Students and prospective students should read this catalog carefully. This catalog, along with other published policies, describes student rights and duties with respect to the University. Enrollment constitutes an agreement by the student to abide by the rules, regulations, and policies of Pepperdine University.
Admission Contingent Upon Truthfulness
Applicants are advised that the University’s decision to admit them is contingent upon the truthfulness of the information contained in the application files submitted by the applicant and/or persons on the applicant’s behalf, including letters of recommendation. Discovery of false information subsequent to admission, at the University’s discretion, is grounds for withdrawal of the offer of admission or for immediate dismissal at any point in the student’s course of study. Such dismissal shall result in forfeiture of all charges paid and academic credits earned.
Applicability of Catalog Provisions
The academic offerings and policies in this catalog are applicable only to students who enroll prior to the fall 2016 semester and who attend Pepperdine University after August 24, 2015.
Campus Security and Fire Safety Report
A copy of Pepperdine University’s annual campus security and fire safety report is available at the Pepperdine University Department of Public Safety website: www.pepperdine.edu/publicsafety/department/safety. A hard copy of this report is available upon request by contacting the Department of Public Safety at (310) 506-4700.
Code of Academic Ethics for Students
The Code of Academic Ethics for Students provides among students, faculty, and administration a spirit of community where such development of the whole person can take place. Furthermore, the code creates a climate of mutual trust, respect, and interpersonal concern where openness and integrity prevail.
The code emphasizes the dignity and development of each individual. The code maintains free competition and independent intellectual effort, not tolerating dishonesty, cheating, or plagiarism. If acts of dishonorable conduct occur, the code outlines the procedures as well as sanctions to censure such activity.
To be effective, the code must be maintained by the Graziadio School community. This requires a genuine sense of maturity, responsibility, and sensitivity on the part of every member. In particular, each member of the Graziadio School community is expected to pursue his or her academic work with honesty and integrity.
This code is limited to those areas of campus life that are directly related to academic ethics. Each student, upon admission to the Graziadio School, will be expected to abide by the Code of Academic Ethics for Students throughout the duration of his or her academic career at the Graziadio School.
In the spirit of the values and ethical standard upon which Pepperdine University was founded, the following guidelines have been developed to stress the importance of the ethical and moral values which are essential in today’s business environment and in one’s personal life. Within the code, sanctions will be imposed upon those who participate in academic dishonesty. Participation includes acting dishonestly oneself as well as tolerating dishonest acts by others.
Four basic categories of dishonorable behavior are noted below along with several examples of each category. These categories and examples are not to be interpreted as all-inclusive as to situations in which discipline will be invoked. They are illustrative, and the University reserves the right to take disciplinary action in appropriate circumstances not set out in this code. It is understood that each student who enrolls at Pepperdine University will assume the responsibilities involved by adhering to the regulations of the University. Students are expected to respect order, morality, personal honor, and the rights and property of others at all times.
1.2.1 Misrepresentation of Academic Work
- Plagiarism, or the employment of another’s statements or thoughts without giving that source appropriate credit;
- Unauthorized multiple submission of the same paper(s);
- Submitting for credit a purchased assignment or paper;
- Submission of an assignment prepared by another person (or persons) that is misrepresented as the student’s independent work
- Willfully not fully participating in a team project.
1.2.2 Interference with Fair Competition and with Independent Intellectual Pursuits
- Giving, receiving, or using unauthorized aid on examinations or projects;
- Colluding with others when independent work is specified;
- Deliberately defacing or removing course materials and thereby making them unavailable to others;
- Taking unfair advantage of other students by, without justification or permission, continuing to work after the authorized time for the assignment has ended.
- Being aware of dishonesty in an examination process or work assignment and not promptly reporting it to the instructor or the administration;
- Making false accusations, deliberately or recklessly, regarding the integrity or competency of a faculty member or student.
1.2.3 Solicitation of Dishonorable Behavior
- Offering to buy or sell unauthorized aid on examinations, papers, projects, or grades;
- Offering or accepting bribes related to academic work.
2.0 Recommended Sanctions
2.1 First Honor Offense
- Failing grade for the test and/or assignment; or
- Failing grade for the course and/or probation. Probation refers to the status of the student indicating that the relationship with the University is tenuous and that the student’s records will be reviewed periodically to determine suitability to remain enrolled. Specific limitations to and restrictions of the student’s privileges may accompany probation; or
- Immediate suspension from the University (duration to be determined) for a minimum of one semester; or
- Immediate and permanent dismissal from the University.
2.2 Second Honor Offense
Second offense sanctions will likely result in immediate and permanent dismissal from the Graziadio School.
Any sanction given to a student will be on permanent file with the appropriate Program Director’s Office in the Graziadio School and, if the student is dismissed, with the Office of Student Information and Services (Registrar’s Office). To assist in future deliberations of the relevant Academic Ethics Committee (AEC), a summary of prior cases, without name identification but including their general facts and recommendations, shall be maintained in the appropriate Program Director’s Office and made available to the relevant AEC.
Code of Academic Ethics violations and sanctions will, at the sole discretion of the Graziadio School, be determined by either the accusing faculty member or by the Academic Ethics Committee.
Reporting and Notice of Infraction
An alleged infraction is to be reported to the Associate Dean who serves as the Judicial administrator of the Academic Ethics Committee. The accused shall be provided written notice of the charge and has •up to five business days to submit his or her written response to the judicial administrator. The response deadline may, within the sole discretion of the judicial administrator, be modified. in circumstances where an Academic Ethics Committee hearing will be convened, the accused will be provided at least five business days’ notice prior to the hearing date. In situations where a student is directly confronted by a faculty member (see paragraph three of the judicial Procedures section below), this Reporting and Notice of Infraction provision may not be applicable.
Composition of Committee
The voting members of the Academic Ethics Committee will consist of one Graziadio School graduate student, one Graziadio School staff member, and one Graziadio School faculty representative. Selection of the student representative will be made by the judicial administrator and may be considered from faculty recommendations. The judicial administrator chairs the committee proceedings but does not cast a vote.
