The Graduate Student Progress Committee (GSPC) is a MSBS faculty committee charged with being the primary body responsible for review of the totality of MSBS students’ academic progression. For matters involving academic progression, as a part of a comprehensive review, the GSPC will make decisions as to whether a student should be granted remediation after an academic failure or not.
The GSPC has broad authority to review students’ records, decide how best the MSBS program can assist the student in getting back on track academically, and recommend a broad number of options for consideration as part of any final decision. GSPC is authorized to recommend to the Program Director with respect to suspension or dismissal of students from the program for failure to adequately progress through the program. In the event of suspension or dismissal, the student must receive a hearing under Level 2 below. The policy applies to all students enrolled at CHSU MSBS Program.
GSPC Members Appointment
The Program Director shall appoint a total of three (3) members to serve on GSPC and shall designate one of these members to serve as the Chair of GSPC. All of the members will be comprised of faculty from the MSBS Program. The GSPC members shall adequately and reasonably reflect the faculty representation from the MSBS Program. A quorum of at least three (3) committee members is required to vote and finalize any decision of GSPC. GSPC meetings shall include the members of GSPC and may include others invited by the Chair or Program Director who may serve as resources in accomplishing the work of the committee. GSPC student hearings discussed below in section B. Level 2. shall be attended only by the members of GSPC, the student, the student’s support representative, and the MSBS Program’s appropriate administrative support personnel. GSPC shall meet as often as necessary to conduct its business, which shall generally be at least monthly, as determined by the GSPC Chair.
GSPC Progression and Conduct Discipline Procedures
GSPC procedures for academic progression matters and referrals are outlined below.
Level 1 – Academic Progression Matters Involving First Course Failure
Notice to Student and Faculty Mentor/Advisor
The student is notified by the GSPC Chair via CHSU email of the student’s failure and the date, time and location of a mandatory meeting with the GSPC to determine a remediation plan. The student’s assigned faculty mentor/advisor will also receive notice of the meeting and may, at the faculty mentor/advisor’s discretion, choose to attend.
At the meeting, a remediation plan for the failed coursework will be formulated. The remediation plan may include, but is not limited to, the following items: a study plan, options for fulfilling the outstanding requirement and timeline for same, regular meetings with academic affairs personnel and/or learning specialists, and/or regular meetings with a psychologist. The remediation plan shall include timelines as well as expected outcomes and behaviors of the student during remediation. The remediation plan will be signed in writing by the GSPC Chair and the student.
Level 2 – Academic Progression Matters Involving Second Course Failure, Failure to Comply with a Remediation Plan, and All Matters Involving Potential Suspension or Dismissal: Required GSPC Hearing
As a threshold matter, GSPC hearings are informal proceedings – they are not formal judicial or administrative proceedings. Accordingly, the rules of evidence do not apply, the student is not entitled to present or cross-examine witnesses, and audio/video recordings of the hearing are not permitted. Unauthorized video or audio recording may subject a student to discipline, up to and including dismissal.
The following procedures shall apply to the GSPC hearing:
Notice to Student
The student is notified by the GSPC Chair via CHSU email of the failure, and of the date, time and location of the GSPC hearing. Generally, notice should be at least three business days in advance of the hearing. Exceptional circumstances or emergencies may require the hearing to be held with short notice. In cases of academic progression, the student should have received information regarding prior failures and remediation plans, so additional notice of those matters is not required. Students are not entitled to the full investigation file.
Recommended Pre-meetings with Academic Affairs
Generally, prior to the hearing the student will meet with the Office of Academic Affairs prior to the hearing. The Office of Academic Affairs role is to help the student better understand the GSPC hearing process, to answer the student's related questions, and advise on how the student can prepare for the hearing. The student may decline the assistance of the Office of Academic Affairs.
GSPC Materials for Review and Pre-Meetings
Prior to the hearing, GSPC will receive a copy of the student’s academic file, including any disciplinary documents. Additionally, the student may submit a written statement for GSPC’s review and may submit written statements from others which have information relevant to the proceeding. The GSPC Chair shall determine whether any such statements are or are not relevant to the proceedings. Prior to the hearing, GSPC may, but is not required to, meet to discuss the matter, and may request additional information from the Office of Academic/Student Affairs, members of the faculty or the student, prior to the hearing.
