II. Academic Disqualification and Grievances
A. Scholarship Policy and Disqualification Rule
It is the policy of the School of Law of the University of North Dakota that all students shall achieve and at all times maintain a level of academic performance sufficient to permit the award of the degree of Juris Doctor.
1. FIRST YEAR STUDENTS--Any student who, at the end of the second semester of law study, has not achieved a cumulative average of 2.00 is academically disqualified from any further work in the Law School.
a. Students disqualified under this subsequent with cumulative average of less than 1.75 are ineligible to petition for probationary readmission for a period or one calendar year.
b. Students disqualified under this subsection with a cumulative average of at least 1.75 are eligible to petition the Readmission Committee to be readmitted on probation.
2. UPPERCLASS STUDENTS--Any student not on probation, or not previously on probation, whose cumulative average at the end of the third or any subsequent semester is less than 2.00, is academically disqualified from any further work in the Law School. Students disqualified under this section are eligible to petition the Readmission Committee for probationary readmission. Any student on, or previously on, probation whose cumulative average at the end of the probationary period or any subsequent semester is less than 2.00 is disqualified from registration for continuation in the academic program, and is not eligible to petition for permission to continue therein.
3. READMISSION COMMITTEE--The Dean shall appoint at least three members of the law faculty to serve as the Readmission Committee until excused or succeeded in office by a subsequently appointed Committee. The Committee shall receive and consider such petitions as are properly filed and forwarded by the Dean. The Committee shall act upon and determine the merits of each petition by application of the standards set out in this Scholarship Policy and Disqualification Rule. Petitions will be received and handled in confidence by the Office of the Dean and The Readmissions Committee, but the filing of a petition shall be considered the filing party's consent to such limited revelations by the Dean and by members of the Committee as are necessary for the performance of their respective responsibilities, including, without limitation, such revelations as are required to inquire of third parties as to matters asserted in or relevant to the petition and to utilize stenographic and administrative personnel in the processing of the petition. The petitioner may be requested to furnish other information by the Office of the Dean or the Committee; such other information shall be furnished promptly, and will be received and handled as petitions are handled under this paragraph.
4. STANDARDS FOR READMISSION ON PROBATION--No eligible student disqualified under section 1 or 2 shall be readmitted except on probationary status, and probationary readmission shall only be permitted to eligible students who, in the judgment of the Committee:
a. have honestly and objectively considered their substandard academic performance and identified the true reason(s) therefore, and
b. exhibit maturity of conduct and judgment in the difficult situation of the disqualified student; and
c. have in some fashion--such as significant positive contribution to the program of the Law School or to the profession--demonstrated a serious interest in and dedication to law study or entry into the profession, or can reasonably be expected to demonstrate such interest and such dedication in the future; and
d. are blameless as to the immediate cause(s) of their disqualification, or, if wholly or partially to blame, can be excused; and
e. are likely to achieve and maintain the required cumulative average in the probationary period.
5. AUTOMATIC READMISSION--Notwithstanding the above provisions in this Scholarship Policy and Disqualification Rule, any student disqualified under section 1 above, to whom subsection 1. (b) is applicable, who has in either semester received an average higher than 2.00, and whose average in the other semester was not below 1.75, shall be readmitted on probation without the need to petition therefore.
6. CONDITIONS OF PROBATION--All students readmitted on probation, whether upon successful petition or automatically, will have the terms and conditions of the probation set by the Readmissions Committee. Such terms and conditions shall be communicated to the student contemporaneously with notification of probationary readmission the student's reenrollment in the Law School shall constitute full and complete acceptance of the terms and conditions of the probation.
7. DELEGATION AND FINALITY--The faculty of the School of Law hereby delegates to the Readmissions Committee its entire cower and function with respect to matters of readmission and probation, including the cower to readmit academically disqualified students as repeating students as set out in this Scholarship Policy and Disqualification Rule and accompanying Procedural Rules for Readmission Following Academic Disqualification; the determinations of the Committee as to readmission, the terms and conditions of academic probation, and whether the probationer's performance did or did not meet and fulfill those terms and conditions, shall stand as the final decision of the Law School.
