation of the Motlow State computing system;
      7. Use of computing resources and facilities to interfere with the work of another student, faculty member, or Motlow State official; and
      8. Unauthorized peer-to-peer file sharing;
    30. Unauthorized Access to Motlow State Facilities and/or Grounds – Any unauthorized access and/or occupancy of Motlow State facilities and/or grounds is prohibited, including, but not limited to gaining access to facilities and grounds that are closed to the public, being present in areas of campus that are open to limited guests only, being present in academic buildings after hours without permission, and being present in buildings when the student has no legitimate reason to be present;
    31. Providing False Information – Giving any false information to, or withholding necessary information from, any Motlow State official acting in the performance of their duties in connection with a student’s admission, enrollment, or status in Motlow State;
    32. Observation Without Consent – Observation Without Consent, which is prohibited by T.C.A. §39-13-607 (a criminal statute) for purposes of this policy, means knowingly spying upon, observing, or otherwise viewing an individual, regardless of whether a photo, video, or recording is made, when the individual is in a place where there is reasonable expectation of privacy, without the prior effective consent of the individual, if the viewing would offend or embarrass an ordinary person if the person knew the person was being viewed. This includes, but is not limited to, taking video or photographic images in shower/locker rooms, living quarters, restrooms, and storing, sharing, and/or distributing of such unauthorized images by any means;
    33. Smoking Violations – Smoking or tobacco use in any Motlow State building or facility, in any state-owned vehicle, or on any Motlow State grounds or property, unless in a designated smoking or tobacco use area. For the purposes of this policy, “tobacco use” includes, but is not limited to, the personal use of any tobacco product, whether intended to be lit or not, which includes smoking tobacco or other substances that are lit and smoked, as well as the use of an electronic cigarette or any other device intended to simulate smoking, and the use of smokeless tobacco, including snuff; chewing tobacco; smokeless pouches; any form of loose-leaf, smokeless tobacco; and the use of unlit cigarettes, cigars, and pipe tobacco. For more information, please refer to Motlow State Policy 5:10:05:00.
    34. Maintenance of Ethical and Professional Standards – Failure to maintain the high ethical and professional standards of the various disciplines of the health professions may subject a student to suspension from a program, dismissal from a program, or other appropriate remedial action.
      1. A student enrolled in a program leading to a degree or certificate in a health profession is subject to disciplinary action up to and including suspension and dismissal from a program for engaging in the following acts of misconduct, regardless of location:
        1. Commission of an offense classified as a felony by Tennessee or federal criminal statutes;
        2. Unlawful use, possession, or sale of drugs or narcotics, whether or not felonious;
        3. Other unprofessional or unethical conduct that would bring disrepute and disgrace upon both the student and profession and that would tend to substantially reduce or eliminate the student’s ability to effectively practice the profession in which discipline they are enrolled; or
        4. Conduct that is in violation of either a relevant Tennessee statute establishing professional standards or a rule or regulation of a Tennessee regulatory board or other body responsible for the establishment and enforcement of professional standards.
      2. A person applying for admission to a health profession program may be denied admission to the program on the basis of their violation of the aforementioned ethical and professional standards;
    35. Traffic and Parking Fines – Receiving $100 or more in traffic and/or parking violations on Motlow State property or Motlow State-controlled property during any semester. For more information, please see Motlow State Policy 5:10:08:00;
    36. Indecent Exposure – Indecent Exposure, which is prohibited by T.C.A. § 39-13-511 (a criminal statute), for purposes of this policy means in a public place intentionally exposing one’s genitals or buttocks to another or engaging in sexual contact or sexual penetration where the person reasonably expects that the acts will be viewed by another, and the acts will offend an ordinary viewer or are for the purpose of sexual arousal and/or gratification.
  6. Disciplinary Holds
    1. Motlow State may place a hold on a student record when the student has
      1. Withdrawn from Motlow State while a disciplinary meeting and/or proceeding is pending;
      2. Not responded to a Motlow State official’s request for a meeting or hearing; or
      3. Been suspended or expelled.
    2. A disciplinary hold may remain on a student’s record until final resolution of a disciplinary meeting and/or disciplinary hearing.
    3. Motlow State will not confer a degree or credential when a student record has been placed on hold, or when a student has a pending disciplinary meeting and/or disciplinary proceeding.
    4. Except for cases involving Academic Misconduct, Motlow State will not revoke a degree or credential based on conduct occurring while a person was a student, but not discovered until after the awarding of a degree or credential.


  1. Classroom Misconduct
    1. The instructor has the primary responsibility for maintenance of academic integrity and controlling classroom behavior (which, for this policy, includes any remote class and/or offsite class or other non-traditional class environment), and responding to disruptive conduct.
