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Discipline Statute 2011

Category Statutes
Type Statute
Approved by Approved by Council – 22 November 2011
Date Statute Took Effect 1 January 2012
Last Approved Revision
Sponsor Registrar and Secretary to the Council
Responsible Officer
Review Date

Policy Content

1. Title

1.1. This is the Discipline Statute 2011.

2. Commencement

2.1. This Statute shall come into effect on 1 January 2012.

3. Rules of Conduct

3.1. The basic rules of conduct are those provided for in the Code of Student Conduct established by this Statute.

3.2. Secondary rules of conduct are contained in the regulations established under the Administration Statute 2011 and such other rules and regulations as may be promulgated from time to time under the authority of the Council.

4. Code of Student Conduct

4.1. The purpose of the Code of Student Conduct is to promote the University’s academic aims and a sense of community through the cultivation of mutual respect, tolerance and understanding. To this end, the University expects that students will not engage in behaviours that endanger their own or others’ safety and well-being.

4.2. Students are expected to conform to the standards contained in this Code of Student Conduct off-campus as well as on-campus.

4.3. The University reserves the right to pursue through its disciplinary procedures matters that are also being, or may also be, addressed by the legal system or under the University’s Ethical Behaviour Policy processes.

4.4. The basic rules of conduct require that no student shall:

(a) disrupt any teaching, study or research or the administration of the University either wilfully or by engaging in conduct which ought reasonably to have been foreseen would cause disruption;

(b) wilfully obstruct any member or employee of the University in academic work or in the performance of duties;

(c) wilfully misuse, damage or deface, steal or wrongfully convert to the student’s own use any property of the University or of any member of the University;

(d) wilfully acquire by theft or deception the benefits of any service provided by the University or any academic advantage;

(e) engage in actions that:
(i) amount to assault or which result in, or can be reasonably expected to result in, harm to a person or persons; or
(ii) are unreasonably disruptive to other members of the University or the local community; or
(iii) result in, or can be reasonably expected to result in, damage to property of any person; or
(iv) are otherwise unlawful;

(f) threaten, intimidate or harass another person or group;

(g) fail to comply with the proper directives of a University official, including refusing to identify oneself;

(h) lie to, or misrepresent information to, the University or any University official;

(i) fail without good reason to co-operate with the University’s disciplinary procedures;

(j) fail without reasonable cause to comply with any penalty imposed under the Discipline Statute;

(k) be party to or attempt to commit an act of misconduct as set out in the foregoing rules.

5. Disciplinary Authority

5.1. The following persons or bodies are authorised to exercise disciplinary authority under this Statute:

(a) The Proctor (which expression shall include any person appointed as a Deputy or Assistant Proctor);

(b) The Provost who shall be a member of the academic staff appointed by the Chancellor in consultation with the President of the Otago University Students’ Association;

(c) The Vice-Chancellor;

(d) The Appeals Board of Council.

6. Powers of Proctor

6.1. The Proctor shall have power to deal with offences or alleged offences against the basic or secondary rules of conduct by such processes as are fair and expeditious in the circumstances.

6.2. If, after reasonable enquiry and after meeting with the student concerned, the Proctor is satisfied that a student is guilty of an offence against this Statute, the Proctor may deal with that student in one or more of the following ways:

(a) discharge the student conditionally or absolutely;

(b) advise or reprimand the student;

(c) impose a fine not exceeding $500;

(d) direct the return of any property acquired through misconduct;

(e) direct the payment of compensation of up to $5,000 in respect of any damage incurred through the misconduct;

(f) direct the student to carry out work of value to the University or the local community for up to 40 hours;

(g) direct the student not to attend a specific social function or functions, or not to visit some specific part of the University, or not to visit any or all of its affiliated colleges for a period up to 31 December in the year in which the penalty is imposed.