- The Academic Ethics Committee will provide a forum before which faculty and staff can bring students who have allegedly breached the Code of Academic Ethics. The hearing typically consists of a summary statement describing the charges being brought before the Academic Ethics Committee and response by the accused to those charges by the judicial administrator; a description of how the hearing will proceed; and an opportunity for the accused, accuser, or witnesses to make statements and/or provide the Academic Ethics Committee with additional documentation supporting their contentions. A list of witnesses and copy of all documents that will be presented at the hearing must be submitted to the judicial administrator 24 hours prior to the hearing. The judicial administrator, in his or her sole discretion, may exclude the testimony of any witness or document that, in his or her opinion, is irrelevant or duplicative. Only the Academic Ethics Committee can direct questions to any hearing participant. Participants may direct comments or questions regarding witness testimony to the judicial administrator. Records of such hearings–‘which may include student notifications and .response, supporting documentation and faculty comments, summary of committee deliberations, and final decision notification-will be kept in a secured file in the Office of the Dean.
- The Academic Ethics Committee will decide whether there has been a violation of the Code of Academic Ethics by a “preponderance of the evidence” standard (that is, more likely than not). In cases of a violation, the Academic Ethics Committee will decide on the appropriate sanction. The Academic Ethics Committee via the judicial administrator will send written notice of its decision to the student within seven business days of the hearing
- In certain cases the Academic Ethics Committee will function as a clearinghouse for faculty to register in writing those cases wherein the faculty member confronts the student. In such cases the faculty member, after discussion with the student, will determine the appropriate sanction and communicate that to the judicial administrator. Any student having a sanction imposed against him or her in this manner who disagrees with such sanction has the right to request a hearing before the Academic Ethics Committee.
- The Academic Ethics Committee via the judicial administrator will notify the student found by the committee to be in violation of the Code of Academic Ethics about his or her opportunity to appeal to the dean. The dean will notify the Academic Ethics Committee of any decisions made on cases that have been submitted to the Office of the Dean on appeal.
All three of the Academic Ethics Committee members must be present for a vote to be called. Specific sanctions will be decided by majority vote.
Note: The Academic Ethics Committee hearings are not court of law proceedings and should not be construed to be subject to courtroom technicalities.
Procedures for appeals of Code of Academic Ethics violations are the same as for Student Code of Conduct violations. Consult the “Student Code of Conduct” in this section for more information.
Computer and Network Responsible Usage Policy
Pepperdine University provides access to computing and network resources in order to support its instruction, research, and service missions; administrative functions; and student and campus life activities. All such use shall be ethical and consistent with the University’s mission. Any other uses, including uses that jeopardize the integrity of the Pepperdine network, the privacy or safety of other users, or that are otherwise illegal, are prohibited.
This policy applies to all users of University computing and network resources, whether affiliated with Pepperdine or not, and to all uses of those resources, whether on campus or from remote locations.
Conditions for Use
Users of Pepperdine University computer and network resources must
- Follow all applicable federal, state, or local laws.
- Follow all relevant University rules, regulations, policies, and procedures, including the information technology (IT) use policies and procedures published for specific systems.
- Actively maintain the security of personally owned and University-assigned computers.
- Report privacy, security, or policy violations to the Information Security Office.
Users of Pepperdine University computer and network resources must not
- Utilize any identity or account not specifically assigned to the user.
- Hinder, monitor, or intercept another user’s network traffic.
- Disclose, destroy, or capture personal, confidential, or restricted data.
- Use resources for commercial purposes or personal financial gain.
- Use resources for unauthorized access of any system or network.
Peer-to-Peer and File Sharing Notice
Users must not engage in the unauthorized copying, distributing, altering, maintaining, or transmitting of copyrighted materials, information, software, music, or other media.
Security and Privacy
Users’ University computer and network passwords must conform to IT’s published complexity and length requirements and must not be shared with any other person, used in non-University accounts, or otherwise disclosed. Passwords must be changed immediately if disclosed or compromised.
The University employs various measures to protect the security of its information resources. Users should be aware that their uses of University computer and network resources are not private. While the University does not routinely monitor individual usage, the normal operation and maintenance of the University’s computing resources require backup, logging of activity, the monitoring of general and individual usage patterns, and other such activities that are necessary for information security and the rendition of service. In addition, the University reserves the right to review, monitor, and/or capture any content residing on, or transmitted over, its computers or network at its sole discretion. The University reserves the right to limit access to its computers or network and to remove or limit access to material residing on its computers or network.
The most current version of the “Computer and Network Responsible Usage Policy” and any technical requirements and guidelines related to this policy are published at http://community.pepperdine.edu/it/security/policies/usagepolicy.htm.
Student Code of Conduct
Each student is responsible for knowing and adhering to this Code of Conduct. While the policies and code outlined in this catalog provide students an effective set of guidelines for personal conduct, the University retains the right to instate additional policies and regulations or to modify existing ones as needs may dictate.
General Conduct Expectations
Pepperdine University’s foundation of the Christian faith as the basis of its expectations of student conduct requires that all students maintain the highest standards of personal honor, morality, and integrity at all times. The University reserves the right to refuse admittance to or dismiss any person who violates these principles. If a student is charged with a crime or is subject to an investigation by the Department of Public Safety, the student must report the incident to the appropriate program office within 72 hours.
In general, a student’s actions off campus are subject to sanctions of civil or criminal authorities; however, whenever its interests as a University community and/or the pursuit of its objectives are adversely affected, the University may take disciplinary action independently of other authorities Disciplinary proceedings may be carried out prior to, simultaneously with, or following civil or criminal proceedings off campus. In addition, students should be aware that actions in the online environment are also covered by the student code of conduct.
Misconduct Subject to Disciplinary Action
The following examples of misconduct are not inclusive but are intended to give a student an idea of the types of behaviors that may result in disciplinary action:
- Violation of published University policies, rules, or regulations. This includes, for example, the policies and regulations specific to the residential community; the policy on alcohol and other drugs; the policies on vehicles; the Discrimination and Harassment Policy; and the Sexual Misconduct Policy.
- Violation of federal, state, or local law on or off campus.
- Dishonesty in any form including, but not limited to, plagiarism; cheating on assignments or examinations; knowingly furnishing false information on University records; and forgery, alteration, or misuse of documents, records, or identification cards. Such violations, at the sole discretion of the University, may be subject to the procedures set forth in the Code of Academic Ethics.
- Manufacture, sale, distribution, promotion, possession, or attempt to obtain false identification.