    2. The instructor can order temporary removal or exclusion from the classroom of any student engaged in disruptive conduct or conduct that violates this policy for each class session during which the conduct occurs. Extended or permanent exclusion from the classroom, beyond the session in which the conduct occurred, or further disciplinary action can be effected only through appropriate procedures of Motlow State.
  2. Academic Misconduct
    1. Academic misconduct is prohibited. Students guilty of academic misconduct, either directly or indirectly, through participation or assistance, are immediately responsible to the instructor of the class. In addition to other possible disciplinary sanctions which may be imposed in accordance with this policy, the instructor has the authority to take academic discipline consistent with institutional policy, procedures, and processes. At Motlow State, the Executive Vice President for Academic Affairs (EVPAA) is responsible for Classroom and Academic Misconduct.
    2. An instructor who determines that a student has engaged in academic misconduct may choose to exercise academic discipline by lowering to any extent, including to a grade of “F” or “Zero,” a student’s grade in the course, assignment, or examination affected by the alleged academic misconduct.
    3. An instructor who initiates academic discipline shall inform the appropriate Academic Dean, as well as the student accused of academic misconduct, in writing via their Motlow State email, within five (5) days of imposition of academic discipline or informal resolution. This email shall include:
      1. The finding of academic misconduct;
      2. The basis therefore;
      3. The academic discipline or alternative resolution imposed; and
      4. The appeals process.
    4. A student may not withdraw from a course pending final resolution of an allegation of academic misconduct. Students are permitted and encouraged to continue attending class until the academic disciplinary decision, including all appeals, is final.
    5. A student charged with academic misconduct has the option of either accepting the academic discipline imposed by the instructor or initiating the appeals process to challenge the allegation of academic misconduct or the severity of the academic discipline. If the student does not respond in writing within five (5) days by either accepting or appealing the academic discipline to the Motlow State Academic Misconduct committee, the student waives the right to contest the academic discipline, at which time it becomes final.
      1. If the student wishes to appeal to the Academic Misconduct Committee, they should submit notice of their intent to appeal to the Academic Dean via Motlow State email, and include the following:
        1. The elements of concern;
        2. Justification for the appeal; and
        3. Attachment of any and/or all supporting material.
    6. The Academic Misconduct Committee shall consist of three (3) members, and must include one (1) student. The EVPAA, or their designee, will assemble the committee from a standing pool of individuals, coordinate the hearing, but will not participate on the committee. Any individual who has an interest in the incident, a conflict of interest, or a bias is not permitted to serve on the committee.
    7. The Academic Misconduct Committee will set a hearing date that is within fifteen (15) business days of receipt of date of the student’s appeal. The student must receive at least seven (7) calendar days’ notice of the date, time, and location of the hearing. The student will be notified of the due process protections provided for in this policy.
    8. The Academic Misconduct Committee will conduct the appeal hearing, consider the evidence presented, and make a decision based on a simple majority vote using a preponderance of the evidence standard. The committee can uphold, overturn, or lessen the academic discipline. Consideration should be made for alignment with the course syllabus and/or academic policies of the instructor. The results of the committee’s decision will be conveyed to the student in writing, through the EVPAA or their designee, within ten (10) business days of the hearing.
    9. If the Academic Misconduct Committee upholds or lessens the academic discipline, the student may appeal in writing to the EVPAA (or their designee) within five (5) business days following receipt of the decision of the committee. The EVPAA (or their designee) will make a decision within ten (10) business days.
    10. If, after the EVPAA has notified the student of the outcome of their appeal, the student wishes to further appeal the decision(s), they may appeal to the President of Motlow State within five (5) days of receipt of the EVPAA’s appeal outcome notification. The President will make a decision within ten (10) business days. The President’s decision is final.
    11. The President, the EVPAA, or their designee(s) have the ability to extend any deadline in this section for good cause and upon written notice to the student.
    12. In addition to academic discipline, a student who is found responsible for academic misconduct may be subject to disciplinary sanctions in accordance with this policy. In such circumstances, the Academic Dean shall refer the matter to the Dean of Students for review pursuant to Section VII of this policy.
    13. Motlow State shall maintain permanently all submissions by the student and all decisions of Motlow State officials and committees relating to academic misconduct.


  1. Motlow State shall publish this policy and provide notice of potential disciplinary sanctions applicable to both students and student organizations. Disciplinary sanctions may be imposed only after a violation of this policy has been established. Disciplinary sanctions may be imposed, either singly or in combination, by the Motlow State Dean of Students, their designee, or pursuant to the procedures provided in Section VII of this policy.