8. TIME LIMIT--Any petition for readmission must be filed within three years from the thirteenth day of June next succeeding the semester in which the student became academically ineligible. Thereafter, such student may only apply for admission to the School of Law as a new first year student in accordance with the rules, regulations, and policies of the Admissions Committee, and such application shall be subject to the jurisdiction of the Admissions Committee.
Updated September 5, 2002
B. Procedural Rules for Readmission following Academic Disqualification
1. Notification of disqualification will be mailed to the student by registered mail, return receipt requested, as soon as practicable after grades have been received and recorded by the Office of the Dean.
2. A student who has been academically disqualified and who is eligible and desires to petition the faculty of the School of Law for probationary readmission must do so by delivering a readmission petition to the Office of the Dean no later than thirty (30) calendar days prior to the commencement of classes in the semester for which the student seeks readmission.
3. It is incumbent upon students to maintain a current mailing address on file in the Office of the Dean.
4. Delivery to the Office of the Dean for the purposes of these rules shall only be accomplished when the petition is physically received in the Office of the Dean by the Dean or his/her designee.
5. The Committee will report its decision within 30 days after the date of the receipt of the student of his/her notice of disqualification (the date of receipt recorded on the return receipt). Eligible petitioners whose petition is still pending at the commencement of the semester for which readmission is sought will be permitted to complete registration and begin classes; the academic status of such student is pending, and the student is not in good standing. Should the Committee deny the petition, the student must cease the course work, the registration is automatically cancelled, and the academic record of the student shall make no reference to the semester thus begun. Such a student’s eligibility for refund of all or any fees which may have been, prior to denial of the petition, paid for the semester shall be determined entirely under UND regulations regarding return of fees, and this permission to begin the semester on a "status pending" does not affect or assist in the request for refund.
6. A petition shall contain an address and a telephone number through which the petitioner may be reached for all purposes and proceedings connected with the petition. Petitions which fail to contain this information shall be considered never to have been filed. Should reasonable efforts by the law school fail to reach petitioner through the address and telephone number supplied in the petition, the petition shall be considered to have been abandoned and withdrawn. A petitioner may change the address or telephone number provided in his/her petition, but only by written communication addressed to the Dean, and such change(s) shall be effective only when physically received in the Office of the Dean by the Dean or his/her designee.
7. The Dean may alter the time periods for submission and reporting if events make adherence to the schedule impracticable.
8. The petitioner shall be afforded an opportunity to appear personally before the Committee in support of his/her petition. The Committee will consider relevant affidavits of third parties. Such affidavits shall be attached to and submitted with the petition. Any other evidence shall be considered at the discretion of the Committee. A petitioner desiring to appear personally before the Committee must so state in the petition.
9. For purposes of considering petitions under these rules, a quorum shall consist of three eligible committee members.
Updated September 5, 2002
C. Academic Dishonesty and Misconduct
Initial action by Dean. When the Dean becomes aware of a matter allegedly involving academic dishonesty or other misconduct by a student, the Dean may do any of the following:
1. handle the matter informally;
2. initiate a fact-finding process;
3. initiate a hearing process.
Fact-finding process. The Dean may appoint one or more faculty or staff members as a fact finder to investigate the allegation and report the results of this investigation to the Dean. No faculty or staff member may be appointed as a fact finder if the faculty or staff member was the person who made the Dean aware of the alleged misconduct.
The fact finder may seek information from anyone who may have information related to the allegation. If the fact finder wishes to seek information from the student whose conduct is in question, the student must be informed that he or she is not compelled to provide information.
After the completion of the fact-finding process, the Dean may either deal with the matter informally or initiate a hearing process. In order for the Dean to proceed informally, the student whose conduct is in question must consent.
Hearing process. The Dean may appoint as a hearing officer one or more faculty members to conduct the hearing, make factual findings, and recommend appropriate action. No faculty member may be appointed as a hearing officer if the faculty member either was the person who made the Dean aware of the alleged misconduct or served as a fact finder for this matter.
Notice. At least fourteen days before the hearing, the student whose conduct is in question must be notified of all of the following:
1. the time and place of the hearing;
2. the conduct in question;
3. the name of any person who has provided the Dean or a fact finder any information about the conduct;
4. the substance of the factual findings reported to the Dean by a fact finder.
