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METU NCC Directive for Student Disciplinary Matters

METU NCC Directive for Student Disciplinary Matters
In case of discrepancy, Turkish version of this Directive will apply
 
Part I
Aim, Scope, Basis and Definitions of Terms
 
Aim and Scope
ARTICLE 1 – (1) The aim of this Directive is to regulate the criteria for disciplinary sanctions and disciplinary investigations that shall be applied to METU Northern Cyprus Campus students.
(2) This Directive applies to all students attending METU Northern Cyprus Campus.
 
Basis
ARTICLE 2 – (1) This Directive has been drawn up on the basis of the authorization conferred by Article 40 of Act No. 60/2003 of Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus, known as the Act of ‘Foundation, Mission,
Operation and Supervision’ of Middle East Technical University Northern Cyprus Campus.
 
Definitions of Terms
ARTICLE 3 – (1) Wherever in this Directive the below terms appear, they shall be taken to refer to the following:
a) Students: All those who are currently enrolled in the associate, undergraduate, masters or doctoral degree programs at METU Northern Cyprus Campus.
b) Reprimand: A written notification to the student indicating that s/he has been reprimanded for an act of misconduct within her/his area of responsibility.
c) Warning: A written notice to the student warning her/him that s/he is required to be more careful with her/his actions within her/his area of responsibility.
d) Higher Education Institutions: Universities, higher institutes of technology and all their constituent components, including campuses, faculties, institutes, schools, conservatories,
vocational schools, application and research centers.
e) Suspension fr om the Higher Education Institution for One Week to One Month: A formal written notification to the student to confirm that s/he is suspended from the higher education institution for one week to one month, and shall not be able to attend classes and exams during the period of suspension.
f) Suspension from the Higher Education Institution for One Semester: A formal written notification to the student to confirm that s/he is suspended from the higher education institution for one semester, and shall not benefit from her/his rights as a student during the period of suspension.
g) Expulsion from the Higher Education Institution: A formal written notification to the student to confirm that s/he is expelled from the higher education institution so that s/he will not be readmitted to the same higher education institution.
h) Suspension from the Higher Education Institution for Two Semesters: A formal written notification to the student to confirm that s/he is suspended from the higher education institution for two semesters, and shall not benefit from her/his rights as a student during the period of suspension.
Part II
Disciplinary Sanctions and Disciplinary Offences That Require the Imposition of Disciplinary Sanctions
 
Disciplinary Offences That Require the Imposition of a Warning
ARTICLE 4 – (1) Actions that require the imposition of a warning are as follows;
a) Without reasonable excuse, to timely respond to inquiries by the authorities in the higher education institution when requested to do so;
b) Placing signs or notices on any surface other than authorized notice boards;
c) Removing, discarding, altering, scribbling on, and dirtying posts, notices, programs etc. approved by the higher education institution.
 
Disciplinary Offences That Require the Imposition of a Reprimand
ARTICLE 5 – (1) Actions that require the imposition of a reprimand are as follows;
a) Providing incorrect, incomplete, or misleading information to the authorities in the higher education institution;
b) Obstruction or disruption of any university activity, including lectures, tutorials or other forms of instruction, seminars, lab work, workshops, scientific meetings and conferences;
c) Removing, discarding, altering, scribbling on, and dirtying posts, notices, programs etc. posted by the higher education institution;
d) Attempting to cheat during examinations.
 
Disciplinary Offences That Require the Imposition of a Suspension of One Week to One Month
ARTICLE 6 – (1) Actions that require the imposition of a suspension of one week to one month are as follows;
a) Any activity which diminishes the rights or liberties of others to deliver or receive education;
b) Disruption or interference with the orderly progress of a student discipline proceeding;
c) Allowing someone else to use/possess a personal document issued by the higher education institution and to enjoy the privileges to which they are not entitled, using/possessing someone else’s authorized documents;
d) Causing harm to any individual’s reputation via defamatory written or spoken statements within the higher education institution;
e) Causing harm to the reputation of a staff member of the higher education institution via defamatory written or spoken statements within or outside the higher education institution;
f) Sale or consumption of alcoholic beverages within the higher education institution;
g) Holding unapproved meetings in open/enclosed areas within the higher education institution.
 