Appearance at Hearing; Support Representative
Students are required to attend the GSPC hearing in-person unless the student is unable to travel to the campus due to extenuating circumstances, in which case remote conference technology may be used to attend the hearing. The student may bring a faculty mentor/advisor or other support representative to the GSPC hearing. The support representative may not participate directly in the hearing, even if that person is a lawyer. Support representatives may not disrupt the hearing; if a disruption occurs or attempts to directly participate are made, the GSPC Chair will dismiss the support representative from the meeting.
GSPC Deliberation & Recommendation
After the student and or his supportive representative is excused from the hearing, GSPC will discuss the case and vote on a recommendation to be submitted to the Program Director (or designee). Recommendations are determined by a majority vote of the GSPC members attending the hearing. If more time is needed, GSPC may choose to continue deliberations to another meeting time without notice to the student.
Basis for Dismissal
The GSPC may determine that dismissal is warranted when there is (a) a failure to meet the requirements for academic progression or graduation from the program; (b) failure to meet the terms of a prior remediation plan; or (c) any other circumstance that calls into serious question the student’s ability to graduate.
Notice to Student of Final Decision
Upon receipt of GSPC’s recommendation, the Program Director (or designee) will review the recommendation and prepare a written final decision. All academic decisions made by the Program Director are final. A copy of the decision will be placed in the student’s file, and a copy will be provided to the Office of Student Affairs, Office of Academic Affairs, and Chair of GSPC. In cases involving the dismissal of the student, copies will be sent to the Registrar, Financial Aid Office, and the Provost.
The student may appeal the final decision of dismissal to the Provost in writing within five (5) business days from the date of receiving the final decision. The written appeal must state the basis for why a different decision is appropriate. In the event the Provost has a conflict of interest, the appeal shall be referred to the President. The written decision on the appeal request shall be issued in writing to the student, generally within fifteen (15) business days from the date the appeal is received. The decision of the Provost or President after review of the appeal will be final.
GSPC Process for Professionalism & Student Conduct Referrals
Under CHSU’s University Policy for Student Conduct & Professionalism, each college is required to develop policies that govern the adjudication of professionalism complaints and concerns, providing required due process to students who are referred to the Student Progress Committee for such matters. The below policy and hearing procedures shall govern CHSU MSBS students referred to GSPC for student professionalism, conduct, and ethics concerns.
As a threshold matter, GSPC hearings are not formal judicial or administrative proceedings. Accordingly, the rules of evidence do not apply. The University may, at its discretion, create an audio or video recording of the hearing and, if so, it is the only recording permitted. Unauthorized video or audio recording may subject a student to discipline, up to and including dismissal.
If a policy violation is found, possible corrective actions imposed by GSPC include, but are not limited to: a written or verbal apology; a written or verbal warning, a letter of reprimand, or other document outlining expectations for future behavior and related consequences; training or educational requirements such as an assigned reading or reflection paper; attending an educational program or seminar; mandatory or voluntary counseling; mentorship or accountability meetings; community service; disciplinary probation; no-contact directives; drug or alcohol testing or rehabilitation programs; temporary or permanent exclusion from attending University events or extracurricular activities; suspension from participation in the academic program; dismissal from the academic program; termination of employment with the University.
The following procedures shall apply to the GSPC hearing for professionalism, conduct, or ethics referrals:
Notice to Student
Student is notified by the MSBS Office of Student Affairs via CHSU email of the professionalism and/or conduct referral, and of the date, time, and location of the GSPC hearing. Generally, notice should be at least three business days in advance of the hearing. Exceptional circumstances or emergencies may require the hearing to be held with short notice. The notice shall include a description of the behavior giving rise to the referral. If the right to cross-examination applies, as set forth below, the notice shall also include a list of witnesses and the information they are expected to provide related to the referral.
Recommended Pre-Meeting with Student Affairs
Upon request, prior to the hearing the student will meet with the MSBS Office of Student Affairs (or designee). The MSBS Office of Student Affairs’ role is to help the student better understand the GSPC hearing process, to answer the student’s related questions, and advise on how the student can prepare for the hearing. The student may decline the assistance of the MSBS Office of Student Affairs. In all cases, it is the student’s responsibility to timely request the assistance from the MSBS Office of Student Affairs in advance of the hearing.
GSPC Materials for Review and Pre-Hearing Meetings
Prior to the hearing or at the start of the hearing, GSPC may receive a copy of the student’s academic file, including any disciplinary documents, the student’s notice of referral, a copy of investigation reports, findings of fact provided to the student, and other relevant documents applicable to the referral. Students are not entitled to the full investigation file, if any. GSPC members shall not discuss the matter prior to the GSPC meeting and shall maintain the confidentiality of the information in accordance with law and policy. The GSPC Chair shall determine whether any such statements are or are not relevant to the proceedings. Prior to the hearing, GSPC Chair may request a pre-meeting based on the circumstances of the referral and may request additional information from the administration, members of the faculty or the student.
