February 24, 2024

Update from the President About Student Conduct Review

Dear UMW Community,

Last spring, I called for an outside review of our entire system of student conduct. Two independent expert evaluators began this review over the summer, and today, I write to update you on the next steps.

Their charge was to complete a comprehensive evaluation of our conduct system, including the code of conduct; the process through which cases are heard; and the impact of the process on community members. Additionally, the evaluators were asked to review specific aspects of the system, including transparency and the rights and responsibilities of all students involved in the process.

They reviewed UMW’s public documents, policies and reports, and conducted interviews with many staff members throughout the summer. Given the expedited timing over the summer break, they were not able to connect with several key stakeholders in the process, including students. As such, the initial review is incomplete and will continue this fall.

We want to make sure our students are represented and heard as part of this process, so we are extending the review timeline and expanding the process. We will also seek the input of several offices that collaborate with and complement the student conduct system. We have new members of our campus community joining us for their first fall semester and new leaders bringing renewed energy and attention to these areas. Together, we will listen and learn from one another.

If contacted for an interview or listening session, I encourage you to answer the call and share your perspective. Note that the reviewers have not been asked to review specific cases or interview individual respondents and will follow FERPA rules and maintain confidentiality.

We are committed to a holistic review to ensure the University of Mary Washington community has a system of student conduct and responsibility in which they have faith, a system in which complaints can be raised with a clear and fair process, while also a system that follows best practices as well as state and federal policies and laws.

We appreciate the work that has already occurred this summer, particularly from our expert evaluators who will continue this work, as well as Dr. Juliette Landphair, Vice President for Student Affairs, in leading the review. If you have questions about this next phase or would like to be contacted to contribute to the review, please contact Dr. Landphair.

Troy D. Paino, J.D., Ph.D.President