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B.2.e. Sanctions

When determining a sanction, the nature and severity of the violation and the impact to individuals or community will be taken into account as well as the disciplinary history of the student. While intent is not a factor in determining responsibility, it can be a factor in determining a sanction. A student’s compliance with the process may also be a factor in determining an appropriate sanction. Finally, balancing consistency by acknowledging precedent and equity by considering the impact of the sanction on the individual is a foundational tenet of sanctioning.

a. Sanctions may only be imposed for the specific charge of which the student has been notified in writing.

b. It is important to note that discipline is cumulative at Middlebury, and further infractions, for example, following the successful conclusion of a probationary period, may still result in more severe outcomes.

c. Middlebury College Sanctions include (but are not limited to):

i. Informal College discipline:  The following sanctions are informal College discipline and not part of the student’s permanent record. Students who receive these sanctions can answer negatively if they are asked if they have been subject to official College discipline. A record of the sanction remains in a student's file until graduation, when it is removed. These sanctions are taken into account in determining future disciplinary penalties and may serve to make further violations of Middlebury policies more serious.

  1. Fines or restitution: Fines or restitution are commensurate with the nature of the offense. The monetary cost of the harm done may be taken into account in assessment of a fine or an order of restitution.

  2. Warnings: A verbal or written warning may be issued when a student has violated Middlebury College policy. A warning is intended to educate the student about community standards, Middlebury policies and/or state laws, and the need to adhere to them.

  3. Reprimands: A letter of reprimand may be issued when a student demonstrates an inability or unwillingness to abide by community standards by repeatedly violating Middlebury policy. A letter of reprimand may also be issued when a student has committed a violation of College policy that has had or may have had a negative impact on an individual or on the community, or has undermined Middlebury’s community standards. A reprimand registers strongly the College’s concern regarding the student’s actions and its firm expectations for immediate improved behavior.  Parents or guardians are informed when students are reprimanded.
  4. Probationary Status:  Students may be placed on probationary status when the number or nature of their Middlebury policy violation(s) is sufficiently concerning that an additional policy violation will most likely result in official College discipline (please see below).  Probationary status provides students with an opportunity to avoid this outcome. They may do so by demonstrating improved conduct, generally reflected in their sustained ability to respect community standards and adhere to College policies. If students commit new policy violations while on probation, an appropriate course of action will be determined. Considerations may include the gravity and impact of the new infraction; the student’s response during and following the new infraction; and the student’s progress during the probationary period. Parents or guardians are informed when students are placed on probationary status. 

ii. Official College Discipline:  Official College discipline is intended to encourage immediate improved behavior, and acceptance of responsibility and growth by establishing this incident on the student's permanent record. Students who receive official College discipline must answer affirmatively if they are asked whether they have been subject to discipline.  Parents or guardians are informed when students receive official College discipline.

  1. Academic Probation:  Academic probation is a sanction for  academic integrity violations and extends for the rest of the student's College career.  A student found guilty of academic dishonesty while on academic probation will be suspended. Parents or guardians are informed when students are placed on disciplinary academic probation.

  2. Letter of Official College Discipline: Students may receive a letter of official College discipline when their actions have demonstrated disregard for Middlebury’s community standards and policies such that an additional infraction of College policy will most likely result in suspension from Middlebury.

  3. Suspension:  Suspension is issued when a student commits a serious policy violation, or repeatedly violates College policy, thereby demonstrating an inability or unwillingness to behave in a manner consistent with Middlebury’s community standards.  The behavior is sufficiently egregious that the student is required to leave the Middlebury community for a period of time. It is intended to encourage acceptance of responsibility and growth by establishing this incident on the student's permanent record; to provide the student with an opportunity to consider and address the problematic behavior; and to develop strategies to ensure that the student’s eventual return to Middlebury will be successful for the student and for the community.

    Suspension is ordinarily imposed for a minimum of a semester and a maximum of three semesters.  In determining the length of suspension, the Office of Community Standards will consider the student’s prior conduct history; the gravity of the violation and its impact on the community; and the need for sufficient time for the student to demonstrate that the concerning behavior has been satisfactorily addressed. When the Office of Community Standards feels that suspension for three semesters is insufficient to allow for a student’s successful return to the community, expulsion will be the normal outcome, barring exceptional circumstances.

    If a student has been found guilty of academic dishonesty and the suspension does not take effect until the end of the semester, no opportunity may be granted to make up or otherwise fulfill the requirements of the course in question, although the student may complete all other courses in which he or she is concurrently enrolled. In this case, the course grade will be recorded as an F.  A student suspended for academic dishonesty normally may not transfer to Middlebury course credits earned at other institutions during the period of suspension. However, this part of the sanction may be modified if compelling reasons warrant such action.

    Students who are suspended must apply for readmission through the Administration Committee, and must demonstrate readiness to return to Middlebury. Readiness to return is determined by a student’s adherence to the terms of the sanction and the deadlines of the readmission process; by the completion of any additional conditions that may have been established at the time of the student’s departure; and by the provision of satisfactory evidence that the problematic behavior will not recur. If a student is unable to demonstrate readiness to return at the stated conclusion of the period of suspension, the Administration Committee may deny readmission until it is satisfied that the conditions that led to the student’s departure have been appropriately addressed.

    Students who are suspended must leave campus; are restricted from all Middlebury owned or rented properties; and are prohibited from participating in all Middlebury activities or programs, from Middlebury employment, and from using Middlebury facilities during the stated period of the suspension. When suspension prohibits students from completing a semester they have already begun, the comprehensive fee for that semester is not refunded. Parents or guardians are informed when students are suspended. For international students, suspension may affect immigration status; related questions may be directed to the Office of International Student and Scholar Services.

  4. Expulsion:  For particularly serious offenses, students may be permanently dismissed from Middlebury. Please see Appeals Procedure below for more information.  In cases of expulsion from Middlebury, no refund of the comprehensive fee is made. Parents or guardians are informed when students are expelled.