Disciplinary Offences That Require the Imposition of a Suspension of One Semester
ARTICLE 7 – (1) Actions that require the imposition of a suspension of one semester are as follows;
a) Threatening any member of the higher education institution;
b) Any conduct such as occupation or the like that substantially interferes with the services of the higher education institution;
c) Actual harassment of any student or member of staff of the higher education institution;
d) Theft of property on the premises of the higher education institution;
e) Destructing, or defacing property, including buildings, fixtures, etc., or causing willful damage
to information systems of the higher education institution;
f) Gaining unfair advantage in any formal assessment through cheating, or leading others to cheat;
g) Plagiarism in assignments, theses and respective publications, and in all types of work presented and/or submitted for a course;
h) Tampering with documents.
 
Disciplinary Offences That Require the Imposition of a Suspension of Two Semesters
ARTICLE 8 – (1) Actions that require the imposition of a suspension of two semesters are as follows;
a) Disrupting the operations of the higher education institution through physical force and violence towards any member of the staff;
b) Infringement of the right to receive services from the higher education institution through physical force and violence towards any student;
c) The possession, use, or delivery of any controlled substance/drug on the property of the higher education institution;
d) Cheating during an examination by threats of intimidation, interfering with the expulsion of students who have engaged in cheating during an examination from the examination room, impersonating or substituting by taking either the place of another student in an examination or undertaking an assessment on behalf of another;
e) Sexually harassing another person within the higher education institution;
f) Violating the TRNC Firearm Law of Chapter 57 and Criminal Law of Chapter 154 through carrying or possessing a firearm and its bullets, an illegal knife, explosives, and other instruments specially designed to attack/defense on property of the higher education institution;
g) Misuse or unauthorized use of the higher education institution information systems to obtain an unfair advantage to satisfy own desire, or for the benefit of others.
 
Disciplinary Offences That Require the Imposition of Expulsion from the Higher Education Institution
ARTICLE 9 – (1) Actions that require the imposition of expulsion from the higher education institution are as follows;
a) Conviction by any court of competent jurisdiction for organizing, leading, or being a member
of, or acting on behalf of, or assisting an illegal body that aims at committing a crime;
b) The sale, purchase, supply, or delivery of any controlled substance/drug on the property of the higher education institution;
c) Violating the TRNC Firearm Law of Chapter 57 and Criminal Law of Chapter 154 through using a firearm and its bullets, an illegal knife, explosives, and other instruments specially designed to attack/defense on the property of the higher education institution;
d) Violating the sexual liberty and integrity of someone else through assault.
 
Unforeseen Disciplinary Offences
ARTICLE 10 – (1) Unforeseen actions which are similar in nature and severity to those which entail a sanction of warning or reprimand, excluding the aforementioned disciplinary actions entailing a sanction
of suspension or expulsion from the higher education institution, incur corresponding disciplinary sanctions.
 
Recurrence of a Disciplinary Offence
ARTICLE 11 – (1) The recurrence of an action or circumstance previously penalized incurs a sanction one degree higher in severity than the previous sanction.
(2) In case of the recurrence of a disciplinary action, the sanction of expulsion from the higher education institution cannot be imposed.
 
Part III
Disciplinary Investigation
 
Authorized Officials
ARTICLE 12 – (1) The Vice President or Assistant to the President responsible for Student Affairs is authorized to launch disciplinary investigations at METU Northern Cyprus Campus.
(2) Officials authorized to launch investigations may choose to conduct them personally or they may appoint an investigator/investigators.
 