- Failure to comply with written or verbal directives of University officials or law enforcement officers acting in performance of their duties and/or failure to provide identification to these persons when requested to do so.
- Disruption or obstruction of teaching; research; administration; disciplinary proceedings; other University activities, including its public- service functions on or off campus; or other authorized non-University activities when the activities occur on University premises. This includes disruptive behavior that unreasonably interferes with, hinders, obstructs, or prevents other students from freely participating in University instruction, programs, or services.
- Actions or communications, whether they are online or in-person, that constitute disrespect, harassment, retaliation, the use or threat of physical violence, intimidation, stalking, or hate violence directed toward a member of the Pepperdine faculty, staff, student body, or a visitor to the campus or toward a member of the community.
- Failure to possess at all times a valid student identification card and/or failure to surrender ID card to a University official upon request.
- Misuse or disregard of the policies regarding parking and driving on campus, including, but not limited to: failure to properly register a vehicle, accessing or parking in unauthorized areas, tailgating another car into a parking lot, and using or obtaining a parking permit assigned to another.
- Any unauthorized use of electronic or other devices to make an audio or video record of any person without his or her prior knowledge or without his or her effective consent.
- Sexually compromising acts on campus or at University-sponsored events. The final determination of whether an act is sexually compromising will be at the discretion of University officials.
- Exhibition, possession, distribution, or viewing of material or representations deemed to be obscene or contrary to the moral standards and/or mission of the University.
- Soliciting or advertising or inviting a reporter to campus without prior approval from the appropriate University office.
- Drunkenness or disorderly, lewd, or indecent behavior.
- Promotion, distribution, sale, possession, or use of alcohol or narcotics or other controlled substances on campus or at University-sponsored events regardless of the student’s age. See the “Substance Abuse Policy” in this section for more information.
- Participation in student organizations that have lost University recognition.
- Possession and/or use of all types of weapons and ammunition including, but not limited to, firearms, air and spear guns, knives, martial arts weapons, bows and arrows, swords, paint pellet guns, and explosives of any type. All individuals in possession of self-defense items, including pepper spray, must comply with applicable California state law regarding training and permit to use.
- Unauthorized possession, duplication, or use of keys to any University premises or unauthorized entry to or use of University premises.
- Attempted or actual theft of and/or damage to property of the University or property of a member of the University community or other personal or public property. This regulation covers the unauthorized appropriation or “borrowing” of property for personal use or the possession of stolen property.
- Vandalism, disrespect, destruction, or defacement of University property.
- Theft or other abuse of computer time including, but not limited to:
- Unauthorized entry into a file to use, read, or change the contents or for any other purpose;
- Unauthorized transfer of a file;
- Unauthorized use of another individual’s identification and password;
- Use of computing facilities to interfere with the work of another student, faculty member, or University official.
- Misuse of the disciplinary procedures including, but not limited to; Failure to respond to the summons of a judicial body or University official; Falsification, distortion, or misrepresentation of information before a judicial body
- Disruption or interference with the orderly conduct of a judicial proceeding. Institution of a judicial proceeding knowingly without cause
- Attempting to discourage an individual’s proper participation in, or use of, the judicial system
- Attempting to influence the impartiality of a member of a judicial body prior to and/or during the course of the judicial proceeding
- Harassment (verbal or physical) and/or intimidation of a member of a judicial body prior to, during, and/or after a judicial proceeding
- Failure to comply with the sanction(s) imposed by a judicial body.
- Failure to uphold the code of ethics when engaging with the business community and other external stakeholders as part of field projects or other engagements that require participation from external organizations and their representatives; including, but not limited to: failure to treat all others with dignity and respect; failure to observe and respect the confidentiality rights of all members of the business community (organizations and individuals); failure to avoid conflicts of interest; demonstrating a lack of professional conduct or maturity; failure to maintain honesty and transparency regarding project scope, expectations, or deliverables; or failure to comply with legal and professional obligations.
Anyone may report a violation of the Code of Conduct by contacting one of the following offices:
Department of Public Safety (310) 506-4442
Office of the Dean (310) 506-5689
Normally, the person reporting the violation will be asked to complete a written report form. Reports should be submitted as soon as possible after the event takes place.
Anonymous reports may be made on the Crime Tips Hotline by calling voice mail at extension 1234 (on campus) or (310) 506-4001 (off campus) and then dialing 4751.
Students living in the residence halls also may notify their resident or student advisors.
For any campus emergency, call 911, then call the Department of Public Safety at (310) 506-4441
Philosophy of Student Discipline
An institution of higher learning is authorized by law to establish and administer codes of conduct and to suspend, expel, or dismiss students whose actions negatively impact the campus community. The University reserves this right. Student disciplinary proceedings are not analogous to criminal court proceedings. No particular model of procedural due process is required. However, the procedures should be structured in order to facilitate a reliable determination of the truth and to provide fundamental fairness. Procedures can be very informal in cases where suspension, expulsion, or dismissals are not a probable penalty; more procedural formality should be observed in serious disciplinary cases. In all situations, fairness requires that students be informed of the nature of the charges and be given a fair opportunity to respond to them.
Sources of Information
Information about a student’s misconduct may come from a variety of sources including, but not limited to, reports from faculty, staff, students, departments (e.g., Housing and Residence Life, Department of Public Safety), law enforcement agencies, or community members. Other sources of information may include, but are not limited to, electronic communications, social media, photographs, and audio or video recordings.
Definition of Student
Pepperdine University may exercise authority over any matriculated student who is enrolled full-or part-time; has completed the immediately preceding term, is not presently enrolled, and is eligible for reenrollment; or is on an approved educational leave or other approved leave status. This includes the period before classes begin, while the student is attending classes, between academic sessions, or on leave.
Authority and Responsibility for Student Discipline
The dean is responsible for the overall coordination of rules and regulations regarding student discipline for misconduct and serves as the final appeal for student disciplinary decisions. The associate dean of a program is primarily responsible for the operational details of the disciplinary process. The associate dean will review reports of misconduct and may conduct an investigation. If the associate dean considers the report to indicate a probable violation of the Code of Conduct, the incident will be heard through either an administrative hearing or a hearing with the Student Disciplinary Committee.
