(1) The faculty appeal board shall conduct a formal hearing when exceptional circumstances exist and the student has requested in writing a formal hearing. Additionally, the faculty appeal board may conduct a formal hearing in other circumstances as the board deems appropriate.
(2) Within thirty days after receipt of a written petition for a formal hearing before the faculty appeal board, the board shall notify the requesting party of any obvious errors or omissions in the party's petition, request any additional information the board wishes to obtain and is permitted by law to require, and notify the requesting party of the name, mailing address, and telephone number of an office or person who may be contacted regarding the formal hearing.
(3) Within ninety days after receipt of a written petition for formal hearing or within ninety days after the party's response to a timely request from the board as provided in subsection (1) of this section, the board shall either deny the formal hearing or commence the formal hearing.
(4) Once the board decides to conduct a formal hearing, the chair of the faculty appeal board shall schedule the time and place of the hearing and give not less than seven days advance written notice of the hearing to all parties. That notice shall include:
(a) The names and addresses of all parties to whom notice is being given, and if known, the names and addresses of their representatives;
(b) The name, business address, and telephone number of the person designated to represent the university at the hearing;
(c) The official file number and name of the proceeding;
(d) The name, mailing address, and telephone number of the chair of the faculty appeal board;
(e) A statement of the time, place, and nature of the hearing;
(f) A statement of the legal authority and jurisdiction under which the hearing is to be held;
(g) A reference to the particular sections of university rules that are involved;
(h) A short and plain statement of the charges against the student; and
(i) A statement that a student who fails to attend the hearing or otherwise respond to this notice may lose his or her right to a formal hearing.
(5) If a student fails to attend or participate in a formal hearing, the faculty appeal board may serve upon all parties a default or other dispositive order which shall include a statement of the grounds for the order. Within seven days after service of a default order, the student may file a written motion requesting that the order be vacated, and stating the grounds relied upon.
(6) The student may be represented by counsel and/or be accompanied by an advisor of the student's choice. No student shall be compelled to give self-incriminating evidence.
(7) The chair shall determine whether discovery is to be available, and, if so, which forms of discovery may be used. The chair may condition the use of discovery procedures on a showing of necessity and unavailability by other means. In exercising such discretion, the chair shall consider:
(a) Whether all parties are represented by counsel;
(b) Whether undue expense or delay in bringing the case to a hearing will result;
(c) Whether the use of discovery will promote the orderly and prompt conduct of the proceeding; and
(d) Whether the interests of justice will be promoted.
The chair may decide whether to permit the taking of depositions, the requesting of admissions, or any other procedures authorized by rules 26 through 37 of the superior court rules.
(8) At appropriate stages of the hearing, the chair may give all parties an opportunity to submit and respond to briefs, proposed findings of fact and conclusions of law, and proposed initial or final orders. To the extent necessary for a full disclosure of all relevant facts and issues, the chair shall afford both parties the opportunity to respond, present evidence and argument, conduct cross-examination, and submit rebuttal evidence. A party filing a pleading, brief, or other paper with the chair shall serve copies on all other parties.
(9) Evidence, including hearsay evidence, is admissible if it is the kind of evidence on which reasonably prudent persons are accustomed to rely in the conduct of their affairs. Evidence is not admissible if it is excludable on constitutional or statutory grounds or on the basis of evidentiary privilege recognized in the courts of this state. The chair shall decide rulings on the admissibility of evidence, and the Washington rules of evidence shall serve as guidelines for those rulings.
(10) All testimony of parties and witnesses shall be made under oath or affirmation.
(11) The faculty appeal board may appoint an examiner to conduct the actual hearing. The decision to use a hearing examiner requires the approval of a majority of the board members. The hearing examiner will then conduct the hearing and submit a detailed report to the faculty appeal board according to the provisions of this section.
(a) If a hearing examiner conducts the hearing, an audio recording of the hearing must be kept, and the recording and any transcription thereof must be provided to the board.
(b) The faculty appeal board may, at its option, request the hearing examiner to provide recommendations as to findings, conclusions, and decisions, but those recommendations shall not be binding on the board. The hearing examiner shall transmit to the board the full and complete record of the hearing and the board shall make its own findings, conclusions, and decisions based on the record.
(c) The hearing examiner will make initial rulings on the use of discovery, the admissibility of evidence, and the procedures for the hearing.
(d) The hearing examiner must be a member of the bar. Any member of the faculty appeal board who is also a member of the bar, including the chair, may serve as the hearing examiner.
(12) The chair of the faculty appeal board may issue subpoenas and enter protective orders.
(13) Members of the faculty appeal board must avoid ex parte communications with any party involved in the hearing regarding any issue other than communications necessary to maintaining an orderly procedural flow to the hearing. Ex parte communications received by members of the board must be placed on the record, and the other party must be informed of the ex parte communication and given an opportunity to respond on the record.
(14) Findings, conclusions, and decisions by the faculty appeal board shall be based exclusively on the evidence of record from the hearing and on matters officially noted in the record.
(15) The board shall enter an initial order which shall be served in writing on the student within ninety days after conclusion of the hearing or after submission of memos, briefs, or proposed findings, whichever is later, unless the period is waived or extended for good cause shown. The student shall be informed of procedures for appealing the decision. If the student does not appeal the board's initial order within the time set out in WAC 478-120-075
(1), the initial order of the board shall become the final order, except all orders of dismissal shall be reviewed by the president or the president's delegate.
(16) The chair shall maintain an official record of the hearing. The record shall contain those items specified in RCW 34.05.476
[Statutory Authority: RCW 28B.20.130 and 28B.10.900 through 28B.10.903. 96-10-051, § 478-120-115, filed 4/29/96, effective 5/30/96.]