Investigation Period and Lapse
ARTICLE 13 – (1) A preliminary disciplinary investigation must be launched immediately after the offence has been reported. The investigation must be concluded within fifteen days from the official approval of the investigation. If the investigation cannot be concluded within the allotted time, the investigator may ask for an extension stating his/her reasons for it. The extension will be granted only with the approval of the authorized investigation official.
(2) By the time the authorized officials decide that actions requiring investigation have been committed, for the students who have committed these actions referred to in this Directive, the time limitations for
commencing the investigation are as follows:
a) One month, for the sanctions of warning, reprimand, suspension from the higher education institution with a duration of one week to one month,
b) Three months, for the sanctions of suspension from the higher education institution for one or two semesters and expulsion.
Unless the disciplinary investigation has started within the aforementioned periods, the authority of disciplinary punishment lapses.
(3) The authority of disciplinary punishment lapses unless the disciplinary sanction is imposed within two years from when the action entailing a disciplinary sanction has been committed. In the case of actions that pose discontinuity in respect of their consequences, the authority of disciplinary punishment lapses unless the disciplinary sanction is imposed within two years from when the action that caused the offence has been reported. However, in a case when the disciplinary superior or board requires a judiciary decision, the duration of the time-out commences from the day when the judiciary decision is finalized. This requirement is determined through the decision made by the authorized official or board.
 
Conduct of the Investigation
ARTICLE 14 – (1) Confidentiality of the investigation is fundamental.
(2) The investigator may hear the witnesses, collect facts and consult experts. A record of the proceedings is produced and it includes the following information: the time, place and nature of the investigation, the
identity of those present, and the questions put and responses given if an affidavit is submitted. The record thus produced is then signed by the investigator, the secretary, the party who submitted the affidavit, and those that were present during the fact finding process. The witnesses and any experts who are appointed during the testimony are put under oath; the witness's identity and address, and other relevant details are clearly stated.
(3) All the members of staff of the higher education institution are to promptly provide all the information, records, documents, and assistance that the investigator may require.
(4) The investigator conducts and finalizes the investigation on condition that it is confined to the person and the actions for which the investigation was launched. The investigator who identifies other disciplinary actions committed apart from the one that is being investigated or other people involved in the investigation within the scope of the same action, reports this information to the authorities.
(5) In the event of students changing places within the higher education institution, changing the institution or leaving the higher education institution, regardless of the reason, the process of launching the investigation, its conduct and taking the necessary decisions is not impeded.
(6) When the investigators deem it necessary, they may require the officials who are authorized to launch an investigation to determine whether to ban the students who are the subject of the disciplinary investigation from entering the higher education institutions.
 
The Right to Defense
ARTICLE 15 – (1) A student who is the subject of a disciplinary investigation is informed, in writing, of the nature of his/her alleged offence at least seven days prior to the date. In the letter sent to him/her, the student is instructed to appear to conduct his/her defense at the date, time, and place specified.
(2) If the accused requests to submit a written defense, s/he may be given time of not less than three days. The investigator may pose additional questions after the presentation of the written defense.
(3) In the summons sent to the student, it is clearly stated that if s/he ignores the summons without a valid excuse, or fails to inform the authorities of his/her excuse in time, s/he will be deemed to have waived his/her right to a defense and that a decision related to him/her will be made on the basis of other evidence.
(4) If the student provides a valid excuse for his/her failure to appear, or proves that the failure was due to “force majeure”, s/he is allowed a reasonable period of grace. Arrested students are informed that they can send their defense in written form.
(5) The conduct of the investigation should allow the student to use his/her right to a defense fully.
 
Investigation Report
ARTICLE 16 – (1) A final report is produced at the conclusion of the investigation. The report summarizes the dates on which approval was given for the investigation, and on which the investigation was launched; it also states the identity of the student who is the subject of the investigation, the particulars of the alleged offences, the different stages of the investigation process, evidence and the obtained defense. Whether or not the student is guilty or not guilty of the offence is discussed and if found guilty, the necessary disciplinary sanction is recommended. The originals or copies of existing documents, accompanied by a list of contents, are enclosed with the report. The investigation report is submitted to the authorized official, together with the file.
 
