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               Behavioral Concerns Team (BCT)

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Responding to Student Misconduct: Guidelines for Faculty and Staff

NEIU recognizes the important role faculty members have in setting the educational tone of their classrooms. Setting clear guidelines for behavior and following clear protocols for classroom disruption can go a long way toward ensuring a safe and productive learning environment. This not only sends a message to potentially disruptive students but also communicates to all other students that you will ensure a classroom environment free from disruption.

Tips for Preventing Misconduct in the Classroom
  • Set clear standards for behavior in your classroom. Just as faculty members determine academic standards and evaluate student performance according to those standards, it is recommended that faculty members determine and clearly communicate social conduct standards for their classroom (no chatting in class, reading newspapers, sleeping, using cell phones, etc). For courses with online components, it is recommended that expectations regarding electronic communications be included.
  • Provide specific information in the syllabus regarding your classroom expectations in addition to a reference to the Student Conduct Code.
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Recommendations for Responding to Misconduct in the Classroom

Please note that progression through these steps depends upon the level and repetition of misconduct. Progressive steps insure compliance with due process requirements. Ideally, most incidents of misconduct will be remedied at Step 1 or Step 2, which may both occur during a single class period if a student fails to correct their behavior after being warned by the instructor.
Step 1:
  • Provide an oral warning to student at the time that inappropriate behavior occurs.
  • Consider reminding the entire class regarding your expectations
Step 2:
  • Talk to the student individually after class or ask them to schedule a meeting with you. If you are not able to talk with the student individually prior to the next class period, you may contact the student by phone, email or letter.
  • During the discussion with the student, clarify your expectations for classroom conduct and seek the student's cooperation in meeting those expectations. Indicate that further incidents may result in the student being asked to leave class and that if such response is necessary, a report will also be submitted to the Dean of Students Office for further disciplinary action.
  • DOCUMENT all information relevant to the student's misconduct.
  • You may wish to file a Behavioral Incident Report if the behavior is concerning beyond ordinary classroom disruptions.
Step 3:
  • If the behavior persists beyond the oral warning or is so disruptive that immediate action is necessary, ask the student to leave the class for the remainder of the class period. If the student refuses to leave the class, call University Police (x5511). If necessary, temporarily adjourn the class and ask another student to call University Police.
  • If continued exclusion from the class is deemed necessary by the instructor, a conference between the instructor, Department Chair and student must be held as soon as possible to determine if further action is warranted. Refer to the Classroom Disruption Policy available here.
  • DOCUMENT all relevant information.
  • Provide a copy of the documentation to the Department Chair and to the BCT.
  • File a Behavioral Incident Report with the BCT:
Step 4:
  • Upon receipt of the Behavioral Incident Report, the BCT will investigate the incident and make recommendations.
  • In addition to review by the Behavioral Concerns Team, the investigation may include meetings with the student, faculty member, and Department Chair. The faculty member and Department Chair will be informed of the results of the investigation.
  • If disciplinary action is to be taken, a student has the right to a formal hearing on the charges and actions.
A Note on Due Process
To be in compliance with a student's right to due process regarding disciplinary actions, it is important that the university:
  1. Provide a warning describing the nature of the misconduct including information on what section of the Conduct Code the student has violated;
  2. Provide the student a reasonable opportunity to correct the behavior;
  3. Provide a procedure to appeal the assessment of the conduct and any disciplinary actions taken (Amada, 1999).
Meeting with an Angry or Potentially Threatening Student
Do not meet alone with a student whom you feel may be a threat to your personal safety. Instead of asking to meet after class, schedule a specific appointment so that you have time to prepare for the meeting. You may call a member of the Behavioral Concerns Team for consultation prior to the meeting. Alert and confer with your Department Chair and/or colleagues of when the student will be meeting with you and ask one of them to either be on standby or to join in the meeting.

Student Conduct Code
  • The Student Conduct Code is designed to clarify expectations for student conduct on campus.
  • Faculty and staff should be aware of the Student Conduct Code and feel comfortable referring to it.
  • The Student Conduce Code is available in the Student Handbook and online here.
Armada, G. (1999). Coping with Misconduct in the Classroom: A Practical Model. Asheville, NC: College Administration Publications.

Pavela, G. (2000). A Model Code of Student Conduct: Applying the Power of Association on Campus. Asheville, NC: College Administration Publications. Available at

Stevens, E. (1999). Due Process in Higher Education: A Systemic Approach to Fair Decision Making. ASHE-ERIC Higher Education Report (Vol. 27, No. 2). Washington, DC: The George Washington University, Graduate School of Education and Human Development.

Virginia Tech (2006). Responding to Disruptive or Threatening Student Behavior: A Guide for Faculty. Blacksburg, VA: Virginia Tech. Available online here.

If this is an emergency, contact University Police (773) 442-5511.