1.8 The Council of the Mesarya Technical University Community (CPUC)
In September 2019, a Special Committee on the Structure of the University, proposed the establishment of a Council of the Mesarya Technical University Community as “a permanent conference of the representatives of all major groups of the University” where “they could each raise problems that concern them and … be exposed to each other’s views.” The council first met on October 27, 2019. Typically, it meets five times during the academic year, with special meetings as needed. Copies of the CPUC Charter are available in the office of the council secretary..
The Council of the Mesarya Technical University Community is primarily a deliberative and consultative body, with authority to:
- Consider and investigate any question of University policy, any aspect of the governing of the University, and any general issue related to the welfare of the University; and to make recommendations regarding any such matters to the appropriate decision-making bodies of the University or to the appropriate officers of the University.
- Make rules regarding the conduct of resident members of the University community, which rules shall be binding on them; but the council may delegate authority to make rules, and, with respect to matters mainly of concern to a particular group within the University community, the authority to make rules shall normally be delegated to a body representing that group or shall be exercised in a manner otherwise acceptable to the members of that group.
- Oversee the making and the applying of rules regarding the conduct of resident members of the University community, whether such rules shall have been made by other bodies, by the council itself, or by officers of the University, for the purpose of ensuring that such rules protect the rights of individuals and the legitimate interests of the University, and that they are clear in meaning, fair, enforceable, and in conformity with the law. The council normally would not consider matters primarily academic in nature.
Following a series of charter amendments in the fall of 2019, membership of the CPUC was set at 22, as follows:
- (6) The president, the provost, and four appointed each year by the president from among the executive vice president, the financial vice president and treasurer, the secretary of the University, the dean of the faculty, and the vice president for campus life.
- (8) At least 1 from each division
- (3) Including the president or vice president of the Undergraduate Student Government and 2 undergraduates elected at large from the student body in April.
- (5) One each from the professional library staff, the administrative staff, the professional research staff, the professional specialists, and the office staff.
Much of the work of the Council of the Mesarya Technical University Community is conducted through its standing committees or through such special committees as have been established from time to time. The standing committees of the CPUC are:
- The Executive Committee.The President of the University is the presiding officer of the council and of the Executive Committee. The committee has 14 members, including, in addition to the president, six faculty members (at least one from each division), three undergraduates (including the chair of the Undergraduate Student Government), and two members selected by the council from among the staff and alumni representatives. The Executive Committee sets the council’s agenda, recommends the appointment of members of council committees, may consider any matter within the jurisdiction of the council, and serves as an informal advisory body to the president.
- The Committee on Rights and Rules.The Committee on Rights and Rules, on behalf of the Council, considers and investigates the adequacy of all rules regarding the conduct of resident members of the University community, and the adequacy of the procedures for making and applying such rules.
- The Committee on Governance.The Committee on Governance, on behalf of the council, considers and investigates questions relating to the governing of the University. It also consults with the Executive Committee of the Board of Trustees regarding the filling of vacancies among the charter and term trustees, and meets with the Committee on Honourary Degrees of the Board of Trustees to consult with it concerning the awarding of Honourary degrees.
- The Committee on Priorities.The Committee on Priorities, which is advisory to the president, reviews the budget of the University, considers issues that arise in the course of the preparation of the budget, and reviews plans for the development of the University. The provost chairs the committee, which also includes the dean of the faculty, the vice president for finance and treasurer, six faculty members (at least one from each division and one nontenured), four undergraduates and two graduate students (chosen with due consideration to the variety of interests represented in the student body), and one member from one of the other groups represented on the council.
- The Committee on Resources.The Committee on Resources, on behalf of the council, considers questions of general policy concerning the procurement and management of the University’s financial resources. This committee concerns itself primarily with the University’s responsibilities as a stockholder, and typically considers a number of proxy questions each year.