Concurrent Conduct of Criminal and Disciplinary Proceedings
ARTICLE 17 – (1) The commencement of criminal proceedings involving the same student and incident will not delay the launch of disciplinary proceedings. A disciplinary sanction can be imposed whether or not
the accused is convicted of the same offence through criminal proceedings.
 
Conclusion of the Disciplinary Investigation
ARTICLE 18 – (1) The Vice President or Assistant to the President responsible for Student Affairs is authorized to impose a warning, reprimand and suspension from the higher education institution for periods of one week to one month.
(2) Student Disciplinary Committee is authorized to impose a suspension of one or two semesters or expulsion from the higher education institution.
(3) METU Northern Cyprus Student Disciplinary Committee consists of the Chairperson of Campus Executive Board (Campus President), the Campus Vice Presidents, the Chairperson of Academic Board of Engineering and Sciences, the Chairperson of Academic Board of Social Sciences, and the Chairperson of Academic Board of School of Foreign Languages. The Chairperson of Campus Executive Board is the
Chairperson of the Student Disciplinary Committee.
(4) The authorized official, or Student Disciplinary Committee may ask the same investigator or one of the members of the Student Disciplinary Committee to complete any procedures related to the investigation, if found necessary.
 
Operation Procedures of the Disciplinary Committee
ARTICLE 19 – (1) The Student Disciplinary Committee convenes upon the request of the Chairperson at the specified time, date, and place.
(2) Chairperson arranges for the preparation of the agenda, the notification of those concerned, and ensures the smooth running of the Committee's activities.
(3) The quorum required at meetings is the simple majority of the Student Disciplinary Committee members.
 
Rapporteur Role and Deliberation
ARTICLE 20 – (1) The Chairperson acts as a rapporteur, or a member of the Student Disciplinary Committee is appointed rapporteur by the Chairperson. The Rapporteur member completes the examination of the
file handed within a maximum of two days, and submits a report to the Chairperson.
(2) The Rapporteur's views are heard and discussed by the members of the Committee at first. If the members deem it necessary, they may also hear the views of the investigator and/or the defendant student, and his/her witnesses. At the end of the discussion, a vote is taken and the decision thus reached is announced by the Chairperson.
 
Voting and Decision
ARTICLE 21 – (1) The authorized official or the Student Disciplinary Committee has the authority to agree or disagree with the sanction proposed in the investigation report; they can decide on a lighter or heavier
sanction provided that they state their reasons for proposing this.
(2) The decisions at Student Disciplinary Committee are made by a simple majority of the attendants. In the case of an equal number of votes in favor and against, the Chairperson uses the casting vote.
(3) Providing that the investigator is a member of the Student Disciplinary Committee, s/he cannot attend the meetings of the investigations s/he is conducting at the time, nor can s/he vote.
 
Period of Decision
ARTICLE 22 – (1) The authorized official must decide on the imposition of a warning, reprimand or suspension from the higher education institution for periods of one week to one month within ten days
of the completion of the investigation at the latest.
(2) For offences incurring other forms of disciplinary sanctions, the file is promptly handed to the Student Disciplinary Committee. The Student Disciplinary Committee must come to a decision within a maximum
of ten days from the date of receiving the file.
 
Considerations before Imposing a Disciplinary Sanction
ARTICLE 23 – (1) Official authorized to launch disciplinary investigations and the Student Disciplinary Committee are to take into account the severity of the acts and behavior incurring the disciplinary sanction, whether or not the defendant has received a disciplinary sanction previously, his/her behaviour, acts and attitudes and whether or not s/he feels remorse for the acts s/he has committed, when considering the judgment and sanctions to be imposed.
 
