The stakes are high for university students accused of misconduct. When expulsion is a possible sanction, an accused student faces a financial loss and a stigma that may preclude admission to another university or access to a career that requires a clean conduct record. For universities, the stakes are also high. Universities use student disciplinary processes to maintain a safe environment for learning and to convey and promote university and civic values. Discipline procedures are matters of public interest and criticism, particularly where the alleged misconduct is sexual. When student discipline processes are fair and perceived as such, these processes reinforce a culture of responsible and ethical behavior that will benefit students, faculty, and staff into the future. When discipline processes are perceived as unfair, irrelevant, or overly bureaucratic, the negative impact on the university is similarly profound and long-lasting.
Marie T. Reilly, Due Process in Public University Discipline Cases, 120 Penn. St. L. Rev. 1001 (2016).