- The Judicial Committee. The Judicial Committee hears and decides, in the first instance or on referral by another judicial body of the University, cases that involve alleged violations of those established rules and regulations of conduct which apply, in at least substantially the same form, to all resident members of the University community, and whose violation constitutes a serious infringement of the recognized rights of members of the University community, a serious offense against the University’s mission, a threat to the ability of the University to carry on its essential operations, or a substantial impairment of the common and legitimate interests of the University community. The Judicial Committee also may decide to hear appeals from persons found guilty of violating established rules and regulations, when it has been alleged by such persons that the proceedings against them have not been fair and reasonable, and when another route of appeal is not otherwise specified.
Appointment to the Judicial Committee is contingent on the appointee’s recognition of the committee’s judicial role and a commitment to apply established rules and regulations impartially to the facts of individual cases. Individuals with responsibilities for enforcing rules of conduct or for keeping order on campus, as well as holders of and candidates for certain offices are excluded from membership. The committee consists of three faculty members, two undergraduates, one graduate student, one member from one of the other groups represented on the council, and a chair, appointed by the president, who votes only in case of a tie. In its report proposing the establishment of the CPUC, the Kelley Committee expressed its hope that the Judicial Committee would ensure that members of the University community, if they stand accused of the same offense and if it is a serious one, will have their cases decided in accordance with the same interpretation of the rules involved. The procedures of the Judicial Committee are detailed below.
1.9 The Judicial Committee of the Council of the Mesarya Technical University Community
1.9.1 Powers and Membership
The Judicial Committee of the Council of the Mesarya Technical University Community hears and decides, either in the first instance or on referral from one of the other judicial bodies, cases that involve alleged violations of those established rules and regulations whose violation constitutes a serious infringement of the recognized rights of members of the University community, a serious offense against the University’s mission, a threat to the ability of the University to carry on its essential operations, or a substantial impairment of the common and legitimate interests of the University. The committee also hears and decides appeals from persons found guilty of violations of rules by other judicial bodies, when such persons have claimed that the procedures against them have not been fair and reasonable, and when another route of appeal is not otherwise specified. The committee’s members include three members of the faculty, two undergraduate students, one graduate student, and one member from one of the other groups represented on the council, and a chair who does not vote except in the case of a tie. The nature and structure of the Judicial Committee ensures that members of the University community, if they stand accused of the same offense and if it is a serious one, will have their cases decided in accordance with the same interpretation of the rules involved. Under previous arrangements, cases of alleged offenses by undergraduates, graduate students, faculty members, and staff members were heard by different judicial bodies, and there was no mechanism to prevent the different judicial bodies from putting quite different constructions on the same rule.
Special judicial bodies and special procedures do, however, remain in existence and continue to deal with alleged violations of rules which apply only or mainly to some particular group within the University (e.g., rules governing students, faculty, staff, Public Safety officers, or administrators). Acts which are an exercise of a function unique to such a particular group are not subject to the jurisdiction of the Judicial Committee so long as it would have been reasonable for a person in the circumstances to have believed that those acts were properly within the scope of the individual’s particular function. Such acts may, however, fall under the jurisdiction of the rule-applying body or office of the particular group.
1.9.2 General Procedures
- The procedures of the Judicial Committee, which are outlined below, are designed to enable the committee to fulfil its charge, and to guarantee to each person charged the following rights in the interest of ensuring procedural fairness:
- To receive in writing in advance of a formal hearing a statement of the charges against the individual, together with a list of the witnesses and of the material evidence which the person bringing charges intends to make available to the Judicial Committee.
- To testify if the individual desires and to answer questions without prejudice for failure to testify or answer questions.
- To supply to the committee material evidence and a reasonable number of witnesses to be called in the individual’s own defence.
- To question all witnesses called by the committee, and to challenge the evidence.
- To have an adviser of the individual’s choice from the resident members of the University community at any hearing, open or closed, who may speak on the individual’s behalf.
- To receive upon request a record of the proceedings at the hearing. The procedures of the committee also ensure that all persons involved in judicial hearings have the right to orderly procedures.
