Administrative Conference Logistics and Procedures

1. Administrative Conference Logistics

The administrative conference will be held using the Zoom video conferencing platform and we will provide the parties with information about using Zoom during the conference. It is important to carefully review the Zoom logistics document and to ask any questions about Zoom logistics at the pre-conference meeting.

The parties should have either a printed or electronic copy of the Investigation Report including all appendices, any Supplements to the Investigation Report, and the Witness Key readily available for reference during the conference.  

2. Administrative Conference Procedures

Below is a summary of provisions of the Standard Operating Procedures (SOPs) that have a particular bearing on the administrative conference.  We encourage the parties and advisors to review the entire SOPs before the conference, and particularly, Section 4 - Adjudication.   

New Information or New Witnesses at the Administrative Conference

As a general rule, after the Investigation Report is issued, parties may not submit new documents or introduce new witnesses without approval from the decision-maker. Parties request approval by demonstrating good cause for why the document or witness could not be not submitted earlier.   

Petitions requesting to introduce new documents or witnesses at the Administrative Conference should be included with a party’s pre-conference submissions.   Note that parties may provide information orally at any stage of the investigation, including at the Administrative Conference. 

Witnesses at the Administrative Conference

Parties will be required to provide the decision-maker with the names of the witnesses they wish to participate in the administrative conference.  The decision-maker will determine whether it is appropriate to have a proposed witness participate in the administrative conference. The decision-maker will have a discussion with the parties if the decision-maker is considering not allowing a proposed witness to participate at the administrative conference. 

In addition to the witnesses each of the parties have requested to appear at the administrative conference, the decision-maker can also decide to have any witness interviewed during the investigation appear at the conference.  The decision-maker will let both parties know if they decide to request the participation of a witness not requested by either party. 

The decision-maker will use the provided contact information to contact each witness and request that the witness participates in the conference.  Note that the University is not permitted to coerce or intimidate any witness into participating in these proceedings, and we similarly require that the parties, their advisors or others on behalf of the parties, not make any attempt to coerce or intimidate a witness into participating in the administrative conference.   

The decision-maker will decide on the order in which the witnesses appear at the conference.  The parties may not make agreements with witnesses or instruct witnesses about the time of their participation.  If a witness has questions or time restrictions, they should contact the conference facilitator or decision-maker directly.  

The Record for Decision-Making

The parties may disagree about the relevancy of some of the information in the Investigation Report.  Before the administrative conference, the decision-maker will decide which information is relevant and the parties will receive an updated investigation Report containing just the relevant information.    

The parties are hereby informed that the Investigation Report will be admitted into evidence at the administrative conference, meaning that the Investigation Report will become part of the Record.  The Record is the information available to the decision-maker when reaching a decision.  Because the Investigation Report will become part of the Record, information the parties and witnesses provided to the investigator (to the extent the information was deemed relevant and included in the Investigation Report) will become part of the Record.  Parties can request to have a witness participate in the administrative conference so that the party (through their advisor) can cross-examine the witness about information the witness provided to the investigator, but there is no need to have a witness repeat information which is already in the Investigation Report and therefore in the Record from that witness.  Each party, through their advisor, can also cross-examine the other party about statements made during the interview with the investigator.   

Advisors at the Administrative Conference  

Each party has the right to have their designated advisor with them at the conference.  Advisors are expected to be familiar with the University’s Rules of Decorum and to comply with those Rules at all times. It is the University’s intention to strictly enforce the provision which permits the decision-maker to require an advisor to leave the administrative conference if they are disruptive or fail to abide by the Rules of Decorum. 

Parties are permitted to switch advisors.  However, a party must submit a signed Advisor Designation Form before an advisor can participate in the administrative conference. 

Structure of Administrative Conference

 The basic structure of the administrative conference follows this format:

  1. The decision-maker will address the parties and provide information about procedures and expectations during the administration conference.  The decision-maker will address any issues that need to be addressed before the conference begins, including any evidentiary questions or petitions;  
  2. The complainant, or complainant's advisor, has the option to present a brief opening statement of 5 minutes or less;
  3. The respondent, or respondent's advisor, has the option to present a brief opening statement of 5 minutes or less;
  4. The complainant will be given the opportunity to respond to any information in the Investigation Report and to any questions posed by the decision-maker and/or parties’ advisors;
  5. The respondent will be given the opportunity to respond to any information in the Investigation Report and to any questions posed by the decision-maker and/or parties’ advisors;
  6. Witnesses will be asked to respond to questions posed by the decision-maker and/or parties’ advisors; 
  7. The respondent may, depending on the circumstances and at the discretion of the decision-maker, be given an opportunity to respond to any new information arising from the questioning of the complainant or witnesses; 
  8. The complainant may, depending on the circumstances and at the discretion of the decision-maker, be given an opportunity to respond to any new information arising from the questioning of respondent or witnesses; 
  9. The complainant, or complainant’s advisor, presents a closing statement of 10 minutes or less; 
  10. The respondent, or respondent’s advisor, presents a closing statement of 10 minutes or less.  
  11. Complainant and respondent may have the option to present a rebuttal closing statement using time reserved from the 10 minutes given for closing.

The intent in providing this information is to address in advance questions about what to expect at the administrative conference and to provide a foundation for a common understanding about the conference so that it can proceed as smoothly and efficiently as possible.