Attendance and representation. The student whose conduct is in question must be permitted to attend the hearing and may have present a lawyer or other representative. If the student requests, the hearing must be open to the public.
Testimony. The student whose conduct is in question may present written or oral testimony, or both, before or at the hearing. The student may also cross-examine, personally or through a representative, any person presenting oral testimony at the hearing. Within fourteen days of the conclusion of the hearing, the student whose conduct is in question may submit, personally or through a representative, additional written testimony.
Opinion. The hearing officer or officers shall provide the Dean and the student whose conduct is in question a written opinion within thirty days of the hearing. If the student notifies the hearing officer or officers in writing that he or she will not submit any additional written testimony after the hearing, the hearing officer or officers shall submit the opinion within fourteen days of that written notification.
The opinion must be based on the testimony, written or oral, received at the hearing and any written testimony provided before the hearing or within fourteen days of the hearing by the student whose conduct is in question. The opinion may include a recommendation of any sanction permitted by the School of Law.
Final decision and review. A final decision on any sanction is within the discretion of the Dean, subject to review by the faculty of the School of Law. The decision of the School of Law is final.
Academic sanctions. Irrespective of the outcome of any disciplinary proceedings, a faculty member in whose course or other academic activity the conduct in question arose may impose any academic sanctions permitted by the School of Law after disciplinary proceedings are concluded.
adopted February 15, 1991
modified February 26, 1991 by order of the Dean
updated September 5, 2002
D. Academic Dishonesty and Misconduct Sanctions
In the case of a finding of academic or scholastic dishonesty, the School of Law may impose one or more of the following sanctions on the student found to have committed the act:
1. Private Reprimand. Relevant information regarding the violation is placed in the student’s file for use in determining sanctions in the event that the student is again the subject of a finding of academic dishonesty. This record must be destroyed upon graduation.
2. Public Reprimand. Relevant information regarding the violation and sanction is placed in the student’s file and noted on the student’s transcript. Upon request or at the discretion of the Dean, this information may be provided to any of the following:
a. any bar association, bar board, or licensing authority;
b. a prospective or current employer;
c. a faculty member of the School of Law;
d. a faculty member or official of any law school to which the student applies for enrollment;
e. the student body of the School of Law, with or without disclosing the name of the student;
f. the public, with or without disclosing the name of the student.
3. Disciplinary suspension for a specified time. The student may be suspended from any class, examination, or activity of the School of Law for a specified period. The suspension may commence immediately or in the semester following the imposition of the sanction. Immediate suspension prevents the student from receiving any credit for that semester.
4. Indefinite disciplinary suspension. The student may be suspended from any class, examination, or activity of the School of Law for an indefinite period. The suspension may commence immediately or in the semester following the imposition of the sanction. Immediate suspension prevents the student from receiving any course credit for that semester. Readmission is possible only upon approval of the School of Law after a hearing at which the sole issue is the fitness of the student for readmission.
5. Expulsion. The student shall be permanently expelled from the School of Law.
6. Restitution. The student shall repair or replace any property misappropriated or defaced by the student.
7. Probation. The School of Law may suspend or withhold imposition of any sanction pending a probationary period, the terms of which are within the discretion of the School of Law.
8. Other action. Academic sanctions may also be imposed. These include, but are not limited to, reduction in the course grade in the course in which the conduct occurred (with the consent and acquiescence of the instructor) or repeating the class in which the event occurred.
adopted February 15, 1991
modified March 5, 1991, by order of the Dean
approved by the Faculty as modified, October 11, 1991
updated September 5, 2002
E. Academic Grievances and Grade Changes
An academic grievance is any formal, written expression of a complaint, resentment or accusation lodged by a student about an academic circumstance. An academic circumstance is any event relating to a students education at the School of Law. Such events include grading, testing, quality of instruction, or compliance with the ABA Standards, among others.