Student Written Statement
The student may submit a written statement for GSPC’s review and may submit written statements from others that have information relevant to the matters under consideration by the GSPC.
Student Appearance at Hearing
Support Person: Except as otherwise permitted by the GSPC Chair, students are required to attend the GSPC hearing in-person. The student may bring a support person to the GSPC hearing, who may be an attorney. A support person may not participate in the hearing except to provide moral support for and to the student. Support persons may not disrupt the hearing; if a disruption occurs or the support person attempts to directly participate in the hearing, the GSPC Chair may ask the support person to leave the hearing.
Standard of Evidence
While the legal standard of evidentiary rules does not apply, the GSPC will loosely follow the preponderance of the evidence standard in determining whether to accept and consider evidence.
Right to Cross-Examine Witnesses
A student facing possible suspension or dismissal shall have the opportunity to cross-examine witnesses regarding the allegations of professionalism and/or conduct violations in the following circumstances: (a) where the facts are in dispute; (b) where the credibility of witnesses is critical enough to determine the outcome of the matter; (c) where the witnesses to be cross-examined are relevant to determining whether or not the facts as alleged are more likely than not true. Decisions concerning whether these criteria exist and allow for cross-examination shall be made at the discretion of the GSPC. The method of cross-examination shall be at the discretion of the GSPC and may include, for example, the submission of questions in writing to be asked by the GSPC Chair, the use of hearing advisors to facilitate questioning or any other method the GSPC Chair deems appropriate under the circumstances. If the matter under consideration by the GSPC is concurrently the subject of a hearing procedure under another applicable policy such as the University’s harassment or Title IX procedures in which the opportunity to cross-examine witnesses is provided, then that procedure with cross examination shall be the only cross-examination required and the GSPC may rely on the findings of fact of the adjudicator in the other hearing in determining whether the findings violate the University’s professionalism, conduct and/or ethics policies.
Use of an Internal or External Hearing Officer
Under appropriate circumstances, as determined by the GSPC Chair and in consultation with the Program Director, the GSPC Chair may, in his or her discretion, assign the matter to an internal or external hearing officer to assist the GSPC in conducting the hearing.
GSPC Deliberation, Decision Regarding Policy Violation, & Recommendation on Corrective Action
After the student is excused from the hearing, GSPC will deliberate and vote to (a) determine findings of fact; (b) determine whether, based on those facts, a policy violation occurred; and(c) recommend corrective action based on the policy violation. This decision and, if applicable, the recommendation on corrective action, is determined by a majority vote of the GSPC members attending the hearing, with the Chair voting only in the event of a tie. Based on the circumstances of the student’s referral, if more time is needed the GSPC Chair, in consultation with the GSPC and the MSBS Office of Student Affairs, may choose to continue deliberations to another meeting time without notice to the student. The GSPC Chair shall provide the decision and, if applicable, the recommendation on corrective action, to the Director of the MSBS Program via CHSU email.
Role of the Director of the MSBS Program
Notice to Student of GSPC Decision: Upon receipt and review of the GSPC’s decision the Director of MSBS Program may accept or modify the GSPC’s recommendation on corrective action based on mitigating or aggravating factors in the GSPC’s findings of fact or for other good cause. The Director of the MSBS Program will issue the decision and corrective action, if any, to the student. Generally, the Director of the MSBS Program will provide the student notice of the decision within two (2) business days of receiving the GSPC decision. A copy of the decision will be placed in the student’s file and will be provided to the Registrar, the MSBS Office of Student Affairs, the Financial Aid Office, and the Director of the MSBS Program.
The student may appeal the findings of fact, determination of policy violation, and/or decision regarding corrective action to the Provost in writing via email within five (5) business days from the date of the final decision. If the Provost has a conflict of interest, the appeal will be reviewed by the University President. The written appeal must state the basis for the appeal. Grounds for appeal are limited to: (a) any new and compelling information that was not available to the GSPC committee at the time of deliberation which would have impacted the outcome of the matter; or if there was a procedural error in the GSPC committee process which would have impacted the outcome of the matter. The decision of the Provost or the President after review of the appeal will be final. The written decision on an appeal request shall be issued in writing to the student, generally within fifteen (15) business days from the date the appeal is received.