Witnesses in Administrative Hearings

Witnesses are expected to provide accurate, honest, and truthful information. Falsified, inaccurate, and dishonest information can negatively affect a pending case. The Office of Student Conduct will file disciplinary charges against students who violate this expectation.

Witnesses may be present only during the time they are participating in the hearing.

Witnesses are individuals who have direct knowledge about the incident. These are people who were present during the incident and observed the situation.

Before deciding to call upon witnesses, consider the following points:

  • How relevant is the information of the witness to the central issue(s) of the case?
  • How much detailed information does this person know about the action or incident in question?
  • How did this person come to know this information?
  • Which witness had the best opportunity to observe the action or incident in question?

At the start of the Administrative Hearing, the hearing officer will determine how many witnesses will be called during the hearing. If there are multiple witnesses, the hearing officer has the right to limit the number of direct witnesses when they will likely report redundant information. If this should happen, the hearing officer will allow the charged student or presenting party to decide which witnesses have the most detailed information about the incident and plan to call on them.

The best witnesses are those who are present during the hearing. If a witness cannot be present due to an academic scheduling conflict, the witness can provide a written statement of his or her account, which will be read at the hearing. Every effort should be made to have all direct witnesses attend the hearing. In-person information is weighted more heavily than letters when the hearing officer is determining if a student violated the Code of Conduct.