1. First Stage:
The academic grievance procedure in the School of Law begins with a discussion between the grieving student and the faculty member, committee, or administrator with whom the student has a grievance. The student must meet with the faculty member, committee, or administrator within thirty calendar days after the event giving rise to the grievance (if the student's grievance arises from the grade received in a course, the thirty days will be measured from the date the grade was posted). If a student's grievance arises from the grade received in a course during the student's final term prior to graduation, the student must lodge his/her grievance within one (1) week of the date the grade was posted.
Final grades shall not be changed, except in extraordinary circumstances.
If the thirty-day period ends on a date outside the School of Law's regular academic year, then the student must meet with the faculty member, committee, or administrator within thirty calendar days after the first day of classes of the first full semester following the event giving rise to the grievance. The Dean may waive this stage for good cause.
2. Second Stage:
A. If the result of the First Stage is a decision by the faculty member to change a recorded grade, the faculty member must file a petition with the Office of Student Life to request the grade change. This petition must include an explanation of the reason behind the requested change. Changing a recorded grade is a serious matter and, in the usual course, petitions will be approved only upon certification that the original grade was in error. A grade change request based upon an arithmetical, administrative, or mechanical error may be authorized with the approval of both the Assistant Dean for Student Life and the Dean of the School of Law. A grade may not be changed as a result of a substantive reevaluation of a student's work, except by vote of the Committee of the Whole upon the faculty member's request, as set forth in the Third Stage (listed below). If a faculty member discovers an arithmetical, administrative, or mechanical error in reviewing one student's exam and discovers that the same error was also made in grading exams of other students, the faculty member must change the grades of all students affected by the error. This grade change decision will be made in writing, and the record will be maintained with the Office of Student Life for the duration of the most recent ABA-accreditation period.
B. If the grievance is not resolved to the satisfaction of the student at the first stage, the student may advance the grievance to the Dean. The Dean may appoint a designate, including a committee, to hear the grievance. If the Dean is the person against whom the grievance is lodged, the Dean shall appoint the Assistant or Associate Dean to hear the grievance. At this stage, the student must present the grievance in writing and describe the grievance and the remedy sought. The student must advance the grievance to the Dean within thirty calendar days of the completion of the first stage. The student's written grievance also must indicate the results of the first stage or the reason for not attempting to resolve the grievance through the first stage. The Dean or the Dean's designate will render a decision within forty-five calendar days of receiving the student's written grievance. This decision will be made in writing, and the record will be maintained with the Office of Student Life for the duration of the most recent ABA-accreditation period. A grade may not be changed as a result of a substantive reevaluation of a student's work, except by vote of Committee of the Whole, as set forth in the Third Stage (listed
3. Third Stage:
If the grievance is not resolved to the satisfaction of a party at the second stage, that party may petition the Faculty of the School of Law for relief within thirty calendar days of the completion of the second stage. The party's petition must be in writing and indicate the results of the second stage. The petition must also describe the reasons for the party's dissatisfaction with the results and the remedy sought. All tenured and tenure-track members of the law faculty shall sit as a Committee of the Whole. At the request of either party, a student member appointed by the Student Bar Association, will be added to the Committee. The Dean will convene the Committee of the Whole and appoint a Chair who will schedule a hearing to occur within a reasonable time, not to exceed twenty class days (counted as those days on which classes meet during the School of Law's regular academic year), except upon agreement of the parties or the inability of the Committee to make a quorum of at least one-half the Committee's membership. The Committee must render a decision, by majority vote of a quorum, within twenty class days of the conclusion of the hearing. The Committee's decision is the final decision of the
School of Law.
4. The decision of the School of Law in a matter of academic concern is final and may not be appealed under the procedures listed in the University of North Dakota's Code of Student Life or any other University process external to the School of Law. The School of Law is a professional post baccalaureate program approved by the American Bar Association and the Association of American Law Schools. The
standards for approval of these accrediting bodies require that decisions of professional academic matters remain with the law school faculty. No further appeal is permitted or appropriate.
Adopted by administrative order, Spring Semester, 1991
Modified as submitted, Faculty Committee, January 25, 2002
Approved by Faculty Committee - April 26, 2002
Updated September 5, 2002
Amended by Faculty, April 13, 2012
Amended by Faculty Committee, April 16, 2013.