Student Conduct Rules and Procedures
Effective Date: September 1, 2020
Pursuant to the provisions of Article 40, paragraph 3, of Okinawa Institute of Science and Technology Graduate university Rules and Chapter 5 of OIST PRP, matters regarding student misconduct are stipulated as follows.
OIST defines student misconduct as:
i) Conduct in contravention of, or outright breach, of relevant OIST policy, rules or procedures;
ii) Failure to comply with any reasonable direction of any OIST staff member or member of the OIST Community in a position of authority in relation to students;
iii) Unjustified acts or intentional omissions by the student which adversely affect OIST staff, students, or the OIST Community as a whole;
iv) Any other acts that may be included as examples within the Student Conduct Rules and Procedures, regardless of whether they are included in the above.
Examples of misconduct
i) Publishing of material, in any form, that is untrue or considered offensive, abusive, harassing, or vilifying about any member of the OIST Community, or about the University (including its programs, divisions or sections) in any form
ii) Activity that contravenes any University rule or regulation in a disruptive manner, including disruption of teaching or research; unseemly behavior; or indecent, threatening, discriminatory or abusive language, for example
iii) Engaging in behavior meant to deceive the University or its members, including making of false or misleading statements; or providing false documentation
iv) Behaving in a manner that is likely to bring the University or its members into disrepute
v) Obstructing OIST staff in their prescribed duties, including failure to comply with University procedures such as investigations
vi) Not adhering to University-mandated occupational health and safety guidelines
vii) Engaging in activities prohibited by Japanese law and regulations
viii) Intentional or negligent damage to person or property
Examples of sanctions
iv) Sanctions associated with the items listed in i) to iii) above.
a) Exclusion (from classes, research units, privileges; either temporarily or permanently)
c) Suspension of research/financial assistantship (including reduction or termination fo financial assistance)
d) Suspension of bench fees (from classes, research units, privileges – usually without compensation or recourse [regarding grades, for example])
e) Adjustment or substitution of grades
f) Preclusion of conferral/revocation of award of degree (recorded on transcript)
“Authorized persons” are defined as:
i) a relevant Graduate School staff member familiar with a particular case
ii) a member of faculty
iii) an OIST legal representative
iv) a member of OIST Human Resources
The Dean of Graduate School has the power to select authorized persons in accordance with this policy.
Appointment of Investigation Committee members, as well as delegation of power to investigate matters related to the Student Conduct Policy reside with the Dean of Graduate School. Responsibility for decision-making is retained by the Dean of Graduate School, after consultation with and approval of the President of OIST.
An authorized person may, when the nature of an allegation may be dealt with (when proven) in a manner that does not require any sanction, resolve the matter according to the following process:
i) Within ten (10) business days of receipt of the formal allegation, the Authorized Person will begin investigation of the allegation, including a discussion with the person submitting the allegation, speaking with any witnesses, and consulting with any other relevant parties
ii) Maintain records of the investigation and any relevant discussions
iii) Inform the student of the allegation, either in writing or in person, and provide a time limit for the student to respond
iv) Make a decision of whether the allegation will be upheld based on the authorized persons investigation
v) Determine a path of resolution, which may include, but are not limited to:
a. A decision that no further action is to be taken;
b. Direct the student to make a formal apology to the relevant party or parties;
c. Direct the student to cease the action/s referred to in the allegation;
d. Require a written undertaking from the student that the conduct that led to the allegation will not be repeated;
e. Continued or permanent exclusion; be it from a lab, unit, or facility;
f. Recommendation that the student seek counselling;
g. A written warning from the Graduate School informing the student that any further misconduct will be escalated
An investigation may be delayed or suspended for reasons outside of Graduate School control. Under these circumstances, the student will be notified immediately.
When deemed necessary, an Investigation Committee will be appointed by the Dean of Graduate School to investigate allegations of student misconduct.
Investigation Committees will be constituted of no less than three (3) authorized persons without conflict of interest. The background of authorized persons chosen to form an Investigation Committee will accord with the nature and severity of the misconduct.
The Chair of the Investigation Committee shall be decided by the Dean of Graduate School, and shall report directly to the Dean of Graduate School.
Results of any investigation conducted by the Investigation Committee will be reported to the Dean of Graduate School for further action as deemed appropriate. In conducting its duties, the Investigation Committee may:
i) Investigate any matter under this policy and may call upon any party affected by the conduct to discuss the matter
ii) Ask parties approached to provide a written statement describing the conduct in question, and its effect on them. If provided, collected statements may be used by the Committee, or other empowered bodies/parties, to aid in investigation of the allegations
iii) Provide statements to the student responsible for the alleged behavior so they may have the opportunity to respond to the allegations
iv) Investigate any allegation, irrespective of whether or not it has since been retracted
Anyone with responsibility for management of an OIST activity or facility has the authority to immediately exclude a student from said activity or facility if they have reasonable belief the student has committed, or is committing, an act of misconduct; including (but not limited to):
i) When there is a danger to health and safety;
ii) The student’s actions or activities are disruptive; to either the facility or others
Period of Exclusion
The period of exclusion will be at the discretion of the responsible person, and will take into account the severity of the misconduct and/or the appropriate time required to resolve the matter.
Reporting of Exclusion
i) The person responsible for excluding the student must inform the Dean of Graduate School in writing immediately following the exclusion order. The name of the student must be provided, as must the reason for exclusion.
ii) The Dean of Graduate School will report any exclusion to the President of OIST. Any exclusion requires the approval of the President of OIST. Only when a person’s health and safety are at immediate risk will approval be sought from the President retrospectively.
iii) Within one working day, the person responsible for excluding the student must inform the student in writing of the reason for the exclusion order, and the proposed period of exclusion
iv) Within one working day, a detailed report must also be provided to the Graduate School. This detailed report may be a copy of the notification provided to the student
v) The name of the student and the reason for their exclusion will be placed on the students’ Student Personal Record
vi) The Graduate School may at their discretion take further action
i) Reports of student misconduct must be done in writing (to avoid any misrepresentation, and to avoid discrepancies in recollection by either the person making the allegation, or the Authorized Person later responsible for acting on the matter)
ii) Reports may be made directly to the Dean of Graduate School, or through the Respectful Workplace and Anti-Harassment email address (firstname.lastname@example.org)
iii) Where the Authorized Person receiving the report feels there is a conflict of interest in their involvement in the matter, or that they will be unable to act impartially, this will be reported; and the matter directed; to another authorized person
iv) Where the authorized person is able to act, they will first refer to the student’s Student Record to determine if there has been any prior misconduct by the student
v) Authorized Persons may, after requisite and sufficient investigation:
i. Seek a local resolution without escalation, in line with the Local Resolution process below
ii. Refer the matter to an Investigation Committee
vi) The Authorized Person may, when there is reasonable belief the alleged misconduct is of such gravity as to be outside of their authority; and/or of a nature as to warrant escalation to a higher authority; they may do so
vii) Any immediate escalation of such an allegation will be done in writing, including the reason for the escalation
At any time, an Authorized Person or Investigation Committee, at the direction of, or with the permission of, the Dean of Graduate School, may refer any matter before them to any other mediation services provided by OIST, including to other investigative processes provided by OIST.
Proper jurisdiction of the reported misconduct shall be jointly determined by the Chair of the Investigation Committee and the responsible person(s) of the mediation service or investigation process.
Reporting of Result
Any recommendation of disciplinary action to be taken by the Dean of Graduate School will be reported to the President of OIST. Disciplinary action will only occur after consultation with, and with the approval of, the President of OIST.
Anonymized results of disciplinary action may be reported to the OIST Community with the permission of the President.