When appropriate, some University policy violations may be addressed by other judicial bodies including, but not limited to the Academic Ethics Committee, non-academic grievance officer, or Seaver College Administrative Hearing/Student Disciplinary Committee. Violations that occur in the on-campus residential community will be investigated and adjudicated by Seaver College pursuant to Seaver College’s judicial procedures (seaver.pepperdine.edu /student affairs/content/han dbook/7-judici a l- procedures.pdf). If conduct violates both residential community policies and the Code of Conduct, the associate dean, in his or her sole discretion, can participate, as a non-voting member, in the Seaver College disciplinary proceedings and can impose additional Code of Conduct sanctions based upon those proceedings. However, the associate dean of administration reserves the right to pursue Code of Conduct violations in a separate proceeding pursuant to the procedures set forth below. Sanctions imposed pursuant to the Seaver College judicial procedures can be appealed to the Seaver College dean of students. Sanctions imposed by the Office of the Associate Dean can be appealed as set forth below. If students from different schools of Pepperdine University are involved in a Code of Conduct violation, the matter will be investigated and adjudicated by the school of the accused student. The Department of Public Safety works in cooperation with these offices in the reporting of violations and the conducting of investigations.
Jurisdiction of the Code of Conduct
The Code of Conduct applies to conduct that occurs on University premises, at University-sponsored activities, and to off-campus conduct that adversely affects the University community and/or the pursuit of its objectives. Each student is responsible for his or her conduct from the time of application for admission through the actual awarding of a degree, even though conduct may occur before classes begin or after classes end as well as during the academic year and during periods between terms of actual enrollment (and even if their conduct is not discovered until after a degree is awarded). The Code applies to a student’s conduct even if the student withdraws from school while a disciplinary matter is pending. The associate dean will decide whether the Code will be applied to conduct occurring off campus, on a case-by-case basis, in his or her sole discretion.
In some cases of student misconduct, a Student Disciplinary Committee hearing may not be necessary. Normally, a disciplinary proceeding begins with a written communication from the Office of the Associate Dean requiring the student to attend an administrative hearing to respond to a specified charge. In rare cases when expediency is critical, the proceeding may begin with an oral communication requiring the presence of the student at an administrative hearing. The hearing may be held before the associate dean (“hearing officer”). The Hearing Officer will conduct an investigation of the charges.
In such a case, the student attends an administrative hearing with the designated hearing officer to discuss the incident, the student’s involvement in it, and any steps that must be taken or sanction imposed to resolve the matter. The meeting will be followed by an official letter summarizing this decision. Sanctions imposed as a result of an administrative hearing cannot be appealed. Sanctions imposed by the Student Disciplinary Committee may be appealed; therefore, students who are summoned to an administrative hearing may request instead to meet with the Student Disciplinary Committee if they want an appeal option.
Student Disciplinary Committee Hearings
If, after reviewing a report of misconduct, the associate dean determines that the incident is deemed sufficiently serious, the incident will be submitted for hearing by the Student Disciplinary Committee. The Student Disciplinary Committee will consist of one Pepperdine Graziadio School graduate student, one Graziadio School staff member, and one Graziadio School faculty representative. The associate dean or designee will chair the Committee but is not a voting member. Selection of the student representative will be made by the associate dean and may be considered from dean and faculty recommendations. All three of the Student Disciplinary Committee members must be present for a vote to be called. Specific sanctions will be decided by majority vote.
Before meeting with the Student Disciplinary Committee, the student will be provided in writing with a summary of the behavior that allegedly violates particular provisions of the Code of Conduct. Notification will also be sent which will include the date and time of the hearing, typically within 15 calendar days after the student has been notified. The student may provide a written statement to the Student Disciplinary Committee rebutting the charges up to 24 hours prior to the hearing.
Hearings are not required to adhere to formal rules of procedure or technical rules of evidence followed by courts of law. Hearings will be conducted according to the following guidelines:
- All procedural questions are subject to the final decision of the associate dean or designee.
- The hearing will normally be conducted in private. Admission of any person to the hearing will be at the sole discretion of the associate dean or designee. The associate dean may accommodate concerns for the personal safety, well-being, and/or fears of confrontation of the reporting party, accused student and/or other witness during the hearing by providing separate facilities, and/or by permitting participation by telephone, video conferencing, written statement, or other means, where and as determined in the sole judgment of the associate dean to be appropriate.
- Accused students may be assisted at hearings by an advisor. The advisor must be a current student, faculty, or staff member of the University who was not involved in the incident. The advisor cannot speak for the accused student. The role of the advisor is to accompany the student and advise him or her privately during the hearing process.
- Hearings will be chaired by the associate dean or designee and will proceed in the following manner:
- Reading of the charges. The student’s denial or admission of the charges. (If the student admits the charges, then the committee may dismiss the student and deliberate on the appropriate sanctions.)
- Review of the information in support of the charges, which may include a presentation of information by the accusing faculty member(s), witnesses, and questions by the committee.
- Review of information that rebuts the charges, which may include a presentation of information by the accused student, witnesses, and questions by the committee.
- Closing statement by the accused student.
- The chair and the accused student may call witnesses. Witnesses may only be present while giving testimony. The accused student must present a list of witnesses and purposes of their statements to the chair 24 hours in advance of the hearing.
- A list of witnesses called by the University should be presented to the accused student 24 hours before the hearing.
- The committee may, at its sole discretion, exclude any witness from attending the hearing if the witness’s testimony is duplicative or irrelevant.
- Pertinent records, exhibits, and written statements may be accepted as information for consideration by the committee at the discretion of the chair. This information must be submitted to the chair at least 24 hours before the hearing.
- If, during the course of the hearing, additional charges are discovered, the accused student will be notified of the new charges and will be granted additional time, if needed, to prepare a defense of the new charges. The accused student may waive the additional time and the hearing can proceed with the new charges taken under consideration by the committee. A record should be made in the hearing notes of additional charges and whether or not the student desires additional preparation time.
- Information about the misconduct of other students shared at the hearing may be used as the basis for disciplinary action.
- The committee’s determination will be made on the basis of the preponderance of the evidence, whether it is more likely than not that the accused student violated the Code of Conduct.
- After the hearing, the committee will determine by majority vote whether the student has violated each section of the Code of Conduct that the student is charged with violating.
- If the student is found to have violated the Code of Conduct, the committee will then determine by majority vote the sanction(s) to be imposed.
