Disciplinary Committee FAQ

Hello, my name is Kirsten Roberts Lyer. I am an Associate Professor at the School Public Policy and the Chairperson of the CEU Disciplinary Committee. This page is to explain a little bit about how the CEU Disciplinary Committee works and how you can get in touch with us if you need to.
Please note that this page is for guidance purposes only and you should consult the relevant Code or Policy, or contact the Chair for more precise details.

Who are the Committee and what does it do?

The Committee comprises nine members of the CEU community, appointed by the Senate, and includes faculty, staff, and students. The members of the Committee are listed here.

We exist to examine breaches of the Code of Ethics, Harassment Policy and Plagiarism Policy. We can take complaints from individuals who feel they have been impacted by a breach of these policies by another member of the CEU Community, or we can receive information from any member of the CEU Community if they are aware of a potential breach.

What types of issues does the Committee deal with?

The Committee is responsible for potential breaches of the Code of Ethics, the Harassment Policy and the Plagiarism Policy.

The full list of misconduct are listed in the above-mentioned policies. See Annex 4 of the Code of Ethics in particular.

How can I get in touch with the Committee?

So how can you get in touch with us? The first thing you can do is send an email to DisciplinaryCommittee@CEU.edu or you can write directly to any of the individual members of the Committee, if you feel more comfortable with that.

You can write to us informally to ask for advice about how to bring a complaint or you could write to us to provide information about something that you feel may have been a breach of the Code of Ethics and Harassment Policy, and we will take it forward.

Is communication with the Committee confidential?

Correspondence with the Disciplinary Committee is treated confidentially.

The exception is where we need to reveal some details in the course of looking into a complaint. This will be explained more to you if you get in touch with us.

The Committee is required, and aims, to operate with as much confidentiality as possible to protect those making complaints and those against two complaints have been made.

How can I make a complaint?

Members of the CEU Community who wish to bring a complaint against another member of the Community can file their complaint using the form in Annex 1 to the Code of Ethicsor the relevant form under the Harassment Policy. This is a short form where you set out what is happened and what breach you think has taken place. You also provide a note of any evidence or witnesses that could provide additional information and you send that to myself as the Chair or to any member of the Committee via DisciplinaryCommittee@CEU.edu.

What if I see something but am not the 'victim'?

If you feel that you've seen something at CEU that is a potential breach of the Code of Ethics or Harassment Policy, you should write to the Chair or any member of the Committee and let us know the details. We have the power to look an issue of a potential breach without you having to take a complaint yourself if you are not the person directly affected.

I am a Head of Department/School – can I refer an issue to the Committee?

The Committee can look into potential breaches of the Code of Ethics, Plagiarism Policy or Harassment Policy by any member of the CEU Community. Heads of Department/School can refer issues they are aware of or have dealt with to the Committee – e.g. if there is an issue involving one of your students, or employees. Please contact the Chair of the Committee to discuss further in confidence.

What if there is an urgent problem?

The Committee has the power to take what are called immediate measures. So if you feel that you are currently experiencing harassment or suffering from ongoing misconduct, there are measures that we can take. You should get in touch with the Chair or any member of the Committee as soon as possible.

These measures differ depending on whether the person is a student or an employee (staff, faculty) or a contractor/other - see Annex 5 of the Code of Ethics for full details - but for issues involving students immediate measures include

  • Confiscation of prohibited items (e.g. drugs, alcohol, or any instrument used in a threatening manner or for violating the rules of this Code) and transfer of such items to law enforcement;
  • Oral reprimand;
  • Written reprimand;
  • Temporary expulsion from all or certain university premises (including the Dormitory);
  • Deprivation of certain privileges (including e.g. loss of e-mail access, deleting users' files, blocking programs, using university computers);
  • Suspension of a grant or donation;
  • Restraining orders (such as a request not to enter the premises or not contact a certain person);
  • Suspension of student status.

For issues involving employees, immediate measures can include:

  • Oral reprimand;
  • Written reprimand;
  • Restraining orders (in case of suspected sexual or other harassment of employees or students);
  • Suspension of a grant or donation;
  • Suspension of employment status with pay.

What happens once I make a complaint?

Once you have submitted your formal written complaint, within 5 working days, a decision will be taken by the Chair as to whether your complaint is admissible. The admissibility provisions are set out in the Code of Ethics. These are:

  • whether the complaint and evidence attached thereto is credible,
  • the complaint may have merits, if the facts were established (assuming they are true) would constitute a breach of the Code, and
  • if the Disciplinary Committee has competence for the complaint under the Code.

What happens next if my complaint is admissible?

If the complaint is admissible, then within 8 working days the Chair appoints a fact finder, or two fact finders depending on the nature of the complaint, from the membership of the Committee.