    B. Types of Sanctions
    1. Restitution – Restitution may be required in situations which involve theft, destruction, damage, loss of property, or unreimbursed medical expenses resulting from physical injury. When restitution is required, the student or student organization is obligated by the appropriate Motlow State authority to compensate a party or parties for a loss suffered as a result of disciplinary violation(s). Any monetary payment in restitution shall be limited to actual cost of repair, replacement, or financial loss;
    2. Warning – The appropriate Motlow State official may notify orally or in writing the student or student organization that continuation or repetition of specific conduct may be cause for other disciplinary action;
    3. Reprimand – A written or verbal reprimand or censure may be given to any student or student organization whose conduct violates any part of this policy and provides notice that any further violation(s) may result in more serious penalties;
    4. Service to Motlow State or the Community – A student or student organization may be required to donate a specified number of service hours to Motlow State performing reasonable tasks for an appropriate Motlow State office, official(s), or the local community. The service required shall be commensurate to the offense (e.g., service for maintenance staff for defacing institutional property);
    5. Specified Educational/Counseling Program – A student or student organization may be required to participated in specified educational or counseling program(s) relevant to the offense, or to prepare a project or report concerning a relevant topic;
    6. Restriction – A restriction upon a student’s or student organization’s privileges for a period of time may be imposed. This restriction may include, but is not limited to denial of the ability to represent Motlow State at any event, ability to participate in Motlow State or TBR sponsored travel, use of facilities, parking privileges, participation in extracurricular activities or restriction of organizational privileges;
    7. Probation – Continued enrollment of a student or recognition of a student organization on probation may be conditioned upon adherence to this policy. Any student or organization placed on probation will be notified in writing of the terms and length of the probation. Probation may include but not be limited to restrictions upon extracurricular activities, or any other appropriate special condition(s). Any conduct in further violation of this policy while on probationary status or the failure to comply with the terms of the probationary period may result in the imposition of further disciplinary action;
    8. Suspension – Suspension is the separation of a student or student organization from Motlow State for a specified period of time. Suspension may be accompanied by special conditions for readmission or recognition;
    9. Expulsion – Expulsion entails a permanent separation from Motlow State. The imposition for this sanction is a permanent bar to the student’s admission, or a student organization’s recognition by Motlow State. A student or organization that has been expelled may not enter institutional property or facilities without obtaining prior approval from an appropriate campus official with knowledge of the expulsion directive;
    10. Revocation and Withholding of Admission, Degree, or Credential; and
    11. Interim Involuntary Withdrawal or Suspension – As a general rule, the status of a student or student organization accused of violation of Motlow State or TBR policies or rules should not be altered until a final determination has been made in regard to the charges. However, interim or involuntary withdrawal or suspension, pending the completion of disciplinary procedures, may be imposed upon a finding that the conduct or attempted conduct of the student poses a direct threat to the safety of any other member of Motlow State, its guests, property, or the student’s behavior is materially and substantially disruptive of Motlow State’s learning environment, or other campus activities. In any case of interim involuntary withdrawal or suspension, the student, or student organization, shall be given an opportunity at the time of the decision, or as soon thereafter as reasonably possible, to contest the suspension in accordance with this policy.
    C. The President of Motlow State is authorized, either personally or through a designee, to negotiate a mutually acceptable resolution to any disciplinary proceeding or to rescind or convert any sanction imposed to a lesser sanction.


  1. Motlow State shall provide students with a system of constitutionally and legally sound procedures that provide the protection of due process of law in accordance with TBR Systemwide Student Rules, this policy, and applicable state and federal law. All policies adopted related to student conduct shall be subject to prior review and approval by the TBR Offices of General Counsel and Academic Affairs. Once adopted or amended, all disciplinary procedures shall be affirmatively communicated to the faculty, staff, and students of Motlow State as well as published in appropriate websites, handbooks, or manuals.
  2. At Motlow State, the Executive Vice President for Student Success (EVPSS), or designee, is responsible for disciplinary procedures within the scope of this policy with the exception of Classroom and Academic Misconduct, which is the responsibility of the EVPAA. In situations where the conduct could fall within both areas of responsibility, the two offices will confer and decide which procedures will apply and advise the student or student organization in writing of the decision.
  3. Complaints related to discrimination, harassment, and retaliation that are not subject to another rule will be investigated and resolved in accordance with this policy and TBR Policy
    1. In determining whether the evidence establishes a violation of Motlow State policy, the institution shall use the preponderance of the evidence standard for contested cases, as explained in TBR Policy and Department of State Rule 1360-04-01. At all times the burden of obtaining evidence and establishing a violation shall be on Motlow State.