- The associate dean will notify the student in writing of the committee’s decision and the sanction(s) issued, if applicable
- Record of such hearings -may include student notifications and response, supporting documentation and faculty comments, summary of committee deliberations, and final decision notification-will be kept in a secured file in the Office of the Associate Dean. The hearing will not be transcribed or otherwise recorded.
- If the accused student fails to appear at the hearing, the committee may make a decision based on the available information. If the associate dean determines that good cause exists for the accused student not appearing at the hearing, a new date may be set for the hearing
Violation of University policies for Code of Conduct violations may result in the imposition of one or more of the sanctions listed below. Sanctions which may be imposed are not limited to those listed. In certain limited situations, University officials may impose a sanction but suspend or postpone its actual implementation.
Code of Conduct sanctions are based on general principles of fair treatment. Sanctions will take into account the intent of the accused, the effect of the conduct on the victim and/or University community, the student’s disciplinary history, whether sanctions such as education and community service are likely to change the student’s conduct, and the student’s needs and prospects for improvement. While attempting to be consistent in its disciplinary decisions, the University also seeks to be fair and sensitive to the facts and circumstances of each individual case. Disciplinary action may involve, but is not limited to, one or a combination of the sanctions listed below:
- Censure-Oral or written warning for conduct unbecoming of a Pepperdine student.
- Reprimand-Written warning that continuation or repetition of misconduct may result in a more severe sanction.
- Probation-A status which indicates that a student’s relationship with Pepperdine University is tenuous and that his or her records will be reviewed periodically to determine suitability to remain enrolled. Specific limitations to and restrictions of the student’s privileges may accompany probation.
- Fines-Payment of charges for violation of regulations. These charges will be added to a student’s account.
- Loss of Privileges-Such loss may include financial aid; eligibility to represent the University officially on athletic teams or performing groups; seeking or holding an elected student office; eating in the cafeteria; participating in the Pepperdine international programs; and use of specific University facilities, equipment, or services.
- Restitution-Requirement to pay for the repair to and/or replacement of damaged property. Failure to pay such charges may result in additional sanctions (including, but not limited to, denial of reenrollment or refusal to release official transcripts and records)
- Educational Sanctions-For example, community service, essay-writing assignment, attendance at a seminar, or other discretionary sanction as deemed appropriate by the sanctioning official.
- Suspension-Separation of the student from the University for a specified length of time.
- Dismissal-Separation of the student from the University on a permanent basis. In certain cases a dismissed student may, after an extended period of time, petition the University for readmission.
When students are dismissed or suspended for disciplinary reasons, there will be no refund of tuition or room charges for the semester and all financial aid will be cancelled. Upon permanent separation from University housing, students may apply to the Office of Housing and Residence Life for unused board charges.
If a violation occurs just prior to a student’s scheduled graduation, sanctions may be imposed even if all academic requirements are completed. Sanctions may include, but are not limited to, community service, research or reflective paper, restitution, loss of privilege to participate in the graduation ceremony, deferment of degree, and a transcript hold. The University may withhold issuing a degree until all sanctions are fulfilled. In the rare case of a serious violation (e.g., sexual assault, DUI, illegal drug sales), the University may permanently withhold a degree.
Sanctions for Student Organizations
Student groups are subject to the Code of Conduct disciplinary procedures. The following sanctions may be imposed upon groups or organizations: censure, reprimand, probation, fines, loss of privileges, restitution, educational sanctions, and deactivation. Deactivation includes loss of all privileges, including University recognition, for a specified period of time.
In certain circumstances, the dean or a designee may impose a University or residence hall suspension prior to a meeting with a judicial body. Interim suspension may be imposed (1) to ensure the safety and well-being of members of the University community or preservation of University property, (2) to ensure the student’s own physical or emotional safety and well-being, or (3) if the student poses a definite threat of disruption of or interference with the normal operations of the University. During the interim suspension, students will be denied access to the residence halls and/or the campus (including classes) and/or all other University activities or privileges for which the student might otherwise be eligible, as the dean or the designee may determine to be appropriate.
Retention of Disciplinary Records
Probation, suspension, dismissal, and/or permanent withholding of a degree sanctions are made part of the student’s permanent academic record. Cases involving warnings or other sanctions are made part of the student’s Office of the Associate Dean file and are subject to review for the purposes of authorized background checks, subpoenas, or legal proceedings. Cases found to be un-actionable will be expunged from the student’s confidential record.
Students who wish to appeal the decision of the Student Disciplinary Committee can submit a written appeal to the dean.
The appeal letter must specifically set forth all grounds for appeal. The appeal letter must be submitted within seven calendar days of the issuance of the written sanction letter. The judicial body originating the decision must be given the opportunity to respond in writing to the appeal letter.
Generally, the appellate process does not require a hearing nor does it require the dean to make any personal contact with either the student or the original judicial body. Where personal contact with either party appears necessary to the dean, such contacts can occur in the absence of the other party.
Where it appears that the sanction raises an issue of particular importance to the school or University, the dean may, but is not required to, convene an ad hoc appeals committee to assist in making a recommendation to the dean regarding the appeal. The dean will designate the committee members. The dean may participate in all formal discussions between committee members. The committee will consist of at least three total representatives, at least one each from the faculty and staff. In making its recommendation, the committee may consider and review the appeal letter and response, supporting documentation, and interview involved parties and witnesses, and it shall limit itself to addressing only the following questions:
- In the investigation of this matter, did the decision maker consider all the important and appropriate facts?
- Was it proven by a “preponderance of the evidence” (that is, more likely than not) that the student in fact violated a University policy, rule, guideline, code, or expectation or otherwise engaged in any unlawful or illegal activity?
- Was the judicial process carried out in a fair manner?
- Was there bias of a committee member?
- Was the sanction one that a reasonable person might have made?
The ad hoc appeals committee shall submit its recommendation to the dean based on its conclusions to the above inquiries. The dean shall not be bound by the committee’s recommendation.
In the event that an ad hoc committee is not convened, the dean’s decision regarding the appeal will be based on the four questions outlined above. The dean may affirm, reverse, or modify the sanction. The dean also may return the case to the initial decision maker for further consideration. The dean’s decision shall be final and effective immediately.
Immunity for Victims
Sometimes, victims of physical or sexual assault or domestic violence are hesitant to report to University officials because they fear that they themselves may be charged with policy violations, such as visitation, alcohol violations, or sexual activity at the time of the incident. To encourage reporting, Pepperdine offers victims immunity from policy violations related to the assault.
