BYLAWS OF THE BOARD OF REGENTS
2.13 Provision for Student Government.
The students of each major administrative unit may create democratic student governing agencies at the campus, college, school, department, or living unit level. One of said agencies of each major administrative unit shall be designated by a majority vote of the students voting as the official representative of the student body. Each administrative unit will develop its own criteria for student representation. The Constitution and Bylaws of all student governing agencies at the campus level shall be subject to approval by The Board and after notice and hearing shall become a part of the Rules of the Board.
The representative student agencies shall have the opportunity to exercise the following privileges, if they so desire:
- Select student representatives at their particular level of governance;
- Make recommendations to the Board concerning the budgeting of all funds collected through the fees designated for the use of student organizations;
- Serve on those committees that directly affect the non/academic aspects of student life; and
- Participate in other appropriate committees.
2.14 Student and Faculty Government.
Subject to approval of The Board, a major administrative unit may combine the student and faculty government into a single agency.
The Chancellor of each major administrative unit is authorized to appoint an Ombudsperson. Each Chancellor shall adopt procedures governing the selection of the Ombudsperson, which shall include formal consultation with representatives of those segments of the University served by the Ombudsperson. The office of the Ombudsperson will seek to improve academic and administrative processes within the University by discovering problems and suggesting reforms. The office may assist any member of the University community in the resolution of academic, administrative, or personal problems that cannot otherwise be resolved equitably within existing mechanisms.
The Ombudsperson may listen to, investigate, and seek to mediate and resolve complaints and grievances made to him or her concerning academic or administrative policies, procedures, practices, or decisions. The Ombudsperson may recommend appropriate changes or solutions to the Chancellor. However, the Ombudsperson shall have no authority to overturn, reverse, or modify such policies, procedures, practices, or decisions.
No person shall suffer any penalty or disability because of seeking assistance from the Ombudsperson. All information presented to that office by persons seeking assistance shall be considered confidential unless a complaint shall authorize release of such information. All information received by the Ombudsperson shall be considered privileged where otherwise provided by law.
RESPONSIBILITIES AND RIGHTS OF STUDENTS
5.0 Statement of Responsibility.
Students, like all members of the academic community, have the responsibility to create and support an educational environment. Each member of the community should be treated with respect and dignity. Each has the right to learn. This right imposes a duty not to infringe upon the rights of others. The academic community should assure its members those opportunities, protections, and privileges that provide the best climate for learning.
5.1 Publicity of Rules Affecting Students.
Each major administrative unit shall publicize and keep current all rules, regulations, and policies concerning students, and insure that they are readily available to all students and other interested persons.
5.2 Admissions Criteria.
The University shall publish the criteria for admission, academic progress, certificates, and degrees for all colleges and schools of the University. Admission to the University and the privileges of the University students shall not be denied to any person because of age, sex, race, color, national origin, or religious or political beliefs.
5.3 Academic Evaluation.
Students shall be informed of the requirements, standards, objectives, and evaluation procedures at the beginning of each individual course. Each student shall be given a performance evaluation during the progress of the course if requested. Each college or school shall provide for a faculty-student appeals committee for students who believe that evaluation of their academic progress has been prejudiced or capricious. Such procedure shall provide for changing of the student’s evaluation upon the committee’s finding that an academic evaluation by a member of the faculty has been improper. Each college or school shall provide a mechanism by which students have an opportunity to report their perceptions of courses and the methods by which they are being taught, provided, however, that such mechanism shall protect members of the faculty from capricious and uninformed judgments.
5.4 Student Disciplinary Procedures.
Each major administrative unit shall adopt, subject to the approval of the Board, rules relating to student discipline and activities. Said rules shall be subject to approval or modification by the Board. Public hearing shall be held by the Board with reference to such rules and regulations, and when approved or modified by the Board after such hearing, shall be effective as a part of the Rules of the Board. Each major administrative unit shall formulate such rules in consultation with appropriate student representatives. Rules relating to student discipline shall be enforced through clearly defined channels, and shall provide students with the following minimum procedural guarantees prior to any disciplinary action:
- The right to be informed, in writing, of the specific charges against the student in sufficient time to insure the opportunity to prepare a defense.
- The right to be informed of the evidence against the student.
- An opportunity to present evidence in his or her own behalf.
- The right to maintain status as a student and to attend classes while the case is pending, unless continued presence constitutes an immediate harm to the student or others.
- The right to be given a hearing before a regularly constituted board in all cases involving expulsion or suspension.
- The hearing board must include student membership, and must grant the student:
- The right to appear with an advisor of the student’s choice.
- The right to hear all evidence against the student and to hear and question witnesses.
- An opportunity to testify and to present evidence.
