Code of Conduct


The University of California at Berkeley is a community of scholars committed to maintaining an environment that encourages personal and intellectual growth. It is a community with high standards and high expectations for those who choose to become a part of it, including established rules of conduct intended to foster behaviors that are consistent with a civil and educational setting. Members of the University community are expected to comply with all laws, University policies and campus regulations, conducting themselves in ways that support a scholarly environment. In this context, faculty are guided by The Faculty Code of Conduct, Section 015 of the Academic Personnel Manual, and students by the Berkeley Campus Code of Student Conduct, articulated here.

Accompanying the Berkeley Campus Code of Student Conduct (Code) is an established process to determine if a student has violated the Code and to respond appropriately when violations are sustained. Students alleged to have violated the Code are given an opportunity to meet with a member of the Center for Student Conduct staff to discuss the incident in question. Most often complaints are resolved informally through discussions with Center for Student Conduct staff. The Center for Student Conduct may conduct an investigation and/or gather further information relevant to the complaint. Students may also provide any additional information to clarify the facts. If the investigation shows that there was no Code violation, the case may be dropped or a Notification may be issued (see Case Not Pursued, section II.C.1). If the investigation yields evidence of a Code violation, the Center for Student Conduct will propose a resolution and students may be given the opportunity to resolve the case informally. If the student chooses not to accept informal resolution or the Center for Student Conduct determines it necessary, the case will be handled formally by either an administrative hearing or panel hearing.

Once the formal process begins, students can expect to be notified of the date and time for a hearing. In a panel hearing the panel will be composed of faculty, staff, and student members of the Committee on Student Conduct, presided over by an Independent Hearing Officer who will make determinations with regard to procedural and evidentiary issues. In an administrative hearing the Independent Hearing Officer will preside alone. The process for either hearing is the same. Center for Student Conduct staff will present witnesses and information related to the case and students will have the opportunity to share information to be reviewed, present witnesses and information on their behalf and ask questions of the campus’ witnesses. The hearing body will determine whether it is more likely than not that students violated the Code, and if so, will recommend an appropriate sanction to the Dean of Students. If a sanction is imposed, students have the right to appeal their case to the Vice Chancellor of Student Affairs.

Students are expected to speak for themselves. They may, however, seek the advice of another person to assist them in either the formal or informal process. In the event that the student chooses not to participate in the hearing process, the hearing process will continue in the student’s absence.

Potential conduct sanctions are described in Section VI. Sanctions in both the formal and informal processes are intended to enforce the Code of Student Conduct and to inform students about appropriate behavior within the community, help them learn from mistakes, and discourage future violations of the rules of conduct. Sanctions may include, but are not limited to, such elements as reflective writing assignments, community service, letters of apology, counseling, additional coursework, or restitution.