Immunity for Good Samaritans
Pepperdine encourages students to offer assistance to other students in need, both on and off campus. When a student seeks medical assistance for a student in need, both parties will receive immunity from disciplinary action. This policy was created because students are sometimes hesitant to offer assistance to other students for fear that they themselves may be charged with policy violations (for example, a student who has been drinking on campus might hesitate to get help from the Department of Public Safety or a residential advisor for someone who may be suffering from alcohol poisoning or might be hesitant to provide important information about a sexual assault incident).
Forfeiture of Financial Assistance
Every student who has accepted a scholarship, loan, fellowship, grant-in- aid, or any other financial assistance by the University or the state is deemed to have agreed to observe the rules and regulations of the University. The University shall review the record of each recipient of financial assistance who has been placed on University disciplinary probation, is suspended, expelled, or dismissed from the University, or arrested and convicted as a result of a violation of University policy. In such cases students who have accordingly violated the student Code of Conduct as outlined in the Student Handbook may forfeit their financial assistance. For further information regarding this policy, please contact the Office of Financial Assistance.
Social Media Privacy
The University complies with all local, state, and federal laws governing social media privacy. Although the law prohibits the University from asking students, prospective students, or student groups to disclose a user name or password for accessing personal social media, requesting access to personal social media, or divulging any personal social media to or in the presence of a University employee or representative, the University may lawfully require disclosure, access or view personal social media if necessary to investigate and take disciplinary action against any student, prospective student, or student group utilizing social media in ways that are unlawful, violate the Code of Conduct, or pose a threat to the safety of the campus community
Reporting a Threat
While shootings in schools are rare episodes, when they occur, they are often devastating. As an institution of higher learning, it is important for Pepperdine to view these types of incidents with the appropriate perspective. Since 1966, there have been about 100 shooting deaths at U.S. universities and college campuses; Virginia Tech was the largest. Compare that to the approximately 1,100 that commit suicide on college and university campuses every year, or the 1,400 to 1,700 alcohol-related deaths on college and university campuses each year. Despite shootings on campuses being rare, we as a community must be vigilant and prepared. It is important to note a few facts about these types of shootings. The Secret Service has studied the 30 major shooting incidents that have taken place at schools (elementary through college) since 1974. They found remarkable similarity in them. First, almost all of the individuals who committed these crimes have been male, and were known for being isolated socially. Almost all of them planned out their actions in advance, and over three quarters of them actually shared their plans with others before putting them into effect. Unfortunately, in only two cases did anyone report the plan to authorities before the attack. With these facts in mind, it is critically important that members of our community report threats and potential threats in a timely manner.
If you believe an individual poses an imminent threat to a member or members of the University community please contact our Department of Public Safety immediately. If you do not believe that harm is imminent, but an individual’s behavior seems threatening or seems like it could lead to harm to the individual or to the community, you should report the concern. If you are a student or a faculty member, contact Public Safety or your dean’s office. If you are a staff member or other member of the community, contact Public Safety or the Center for Human Resources. In the event you would like to submit a report during non-business hours, the Department of Public Safety is open every day, 24 hours a day. It is better to err on the side of notifying the appropriate individuals than to remain silent; the institution has resources with which to assess these situations and the individual of concern.
If you have any questions, please contact the Department of Public Safety. For convenience, contact information appears below:
Department of Public Safety (310) 506-4442
Seaver College Dean of Student Affairs (310) 506-4472
School of Law Dean’s Office (310) 506-4621
GSBM Dean’s Office (310) 506-5689
GSEP Dean’s Office (310) 506-5615
SPP Dean’s Office (310) 506-7490
Center for Human Resources (310) 506-4397
Campus Safety App
LiveSafe is a campus safety smartphone application that makes it easier than ever for the Pepperdine community to connect with Public Safety and look out for each other. When submitting a tip, it is possible to attach a photo, video clip, or audio clip, with the option to report anonymously. In emergency or non-emergency situations, users can chat with Public Safety in real time within the app. If users are in an unfamiliar location, SafeMap will help them get their bearings and learn more about the resources near their location. It is possible to use the SafeRide feature to request a medical or security escort on the Malibu campus or a ride back to the Malibu campus from any location in the Los Angeles metro area. The SafeWalk feature allows users to provide a virtual security escort for friends and loved ones to make sure they reach their destination safely. Users also can immediately access critical information resources and emergency procedures anytime, anywhere. Plus, all of these features function internationally, allowing the app to match the University’s global footprint. The app is free and available to all members of the Pepperdine community: students, faculty, staff, parents, visitors, family members, and friends. For more information and details regarding how to sign up, please visit http://emergency.pepperdine.edu/livesafe.
Sexual Misconduct Policy
Pepperdine University affirms that all members of our community are created in the image of God and therefore should be treated with dignity and respect. Our University code of ethics states that we do not unlawfully discriminate on the basis of any status or condition protected by applicable federal or state law. Further, we respect the inherent worth of each member of the community and do not engage in any forms of harassment. We follow the profound truth found in the Golden Rule, “In everything do to others as you would have them do to you” (Matthew 7:12).
Sexual misconduct, and any related retaliation, as defined below, is prohibited and will result in disciplinary action, up to and including dismissal from the University. This policy applies to all University students, including any matriculated undergraduate or graduate student who is enrolled full- or part-time; has completed the immediately preceding term, is not presently enrolled, and is eligible for re-enrollment; or is on an approved educational leave or other approved leave status. This includes the period before classes begin, while the student is attending classes, between academic sessions or on leave. This policy applies even if the student withdraws from school while a disciplinary matter is pending. This policy applies to student conduct that occurs both on and off campus.
Speech that constitutes a protected exercise of a student’s rights under California’s Leonard Law will not be deemed a violation of this policy. However, some speech that may be protected by the Leonard Law is nonetheless inconsistent with the Golden Rule, and students are encouraged to live by this higher standard rooted in our Christian faith and heritage.
The University encourages students to immediately bring any concerning behavior to the University’s attention even if such behavior does not constitute sexual misconduct or retaliation as defined below.
A. Sexual Misconduct:
Sexual misconduct includes sex discrimination, sexual harassment, sexual assault, domestic violence, dating violence, and stalking. Sexual misconduct can be committed by men or women, and it can occur between people of the same or different sex.