At this point, the role of the Committee is to establish the facts around the complaint. The fact finders will speak to people who might be able to help to establish the facts (witnesses), look at information such as emails or social media or any other information that is available. They will then prepare a fact-finding report for the Committee. This is done within 15 working days of being appointed as fact finders.

This report sets out their findings about the merits of the complaint and their recommendation as to what should happen next.

The report is also shared with the person making a complaint ("complainant") and the person against whom the complaint is made ("respondent"). Parties have the opportunity to respond to the findings, including any specific information relating to a breach of the Code or Policy if one if found.

Will there be a hearing?

After the fact finding report has been considered by the Committee, there can be hearing where all parties are present and where the findings are examined, if the Committee thinks it is necessary and all of the parties agree to have one.

This is not a requirement in every complaint and the wishes of the parties are taken into account.

What type of outcome can there be?

After receiving the factfinding report and then holding a deliberation of all members, the Committee takes its decision and issue its finding.

The finding will be either that there has or has not been a breach of the relevant CEU policy. The decision of the Disciplinary Committee may consist of:

  • a condemnation and sanction;
  • rejection of the complaint based on lack of evidence;
  • rejection of the complaint based on lack of merits;
  • rejection of the complaint based on lack of competence.

What types of sanctions can the Committee impose?

The full list of sanctions are listed in Annex 7 of the Code of Ethics. The nature of the sanctions is slightly different depending on whether the violation was by a student, an employee (faculty, staff), or a contractor/other.

The following are some of the sanctions the Committee may impose (see Article 31 and Annex 7 of the Code of Ethics for more details) :

For students, the possible sanctions include:

  • Oral reprimand;
  • Written reprimand;
  • Revoking a grant, reclaiming a donation;
  • Temporary ban from continuing university studies for maximum 2 years;
  • Deprivation or cut of certain benefits for a maximum of 6 Months period;
  • Exclusion from the University.

For employees, the possible sanctions include:

  • Oral reprimand;
  • Written reprimand;
  • Recommendation to the competent board to revoke a grant, or reclaim a donation;
  • Recommendation to the person exercising employer's rights over the employee to impose labor law sanctions.

University Counsel is consulted by the Committee prior to sanctions being issued.

Who will be told about the outcome?

The parties to the complaint will be formally notified about the outcome. If the Committee has found a breach of the Code or Harassment Policy, the Committee may also inform the person's Head of Department, the Dean of Students, the Provost or other senior leadership at CEU as necessary.

Can I appeal a decision of the Disciplinary Committee?

All final decisions ("findings") of the Disciplinary Committee can be appealed to the Grievance Committee using the Appeal form in Annex 2 of the Code of Ethics. The appeal should be filed within 8 working days for employees, contractors & others, or 15 working days for students.

I am afraid if I make a complaint there may be retaliation, what can I do?

While we hope that it will never be the case, the Committee is aware that members of the CEU Community may face retaliation for making or being involved in a complaint. The Committee takes such matters extremely seriously. If you are concerned about this, please speak to the Chair in confidence.

Retaliation against any person involved in a complaint – the complainant, witnesses or any others – is a breach of the Code of Ethics and one that the Committee regards with the utmost seriousness. The Committee will investigate all such potential breaches of the Code.

The Code of Ethics (Annex 4) provides that it is a form of misconduct where there is:

  • Retaliatory conduct against any individual who has filed a complaint, 
  • who has reported witnessing an offense, 
  • or who has participated in a complaint procedure.

Are there other options than making a formal complaint with the Committee if I have been harassed?

The CEU Harassment Policy provides for an informal process for dealing with harassment. This does not preclude taking a formal complaint to the Committee. More information on this can be found on the Equal Opportunity web page https://www.ceu.edu/equal-opportunity/harassment/reporting

What if the person I am making a complaint about is on the Committee or has been otherwise involved?

Committee Members, including the Chair, are automatically recused where they are making a complaint or a complaint is made about them.

Members usually recuse themselves in cases where they have been involved in some capacity or are close colleagues/friends. As a complainant, you also have the right to ask on the complaint form for a member of the Committee to be recused.

Please see Code of Ethics Article 22(2) for more on this.

What if I am worried about being a witness for a complaint?

Committee members who are appointed as fact finders for a complaint will request to speak to anyone who may be able to help establish the facts. The result of their fact finding is the production of a report that is seen by the Committee and the parties. Generally, the fact finding report contains a list of witnesses at the end of the document. However, in the report itself we aim to avoid wherever possible attributing specific information to any specific witness.

It is also possible for the Committee to speak to some witnesses anonymously - that is, not to reveal their involvement - if there is a legitimate reason to do so. In this case, the fact finding report would be redacted before circulation to the parties.

You can speak to the fact finders or to the Chair directly if you have any concerns in relation to anonymity or your involvement as a witness.