6.3. In any case where the Proctor considers:

(a) that the circumstances of a student’s offending or alleged offending require formal consideration; or

(b) that the circumstances of a student’s offending or alleged offending may warrant penalties beyond those which the Proctor is empowered to impose,
the Proctor may refer the student to the Provost for the matter to be dealt with.

7. Powers of Provost

7.1. The Provost shall have the power:

(a) to deal with offences or alleged offences against the basic or secondary rules of conduct including, but not limited to, those matters which may be referred to him or her by the Proctor;

(b) to determine appeals brought against decisions of the Proctor.

7.2. The Provost shall have the power to dismiss any complaint which in the opinion of the Provost is frivolous or unsubstantiated or for any other reason ought not to be proceeded with.

7.3. In any case where the Provost considers the circumstances of a student’s offending or alleged offending render it appropriate the Provost may refer the student directly to the Vice-Chancellor to be dealt with. 

7.4. Before there is any exercise of disciplinary power by the Provost, the student complained of:

(a) must be advised in writing of the subject matter of the complaint,

(b) must be afforded an opportunity of being heard when the complaint is being determined and to be supported or, at the student’s option, to be represented, at that time; and

(c) must be advised of possible penalties if found guilty including, where appropriate, the possibility of exclusion following a referral to the Vice-Chancellor.

7.5. The Provost may deal with a complaint in one or more of the following ways:

(a) discharge the student conditionally or absolutely;

(b) advise or reprimand the student;

(c) impose a fine not exceeding $1,000;

(d) direct the return of any property acquired through misconduct;

(e) direct the payment of compensation up to $5,000 in respect of damage to property;

(f) direct the student to carry out work of value to the University or the local community for up to 60 hours;

(g) direct the student not to attend a specific social function or functions, or not to visit some specific part of the University, or not to visit any or all of its affiliated colleges for a period of up to twelve months from the date of decision;

(h) deny the student the right to graduate in person;

(i) refer the matter to the Vice-Chancellor to be dealt with by way of exclusion or otherwise.

8. Powers of Vice-Chancellor

8.1. The Vice-Chancellor may, whether on a referral from the Provost or otherwise, exercise any of the disciplinary powers afforded to the Provost under this Statute provided that the Vice-Chancellor’s power of directing the payment of compensation in respect of damage to property shall extend to the full amount of any damage incurred.

8.2. The Vice-Chancellor shall, in addition to the powers under the previous clause, have the power to exclude the student from the University, or from any paper or papers, either permanently or for such period as the Vice-Chancellor may determine.

8.3. Where, before a matter is referred to the Vice-Chancellor, the Provost has completed an investigation which meets the requirements of clause 7.4, the Vice-Chancellor may rely on the findings of that enquiry in determining the matter, provided that if the Vice-Chancellor considers a student’s exclusion may be warranted, the student shall be so advised and given the opportunity to provide written submissions on whether that step should be taken.

8.4. Before exercising any disciplinary authority in a case in relation to which the Provost has not completed an investigation meeting the requirements of clause 7.4, the Vice-Chancellor shall complete such an investigation.

9. Appeals

9.1. A student may appeal a decision of the Proctor to the Provost by writing to the Provost within seven days of the communication to the student of the relevant decision. A decision by the Provost on an appeal from the Proctor shall be final.

9.2. A student may appeal a disciplinary decision of the Provost (other than a decision on an appeal from the Proctor) or decision of the Vice-Chancellor to the Appeals Board of the University Council. Appeals are governed by the provisions of the Appeals Statute 2011 and are to be commenced by lodging a Notice of Appeal in accordance with the provisions of that Statute within ten working days of the communication to the student of the relevant decision.

10. Reports to Council

10.1. All persons authorised to exercise disciplinary authority under this Statute shall make a report to the Council following the end of each academic year containing a summary of all cases dealt with by them during that year. Such reports shall not include the names of individuals and shall as far as possible avoid reference to circumstances which might render any individual identifiable.

11. Repeal

11.1. The Discipline Regulations Statute 1991 and the regulations made thereunder are repealed with effect from the commencement of this Statute.