B. Sex Discrimination:
Unlawful sex discrimination occurs when an individual is treated less favorably with respect to the administration of the University’s educational programs and activities, admissions, financial aid, or on-campus housing, based upon that individual’s sex.
C. Sexual Harassment:
Sexual harassment is unwelcome conduct of a sexual nature. It includes unwelcome sexual advances, requests for sexual favors, and other verbal, nonverbal, or physical conduct of a sexual nature that is sufficiently serious that it interferes with or limits a student’s ability to participate in or benefit from the University’s educational programs and activities or their living environment. Sexual harassment also includes gender-based harassment, which may include acts of verbal, nonverbal, or physical aggression, intimidation, or hostility based on sex or sex-stereotyping, even if those acts do not involve conduct of a sexual nature. This definition will be interpreted and applied in a manner consistent with the accepted standards of mature behavior, academic freedom, and the mission of the University.
Examples of sexual harassment include, but are not limited to:
- A student repeatedly contacts another student to go out on a date after the student has made it clear that such contact is unwelcome.
- A male professor makes several comments to a female student suggesting that if they have a sexual relationship he will give her a better grade in his class.
- A lesbian student is called a “dyke” by a male classmate, who also makes sexually explicit remarks.
- A male staff assistant in a biology lab repeatedly makes disparaging comments about women such as “science is a man’s field” and “women don’t have the capacity to understand.”
- A student worker tells her supervisor that she is not comfortable with him massaging her shoulders, but he continues to do so and also makes comments about her attractiveness.
D. Sexual Assault:
Sexual assault is a general term that covers a broad range of inappropriate and/or unlawful conduct, including rape, sexual battery, and sexual coercion. As defined under California law, rape is nonconsensual sexual intercourse that involves the use or threat of force, violence, or immediate and unlawful bodily injury or threats of future retaliation and duress. Other examples of sexual assault include the following nonconsensual acts: oral copulation, anal intercourse, and penetration of the anal or vaginal area with a foreign object, including a finger. Sexual battery includes the nonconsensual touching of a person’s intimate parts, or the clothing covering the immediate area of those parts, or forcing a person to touch another’s intimate parts. Sexual coercion is the act of using pressure (including physical, verbal, or emotional pressure), alcohol, medications, drugs or force to have sexual contact against someone’s will or with someone who has already refused.
Consent means affirmative, conscious, and voluntary agreement to engage in sexual activity. It is the responsibility of each person involved in the sexual activity to ensure that he or she has the affirmative consent of the other or others to engage in sexual activity. Lack of protest or resistance does not mean consent, nor does silence mean consent. Affirmative consent must be ongoing throughout a sexual activity and can be revoked at any time. The existence of a dating relationship between the persons involved, or the fact of past sexual relations between them, should never by itself be assumed to be an indicator of consent.
An individual is also unable to provide consent to engage in sexual activity when the individual: 1) is a minor (age 17 or under); 2) has a mental disorder or developmental or physical disability that renders her or him incapable of giving knowing consent; 3) is asleep or unconscious; or 4) is incapacitated from alcohol or other drugs, and this condition was known, or reasonably should have been known or recognized by the accused. “Incapacitated” means intoxicated to the point that the person is incapable of exercising the judgment required to decide whether to consent.
F. Domestic Violence:
Felony or misdemeanor crimes of violence committed by a current or former spouse or intimate partner of the victim, by a person with whom the victim shares a child in common, by a person who is cohabitating with or has cohabitated with the victim as a spouse or partner, by a person similarly situated to a spouse of the victim under the domestic or family violence laws of California, or by any other person against an adult or youth victim who is protected from that person’s acts under the domestic or family violence laws of California.
G. Dating Violence:
Violence committed by a person who is or has been in a social relationship of a romantic or intimate nature with the victim. The existence of such a relationship shall be determined based on the reporting party’s statement and with consideration of the length of the relationship, the type of relationship and the frequency of interaction between the persons involved in the relationship. For the purposes of this definition: 1) dating violence includes but is not limited to, sexual or physical abuse or the threat of such abuse and 2) dating violence does not include acts covered under the definition of domestic violence.
Engaging in a course of conduct directed at a specific person that would cause a reasonable person to: 1) fear for his or her safety or the safety of others; or 2) suffer substantial emotional distress. For the purposes of this definition: 1) Course of conduct means two or more acts, including, but not limited to, acts in which the stalker directly, indirectly, or through third parties, by any action, method, device or means, follows, monitors, observes, surveils, threatens, or communicates to or about , a person, or interferes with a person’s property, 2) Substantial emotional distress means significant mental suffering or anguish that may, but does not necessarily, require medical or other professional treatment or counseling, and 3) Reasonable person means a reasonable person under similar circumstances and with similar identities to the victim.
Retaliation is any form of sanction or adverse treatment against a person because that person has asserted a good faith complaint of sexual misconduct, or assists in providing information regarding a complaint of sexual misconduct. Retaliation may consist of intentional disparagement, harassment, negative remarks, or other treatment that creates a hostile environment.
III. Immediate Steps to Take if you are Subject to Sexual Assault or Other Forms of Violence or Threatening Behavior
- Go to a safe place and speak with someone you trust. Tell this person what happened. If there is any immediate danger and you are on the Malibu Campus, call Public Safety at 506-4441. If you are off-campus, call 911. If you are located at one of Pepperdine’s graduate, DC, or international campuses, contact your program director or local law enforcement to obtain information regarding local counseling, medical and legal resources available to you.
- Consider securing immediate professional support to assist you in the crisis. You can consider on- or off-campus options. During office hours, you may access the Pepperdine Counseling Center (506-4210), the Pepperdine Health Center (506-4316), the Santa Monica Rape Treatment Center (310) 319-4000, the Sojourn Services (domestic and dating violence) at (310) 264-6644.
- After hours, if you live on-campus, your resident advisor, student life advisor, resident director, or Public Safety (506-4441) can typically help you reach a confidential Pepperdine University counselor.
- After hours, if you live off-campus or live on-campus but prefer to use off-campus options, call the Santa Monica Rape Treatment Center’s 24-hour hotline: (310) 319-4000. When contacting SMRTC, please let them know if you are in need of transportation to and from the center, as free options are available. Students may also contact Sojourn Services at (310) 264-6644.
