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Faculty, staff and students needed to serve on University Hearing Board

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Ohio University’s Office of Community Standards and Student Responsibility is recruiting students, faculty and staff to serve on the University Hearing Board, with a specific need for faculty volunteers.

The University Hearing Board (UHB) is composed of students, faculty and staff who volunteer to participate in OHIO’s community standards process in two ways – by hearing cases that could result in a student’s separation from the institution and by sitting on the University Appeal Board (UAB) where they review appeals from students who have gone through the Community Standards Process. 

According to Martha Compton, director of OHIO’s Office of Community Standards and Student Responsibility, the office currently has a pool of approximately 50 UHB members to pull from to hear both cases and appeals. Only three members (two students and one faculty/staff for UHB hearings; ideally one student, one faculty and one staff for UAB cases) are assigned to each case or appeal.

“We’re recruiting for all groups, but we do have a specific need for faculty,” Compton said, adding that no experience is needed to serve on the board. “Ideally, I would love to see five to 10 more faculty on the board. That would put us in really great shape.”

Compton noted that board members generally are asked to commit to about two hearings and/or appeals per month – or about six a semester as there are some months, like December, when the boards do not schedule cases – but her office is flexible in working with faculty and staff based on their availability. Hearings typically last two to three hours. All hearings and appeals are prescheduled, and board members are asked at the beginning of the semester for their availability. Board members serve for as long as they like and are contacted at the end of the academic year to see if they are returning the next year.

“The goal of the University Hearing Board is really to try and figure out how we hold a student accountable in a way that allows that student to be successful,” Compton explained, noting that even when students are separated from the institution, they generally are provided homework – a pathway that, if appropriate, will allow them to return to OHIO. 

To assist board members in achieving that goal, they are required to participate in an all-day training session and one in-service training, which are generally lunch and learns, each semester. This semester’s all-day training session is scheduled for Saturday, Nov. 18. Compton noted that her office will work with members unable to attend on that date.

“The full-day training is designed to make sure that everybody understands the basics of the Code of Conduct, what our process looks like – how you ask appropriate questions and what the standard of proof at the institution is; and what sanction guidelines look like,” Compton said. “We strive for a balance of consistency and fairness.”

Students serving on the board, both undergraduate and graduate, must have and maintain a minimum 2.5 GPA, not be on disciplinary probation at the time of their application and not have been suspended. Compton noted that students who have gone through the Community Standards Process are encouraged to apply. 

All members of the board are expected to be responsible members of the OHIO community with high standards for their own behavior. In addition, all members of the board are expect to maintain confidentiality and sign a confidentiality agreement. Compton noted that that agreement as well as ways for board members to appropriately process what can sometimes be difficult and emotional cases are discussed during the training session.

“We really just want anybody who is interested in student success outside of the classroom and helping to find pathways for students to be successful here,” Compton said of those who should apply to serve on the UHB. “This is really a different way to get involved with students – students who are typically at a pretty crucial point, students who are looking at a suspension or an expulsion and who are at a point where they can make better decisions. They really have to determine what it is they are doing here at Ohio University and how choices they’ve made or behaviors they’ve engaged in are either supporting those goals or competing with them.”

Those interested in applying to serve on the UHB should fill out this online form. The deadline to apply is 8 a.m. Monday, Oct. 2. Students who apply will go through an interview process. Faculty and staff who apply are asked to have a conversation with Compton. 

For more information, click here, email communitystandards@ohio.edu or visit the tables that will be located outside of Baker University Center Sept. 18-22.