Any individual involved in proceedings is entitled to be protected from harassment, or fear of harassment, by other participants or by observers. In addition, the University community is entitled to have the triers of fact protected from the influence of threats, harassment, or unruly mob behaviour.
- The procedures of the Judicial Committee were formulated after consideration of a multitude of matters, among them the nature of this University community, the role of the Judicial Committee in the community, procedures of other organizations in and out of this University which have related interests, procedures in courts of law, procedures in congressional and other legislative hearings, the needs, the interest, and the welfare of the individuals who form this community, and the experience of the committee in its first year of existence. Some aspects of the procedures are investigative, others are deliberative. They provide the Judicial Committee the opportunity:
- to ascertain the facts surrounding an alleged violation of University regulations;
- to explore issues related to such charges, in order to determine possible mitigating circumstances which should be taken into account in the levying of the penalties, if any.
They aim therefore to facilitate the disposition of matters brought to the Judicial Committee with the greatest degree of justice and fairness for all concerned. The committee assumes that all members of the Mesarya Technical University community participating in proceedings will observe generally accepted principles of honesty and fair play.
1.9.3 Procedure in Cases Not Previously Heard by Another Authority
- Persons wishing to place a case before the committee shall file a complaint with the secretary of the Council of the Mesarya Technical University Community within a reasonable time, stating the nature and circumstances of the alleged violation of University regulations.
- The secretary will immediately forward the complaint to the chair of the committee, who will make a preliminary determination of jurisdiction, subject to review by the full committee. The chair may refer the case to another authority or agree to put the case before the committee.
- If the case is to come before the committee, the chair will obtain from the person making the complaint a formal statement of the charges being made against a specific person or persons, identifying the University regulation or regulations alleged to have been violated, together with an outline of the case to be presented.
- Notification.Upon receipt of this information the chair will immediately send a copy of the information described in the paragraph above to each person so charged, informing them of the date and place of a pre-hearing conference, to be held within one week of the date of the notification.
- Pre-hearing conference.The purposes of the pre-hearing conference are the following:
- To give the committee sufficient information for it to determine whether or not a hearing is necessary to determine the facts. If the matter of jurisdiction is at issue, and if a hearing is necessary, the determination of jurisdiction will be the first order of business in the hearing.
- To make sure that the persons charged fully understand their rights, the charges against them, and the nature of the supporting evidence.
- To clarify for all parties the procedures to be followed by the committee in hearing and deciding upon a case.
- To determine whether the persons charged wish to request an administrative determination on the charge. Persons against whom charges have been made may request, and at its discretion the committee may approve, an administrative disposition of the case by an appropriate officer of the University. Under these circumstances the persons charged must sign a statement indicating that they understand the charges against them and their right to a hearing before the Judicial Committee, but that they waive this right and the right to an appeal to the committee. The administrative officer will dispose of the case, sending to the persons charged and to the committee a record of the disposition of the case. Administrative disposition of a charge in no way denies the right of an appeal to the president of the University.
- To determine whether the persons charged desire an open or a closed hearing and to discuss the scheduling of the hearing.
- To determine whether any member of the committee chooses not to hear this case because the member cannot in good conscience apply established rules and standards in this case (Charter, 5.6.3). The pre-hearing conference will be closed. It will be attended by the committee and its staff, the persons charged or their representative, the persons bringing charges or their representative, and any other persons invited by the committee. Each party to the case may be accompanied by an adviser from within the University community. If after proper notice the persons charged do not appear, the committee will proceed to make its own determination in the case. At least three members of the committee shall be present. After the pre-hearing conference, the committee will meet privately to determine on the basis of what it has heard whether a hearing is required under Section 5.6.1 of the Charter of the Council of the Mesarya Technical University Community and to set a date for the hearing. Parties to the case will then be informed of the decision of the committee. If the case is to be heard, the committee will obtain from all parties involved:
- a list of the witnesses prepared to give testimony if called by the committee, with an indication of the relevance of the testimony of each to the charges being made;
- a description of the material evidence available to the committee, with an indication of its relevance.