    2. In the event of bias or conflict of interest by a Motlow State official, Motlow State may appoint a substitute, who may or may not be employed by Motlow State.
    3. The Executive Director of Organizational Compliance and Enrichment (EDOCE), or their designee, shall conduct an appropriate investigation, which may include interviews of the parties and witnesses, as well as review of documents and other information. The purpose of the investigation is to determine whether the evidence establishes a violation of Motlow State policy and procedures. The parties are encouraged, but not required, to provide information that they want the investigator to consider.
    4. The EDOCE, or their designee, shall provide written notice of receipt of a written complaint or the decision to initiate an investigation.
    5. The EDOCE, or their designee, shall notify students that Motlow State will comply with FERPA and only disclose information in accordance with FERPA and other applicable law.
    6. The EDOCE, or their designee, shall prepare a report summarizing the information. The report shall include, but not be limited to, the dates of the alleged occurrences, the response of the respondent, the findings of the investigator, and recommendations regarding disposition of the complaint.
    7. The report shall be submitted to Motlow State’s President within sixty (60) calendar days following receipt of the complaint, absent cause for extending the investigation timeline. In situations where more time is needed to complete the investigation, written notice shall be provided to the parties explaining the reasons.
    8. The President shall review the report and shall make a written determination as to whether Motlow State policy, processes, and procedures, as well as TBR Policy have been violated and the appropriate disciplinary sanction, if any. The President’s determination and the report shall be provided to the parties, unless prohibited by law.
    9. Either party may send a written request to reconsider to the President within ten (10) working days, absent good cause, of receipt of the President’s determination.
      1. The request to reconsider process shall consist of an opportunity for the parties to provide information to the President’s attention that would change the determination and/or disciplinary sanction. A party must explain why the factual information was incomplete, the analysis of the facts was incorrect, procedural irregularity, and/or the appropriate standard was not applied, and how this would affect the determination. Failure to do so may result in denial of the request to consider.
      2. The parties will not be allowed to present their request to reconsider in person unless the President determines, in their sole discretion, to allow an in-person appearance.
      3. The President shall issue a written response to the request to reconsider as promptly as possible. The decision will constitute Motlow State’s final decision.
      4. Motlow State shall provide written notice of the ability to contest the determination and/or disciplinary sanctions, including where applicable, the ability to request a contested case hearing pursuant to the UAPA, to the parties at the time the parties are advised of the determination and upon the resolution of any request to reconsider or appeal.
  4. Students and student organizations subject to any disciplinary sanction are entitled to a due process hearing in accordance with this policy and TBR Policy and standards established by the constitutions of the State of Tennessee and the United States unless that right is waived after receiving written notice of the available procedures.
  5. All proceedings under this policy will be held in closed session and not open to the public. Formal rules of evidence shall not be applicable. The President or their designee may exclude evidence which in their judgment is immaterial, irrelevant, or unduly repetitious.
  6. Written notice to a student or student organization is accomplished either by handing a copy to the student; sending documents via email to the student’s or student organization’s Motlow State email account; email account of record on file with Motlow State; or by sending a copy via certified mail, registered mail, return receipt requested mail, or a nationally recognized delivery service that tracks delivery to the student’s residence of record or the student organization’s address of record.
  7. Initiation of Charges
    1. Motlow State may initiate the disciplinary process on the basis of written allegations received from any source, including any member of the Motlow State community. Complaints should be directed to the Dean of Students, except that complaints relating to discrimination, harassment, and retaliation should be referred to the EDOCE so that such complaints can be handled in accordance with Motlow State policy and procedures. Motlow State may also initiate disciplinary procedures without written allegations if it becomes aware of potential violations of these rules through other means.
    2. When the allegations, if proven, may warrant the imposition of a disciplinary sanction, Motlow State shall inform the student of the allegations in writing and proceed to gather information concerning the matter, including, but not limited to, interviewing relevant witnesses and reviewing relevant documents and evidence. Students who may be the subject of disciplinary sanctions will be provided the minimum due process protections identified in this policy.
    3. After reviewing the evidence, the Dean of Students (or designee) shall decide whether sufficient evidence exists to charge the student, and if so, the appropriate disciplinary sanction(s). Notice of the charges and disciplinary sanction(s), if any, shall be provided in writing to the student. If there is insufficient evidence to continue the disciplinary process, the matter will be closed and written notice will be provided to the student.