- The right to appeal through appropriate channels as determined by the rules adopted by the major administrative unit. The decision of the hearing board shall be final subject only to appeal. The burden of proof shall rest upon the person bringing the charge. The decision of the hearing board must be based solely upon evidence introduced at the hearing. Evidence which would not be admissible in a State Court criminal proceeding by reason of the method or manner in which it was acquired shall not be admitted. A verbatim record of the hearing must be maintained.
5.5 Law Violations.
Students who violate the law may incur penalties prescribed by civil authorities, but institutional authority should never be used merely to duplicate the function of general laws. Only where the institution’s interests are distinctly and clearly involved should the special authority of the institution be asserted.
5.6 Public Information Regarding Students.
Public information regarding students attending the University shall be the (i) student’s name, (ii) local address, (iii) permanent address, (iv) telephone listings, (v) year at the University, (vi) dates of attendance, (vii) academic college and major field of study, (viii) enrollment status (e.g. undergraduate or graduate; full-time or part-time), (ix) participation in officially recognized activities and sports, (x) degrees, honors and awards received, (xi) most recent educational agency or institution attended. The names of students mentioned in some kinds of campus security or campus police reports concerning accidents and incidents may also be released to the public. Each major administrative unit shall define the kinds of reports and information that may be released to the public. Information contained in personal files of the student is considered confidential and requires written authorization by the student for release: provided such records with names and personal identification deleted, and kept confidential, may be made available for governmental or University approved research and analysis.
5.6.1 Release of Information.
Information concerning students obtained through counseling or disciplinary activities will not be made available to unauthorized persons within the University, or to any person outside the University without the expressed consent of the student involved, except under legal compulsion or where the safety of others is involved; provided such records with names deleted, and kept confidential, may be made available for governmental or University approved research and analysis. Each major administrative unit may disclose to an alleged victim of any crime of violence the results of any disciplinary proceeding conducted against the alleged perpetrator of such crime with respect to such crime.
5.7 Disciplinary Records.
Subject to any requirements of the Records Management Act, each major administrative unit shall provide for the periodic destruction of non-current disciplinary records.
5.8 Entry in University Housing.
University officials or administrators will not make or authorize unlawful or unreasonable entry and search of University-owned housing rented by students.
5.9 Student Communications Media.
Student publications and broadcasting stations shall be supervised in a manner such that editorial freedom will be maintained and that the corollary responsibilities will be governed by the canons of ethical journalism. Student publications financed in whole or in part by fees collected from all students at a major administrative unit shall be supervised by a publications committee for each major administrative unit. This committee shall have the full responsibility of a publisher and the power of decision on the proper application of the canons of ethics. Students shall comprise a majority of the membership, but the committee shall also include members of the faculty and professional journalists from outside the University.
5.10 Participation in Student Organizations.
Each major administrative unit shall permit students to organize and join associations to promote their common interests, and shall establish procedures for the official recognition of these organizations for use of campus facilities. Each such recognized student organization shall be required to comply with all applicable federal and state statutes and University regulations.
5.10.1 Regulations of Fraternities, Sororities, and Living Units.
Each major administrative unit shall establish its own regulations for recognition and for governing fraternities, sororities, cooperative houses, and other formally recognized group-living units, subject to the approval of the Board. Said regulations when approved or modified by the Board after notice and hearing, shall be effective as a part of the Rules adopted by the Board.
5.11 Campus Speakers.
Students shall be allowed to invite and hear any person of their own choosing. Those procedures required by the institution should insure orderly scheduling of facilities and adequate preparation for the event. However, the institutional control of campus facilities should not be used as a device of censorship.
Students are free to express their beliefs and concerns in a variety of ways. In all cases, however, students are expected to function in an orderly manner within the framework of existing rules and laws. Such activity shall be conducted so as not to interfere with the rights of others or the normal activities of the University. Each major administrative unit shall provide reasonable rules and regulations relating to demonstrations. In cases of the disruption of normal University activities, the Chancellor or his or her designee may impose temporary sanctions including suspensions.
NOTICE OF CHANGES
Acceptance of registration by the University of Nebraska and admission to any educational program of the University does not constitute a contract or warranty that the University will continue indefinitely to offer the program in which a student is enrolled. The University expressly reserves the right to change, phase out, or discontinue any program.
The listing of courses contained in any University bulletin, catalog or schedule is by way of announcement only and shall not be regarded as an offer of contract. The University expressly reserves the right to:
- add to or delete courses from its offerings
- change times or locations of courses or programs
- change academic calendars without notice
- cancel any course for insufficient registrations
- revise or change rules, charges, fees, schedules, courses, requirements for degrees and any other policy or regulation affecting students, including, but not limited to, evaluation standards, whenever the same is considered to be in the best interests of the University.
Reference: BRUN, Minutes, 51, p. 43, (June 8, 1985).