1. Students subject to an involuntary withdrawal shall be accorded an informal hearing before the dean of students. The following guidelines will be applicable.
2. Students will be informed of the time, date, and location of the informal hearing, in writing, either by personal delivery or by certified mail, at least two (2) business days in advance.
3. The entire case file, including an evaluation prepared pursuant to paragraph 5 of these standards and procedures, and the name of the prospective witnesses, will be available for inspection by the student in the dean of students’ office during normal business hours. The file, which should be available at least two (2) school days before the informal hearing, need not include the personal and confidential notes of any institutional official or participant in the evaluation process.
4. The informal hearing shall be conversational and non-adversarial. Formal rules of evidence will not apply. The dean of students shall exercise active control over the proceedings to avoid needless consumption of time and to achieve the orderly completion of the hearing. Any person who disrupts the hearing may be excluded.
5. The student may choose to be assisted by a family member and a licensed psychologist or psychiatrist or, in lieu of a licensed psychologist or psychiatrist, by a member of the faculty or staff of Parkland College. Furthermore, the student may be accompanied by legal counsel, although the role of counsel will be limited to providing legal advice to the student.
6. Those assisting the student, except for the legal counsel, will be given reasonable time to ask relevant questions of any individual appearing at the informal hearing, as well as to present relevant evidence.
7. Whenever possible, the student will be expected to respond to questions asked by the dean of students. Students who refuse to answer due to concerns about incrimination may be informed that they dean of students could draw a negative inference from their refusal, which might result in their dismissal from the institution, in accordance with these standards and procedures.
8. The informal hearing may be conducted in the absence of a student who fails to appear after proper notice.
9. The mental health professional who prepared the evaluation pursuant to paragraph 5 of these standards and procedures may be expected to appear at the informal hearing, and to respond to relevant questions, upon request of any party, if the dean of students or designee determines that such participation is essential to the resolution of a dispositive issue in the case.
10. The dean of students or designee may permit a Parkland official and the mental health professional who prepared the evaluation to appear at the informal hearing and to present evidence in support of any withdrawal recommendation. Such evidence will not be presented by legal counsel for the college.
11. The informal hearing shall be tape recorded by the dean of students or designee. The tape(s) shall be kept with the pertinent case file for as long as the case file is maintained by the institution.
12. A written decision shall be rendered by the dean of students within five (5) school days after the completion of the informal hearing. The written decision, which should be mailed or personally delivered to the student, should contain a statement of reasons for any determination leading to involuntary withdrawal. The student should also be advised as to when a petition for reinstatement would be considered, along with any conditions for reinstatement.
13. The decision of the dean of students shall be final and conclusive and not subject to appeal.