  8. Minimum Due Process Protections – Motlow State shall provide the following minimum procedural due process protection components in disciplinary matters:
    1. The student shall be advised, in writing, of the breach of the policy provision(s) of which they are charged;
    2. The student shall be advised of the time, date, and place of the hearing allowing reasonable time for preparation; and
    3. The student shall be advised of the following rights applicable at the hearing:
      1. The right to present their case;
      2. The right to be accompanied by an advisor of their choice. The advisor’s participation shall be limited to advising the student, and not include advocating on behalf of the student, speaking on behalf of the student, or otherwise actively representing the student. An advisor is not permitted to interfere with the hearing;
      3. The right to call witnesses on their behalf;
      4. The right to confront witnesses against them; and
      5. The method and time limitations for appeal, if any is applicable.
  9. Options for Students – Four (4) potential processes exist for adjudication of disciplinary matters. The student will be informed in writing of each available option and the due process rights associated with each option. A student will have five (5) business days following written notification to select an option. If a student fails to return the election of a procedure in a timely manner, the student will be deemed to have waived the right to contest the disciplinary sanction. Selection of one option constitutes waiver of all other options.
    1. Contested Case Hearing – All cases which may result in either suspension or expulsion of a student from Motlow State for disciplinary reasons, or revocation of registration of a student organization, are subject to the contested case provisions of UAPA, T.C.A. § 4-5-301 et seq., and TBR Policy, unless the student or student organization, after receiving written notice, waives those procedures.
    2. A student at Motlow State may elect an institutional hearing before the Student Affairs Committee. For composition of the Student Affairs Committee, please see Motlow State Policy 6:10:00:16.
      1. The committee will set a hearing date that is within 15 business days of receipt of the student’s request for a panel hearing. The student must be notified of the date, time, and location of the hearing as soon as possible, but given at least seven (7) calendar days’ notice. A student will be notified of the due process protections provided for in this policy.
      2. The committee will conduct the hearing, consider the relevant evidence presented, and make a decision based on a simple majority vote. The committee can uphold, overturn, or lessen the disciplinary finding and/or sanction. The results of the decision will be conveyed to the student in writing, through the Dean of Students, within ten (10) business days of the hearing.
      3. If the committee upholds or lessens the disciplinary finding and/or sanction, the student may appeal in writing to the EVPSS within five (5) business days following receipt of the decision of the committee. The EVPSS will make a decision within ten (10) business days.
      4. If, after the EVPSS has notified the student of the outcome of their appeal, the student wishes to further appeal the decision(s), they may appeal to the President of Motlow State within five (5) days of receipt of the EVPSS’s appeal outcome notification. The President will make a decision within ten (10) business days. The President’s decision is final.
      5. The President, the EVPSS, and/or the Dean of Students have the ability to extend deadlines for good cause and upon written notice to the student.
      6. Motlow State shall maintain all submissions by the student and all decisions of Motlow State officials and committees permanently.
    3. Administrative Resolution – An administrative resolution involves the student meeting with the Dean of Students or the EVPSS. There is no appeal. The decision of the Dean of Students or the EVPSS is final.
    4. A student may elect not to contest the disciplinary action, either affirmatively or by failing to return the election of a procedure in a timely manner, which serves as a waiver of the right to contest the disciplinary action.
  10. Procedures Related to Interim Involuntary Withdrawal or Suspension Hearings – When the EVPSS, the Dean of Students, or other administrator identified by Motlow State, determines that an interim suspension or other interim measure is required for the health and safety of the Motlow State community and/or property, or to prevent an ongoing imminent threat of disruption to or interference with the normal operations of Motlow State, the student will receive an opportunity for an informal hearing with the EVPSS or the Dean of Students to contest the interim measure.
    1. The informal hearing will be held within five (5) calendar days, absent good cause.
    2. The evidence presented at the hearing shall be limited to that which is relevant to the basis asserted for imposition of the interim suspension or other interim measure.
  11. Alternative Resolution Procedures – Motlow State, with the consent of all relevant parties, may use an alternative resolution method including, but not limited to, an apology, mediation, or a negotiated resolution.



  • President’s Council Approved: February 23, 2016
  • Revised: January 26, 2016; July 5, 2023 (Motlow State Policies 3:02:00:02, 3:02:00:03, 3:02:00:04, 3:02:00:05, and 3:02:00:06 were included into this policy in this revision and individual policies deleted)
  • TBR Office of General Counsel Approved: August 31, 2023
  • TBR Office of Student Success Approved: October 16, 2023
  • Institutional Oversight Committee Approved: January 19, 2024
  • Faculty Council Approved: December 1, 2023
  • President’s Cabinet Approved: February 6, 2024
  • Effective Date/Approved: February 23, 2016; February 6, 2024


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