Part IV
Implementation and Appeal
 
Reporting of Sanctions
ARTICLE 24 – (1) sanction given at the end of a disciplinary investigation is to be reported by the officials and committees authorized to launch disciplinary investigations;
  • to the student who is subject to a disciplinary investigation,
  • to the foundation and higher education institution providing a scholarship or loan to the student,
  • in the case of the sanction of expulsion, in addition to the above; all higher education institutions, the Higher Education Council, ÖSYM presidency, the police authorities and the related military offices are also to be notified.
Implementation of Disciplinary Sanctions
ARTICLE 25 – (1) In decisions of a committee or authorized person, unless the date to be applied is stated,
the disciplinary sanctions are to be imposed from the date they are issued on.
 
Appeals against Sanctions
ARTICLE 26 – (1) The decision of disciplinary sanctions imposed by the authorized officials and disciplinary committees can be appealed within 15 days of notification of the decision.
(2) In the case of an appeal against a sanction imposed by an authorized official, the appeal authority is the Student Disciplinary Committee. The Student Disciplinary Committee finalizes the decision within a fifteen days period. The appeal authority, the Student Disciplinary Committee, may either uphold or refuse the decision as it is after examining the decision. In case of refusal, the Student Disciplinary Committee finalizes the decision.
In the case of an appeal against the decision taken by the Student Disciplinary Committee, the appeal authority is the METU Administrative Board. The related file is sent by the Campus Executive Board to METU Rectorate within fifteen daysfor the METU Administrative Board to finalize the decision. The METU Administrative Board finalizes the decision within fifteen days from the date the file is received. The METU Administrative Board either upholds or refuses the sanction given following the thorough examination of the decision. In case of refusal, the Student Disciplinary Committee finalizes the decision considering the
rationale for the refusal.
(3) For the sanctions imposed within the scope of this Directive, judicial remedies are available even without making use of the right of appeal. The TRNC (Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus) courts have the authority to make final decisions regarding the aforementioned issue.
 
Part V
Miscellaneous Guidelines and Ultimate Provisions
 
Official Document and Address Notification
ARTICLE 27 – (1) All miscellaneous notifications due to disciplinary proceedings are submitted in person upon signature of the relevant document, or sent to the address notified by the student to the higher education institution in writing, or sent electronically to the person who has submitted an electronic address that is convenient for notification. In situations wh ere notification is not possible through the aforementioned ways, it is deemed complete via announcement of the notification document at the relevant higher education institution.
(2) A notification sent to a student address, which is currently available at the higher education institution, is deemed to be valid in cases when the student fails to notify the higher education institution of the change of his/her address, or provides a wrong/incomplete address.
 
Delivery of Investigation Files
ARTICLE 28 – (1) Any investigation file is delivered and received, together with the list of contents. The signatures of the deliverer and the recipient are placed below the list of contents.
 
Mode of Correspondence
ARTICLE 29 – (1) In addition to the notification options referred to in Article 27 and 28, in cases when a one-to-one correspondence is in question, the notification document is submitted to the relevant recipient in person. In case of refusal to sign the document, the deliverer puts his/her name and surname at the bottom of the document, and signs the document as a proof of the delivery.
(2) In the case of receiving the document in person, the signed document is kept in the investigation file.
 
Ongoing Disciplinary Investigations
TEMPORARY ARTICLE 1 – (1) The provisions of this Directive shall apply to any disciplinary investigations that have commenced yet not been finalized before this Directive came into effect.
 
Regulation Abolished
ARTICLE 30 – (1) The METU Northern Cyprus Campus Student Disciplinary Regulations which took effect upon the Decision No 2013/1-9 of the METU Senate dated February 12, 2013, and which were revised
upon the Decision No 2013/6-7 of the METU Senate dated December 24, 2013, are no longer in effect.
 
Enactment
ARTICLE 31 - This Directive shall take effect from and after the date on which it is approved by the METU Senate.
 
Enforcement
ARTICLE 32 – (1) The provisions of this Directive are executed by the Chairperson of METU Northern Cyprus Campus Executive Board. METU Northern Cyprus Campus is the legal entity which is authorized by law to act as the interlocutor in the presence of the TRNC courts for the execution and implementation of this Directive.