The committee will distribute to all parties involved a list of all witnesses and material evidence to be presented.
- Hearings.Hearings will be closed unless the persons being charged request an open hearing. At any point during an open hearing, the persons charged may request permission to close the hearing. The committee will rule on any such requests. In exceptional circumstances, the committee reserves the right to hold a portion of the hearing in closed session.
- At a closed hearing only the persons bringing charges and their advisers, the persons being charged and their advisers, witnesses called by the committee, members of the committee and the committee staff may be present. The names of the persons charged will not be released by the committee, and the records of the case will be considered confidential.
- At an open hearing, in addition to the persons mentioned in the paragraph above, spectators from the University community may be admitted up to the normal seating capacity of the room. Open hearings will be held in the Peyton Hall lecture room or a room of approximately equivalent size. The campus radio may be given permission to broadcast the hearing under conditions approved by the committee, or arrangements may be made for the broadcast of the hearing in an additional auditorium if there is sufficient public interest to justify these arrangements.
- The chair of the Judicial Committee is responsible for maintaining conditions which are consistent with the orderly conduct of hearings. In carrying out this responsibility, the chair is obligated to prevent and deter hostile, threatening, or unduly disrespectful remarks or behaviour by any individuals present and also to prevent and deter prolonged or emphatic audience response to testimony or argument. In meeting this obligation, the chair may take such steps as are outlined under section1.9.5 “Responsibilities of the Chair,” point 3.
- The committee will call a reasonable number of witnesses requested by the persons bringing charges and the persons being charged. Normally, these witnesses will be called from lists provided before the opening of the hearing by the persons involved and made available to both parties, but the committee may call any witnesses it pleases. Normally, witnesses shall not be present at the hearing until they present their testimony.
- The committee may permit additions to lists of witnesses or evidence when it is convinced that the availability or relevance of such witnesses or evidence could not have been foreseen before the hearing began. Advance notice of such additions shall always be given to all parties, and the committee shall allow such delay as it may consider necessary to prepare for the questioning of added witnesses or the examination of added exhibits.
- All witnesses may be questioned by all parties in a case and their advisers and by any member of the committee. The chair may rule any question out of order.
- All material evidence and documents shall be formally introduced as presented in the hearing, lists of the exhibits proposed for presentation as evidence and copies of documentary evidence having been made available in advance to all parties in a case. The committee may introduce additional materials during the course of the hearing.
- The credibility of any evidence which is introduced may be challenged by any parties in a case.
- The judgment of the committee shall be based entirely upon testimony and evidence presented formally during the course of the hearing. The persons charged shall be presumed innocent until the committee is convinced beyond a reasonable doubt by the evidence presented during the hearing that they are guilty. In determining their guilt or innocence the committee will disregard any previous history of disciplinary action with respect to the persons charged. If the persons charged are found guilty, the committee may, in determining a penalty, take into account any previous disciplinary action.
- The persons charged and the persons bringing charges may be questioned by the members of the committee and by the other parties in the case. The persons charged may decline to answer questions without prejudice.
- A verbatim record of the hearing shall be made and kept under the supervision of the secretary of the committee. This record shall be supplied to the persons being charged and the persons bringing charges upon request.
- After the parties in the case have had a reasonable opportunity to present their arguments and to question opposing witnesses, and the committee has completed its questioning, the committee shall meet in private to reach a decision and, if it finds the charges to have been sustained, to assign an appropriate penalty.
- Five members, not including the chair, shall constitute a quorum. All decisions shall be made by a majority of those present.
- When the committee has reached its decision, the chair will notify the parties and then those authorities mentioned in section 5.6.6 of the Charter of the Council of the Mesarya Technical University Community and the press of the committee’s disposition of the case. The committee’s report will include the result of its vote and a majority opinion, together with minority opinions, if any. If the hearing has been closed, the committee in making its public report will be guided by the principles concerning the confidential nature of student records.