- In cases of sexual assault, for your safety and well-being, immediate medical attention is encouraged to evaluate for physical injury, sexually transmitted diseases, and pregnancy. Further, being examined as soon as possible, ideally within 72 hours, is important for evidence collection, which may be used to support prosecution should you decide immediately or later to pursue criminal charges. The Santa Monica Rape Treatment Center will arrange for a specific medical examination at no charge. To preserve evidence, it is best that you do not bathe shower, douche, or change clothes before that exam. Even if you have already bathed, you are still encouraged to have prompt medical care. Additionally, you are encouraged to gather bedding, linens, or unlaundered clothing and any other pertinent articles that may be used for evidence.
- Even after the immediate crisis has passed, consider seeking support from the Pepperdine Counseling Center, the Santa Monica Rape Treatment Center, or Sojourn Services.
- Contact the Title IX deputy coordinator (see contact information below) if you need assistance with University-related concerns, including academic issues (e.g., missed classes or exams; requesting extensions regarding coursework) or on-campus housing issues (e.g., requesting that the student who you believe assaulted you be moved or that you be moved to a different residence hall).
- Report to Public Safety or the Title IX deputy coordinator any concerns about retaliation against you or your friends.
IV. Reporting Sexual Misconduct
The University encourages all students to report incidents of sexual misconduct or suspected sexual misconduct, whether they are victims, witnesses or bystanders. Reporting protects victims, promotes a healthy and safe campus culture, holds perpetrators accountable, and promotes better experiences for all students. Although a student has the right not to report sexual misconduct, many individuals subjected to sexual misconduct have reported that filing a report with the University, local law enforcement, and/or a community resource center is the beginning of the process by which they regain control over their lives. Though the reporting and judicial processes can be difficult, they are often worth the effort because individuals feel empowered by bringing the alleged perpetrator to justice. Reporting sexual misconduct may also help to establish precedents that will aid others in the future or prevent others from being subjected to sexual misconduct by the same alleged perpetrator.
Students subjected to sexual misconduct have several reporting options. At the University, students can anonymously report, confidentially report, or file a formal report of sexual misconduct, as explained below. Outside the University, students can report sexual misconduct to community resource centers that specialize in providing resources to victims of sexual misconduct, file a criminal charge with local law enforcement, or file civil litigation against the alleged perpetrator. Some students will choose to pursue criminal charges (i.e., through the police and criminal courts). Others will choose to pursue University disciplinary options, if the alleged perpetrator is a Pepperdine student. Civil litigation is another option that some choose. Some will choose a combination of the above options, and some will choose none.
Under California law, the University is required to immediately, or as soon as practicably possible, disclose to local law enforcement, any report of sexual assault, whether committed on-or-off campus. If the student communicates to the University that he or she would like his or her identity withheld, the University will not disclose the student’s or the alleged perpetrator’s identity in its report to law enforcement.
A. Reporting Within the University
- Anonymous Reporting
Anonymous reports may be made on the anonymous Wave Tip line by calling voice mail at (310) 506-7634 or on the LiveSafe app.
- Confidential Reporting
Confidential reports may be made by contacting a counselor at the Pepperdine Counseling Center located at TCC 270 or at (310) 506-4210. Confidential reports can also be made by contacting the University chaplain, Sara Barton, at TCC 106A or at (310) 506-4275.
If a student discloses sexual misconduct to an employee (other than the University chaplain or Counseling Center staff), but wishes to maintain confidentiality or requests that no investigation into a particular incident be conducted or disciplinary action taken, Pepperdine must weigh that request against the obligation to provide a safe, non-discriminatory environment for all students, including the student reporting the incident. If Pepperdine honors the request for confidentiality, the reporting student must understand that Pepperdine’s ability to meaningfully investigate the incident and pursue disciplinary action against the alleged perpetrator may be limited.
Although rare, there are times when Pepperdine may not be able to honor a reporting student’s request in order to provide a safe, non-discriminatory environment for all students. Pepperdine has designated the Title IX deputy coordinator to evaluate requests for confidentiality once an employee is on notice of alleged sexual misconduct. When weighing a student’s request for confidentiality or that no investigation or discipline be pursued, the Title IX deputy coordinator will consider a range of factors, including the following:
- whether there have been other sexual misconduct complaints about the same alleged perpetrator;
- whether the alleged perpetrator has a history of arrests or records from a prior school indicating a history of violence;
- whether the alleged perpetrator threatened further sexual misconduct or other violence against the student or others;
- whether the sexual misconduct was committed by multiple perpetrators;
- whether the sexual misconduct was perpetrated with a weapon;
- whether the reporting student is a minor;
- whether the University possesses other means to obtain relevant evidence of the sexual misconduct (e.g., security cameras or personnel, physical evidence);
- whether the reporting student’s report reveals a pattern of perpetration (e.g., via illicit use of drugs or alcohol) at a given location or by a particular group.
The presence of one or more of these factors could lead Pepperdine to investigate and, if appropriate, pursue disciplinary action. If none of these factors are present, Pepperdine will likely respect the reporting student’s request for confidentiality.
If Pepperdine determines that it cannot maintain a student’s confidentiality, Pepperdine will inform the reporting student prior to starting an investigation and will, to the extent possible, only share information with people responsible for handling Pepperdine’s investigation and response. Pepperdine will remain mindful of the student’s well-being, and will take ongoing steps to protect the student from retaliation or harm and work with the student to create a safety plan. Retaliation against the reporting student, whether by other students or Pepperdine employees, will not be tolerated. Pepperdine will also:
- Assist the student in accessing other available victim advocacy, academic support, counseling, disability, health or mental health services, and legal assistance both on and off campus;
- Provide other security and support, which could include issuing a no-contact order, helping arrange a change of living or working arrangements or course schedules (including for the alleged perpetrator pending the outcome of an investigation) or adjustments for assignments or tests; and
- Inform the student of the right to report a crime to campus or local law enforcement - and provide the student with assistance if the student wishes to do so.
Pepperdine will not require a reporting student to participate in any investigation or disciplinary proceeding.
Because Pepperdine is under a continuing obligation to address the issue of sexual misconduct campus-wide, reports of sexual misconduct (including anonymous reports) will also prompt Pepperdine to consider broader remedial action - such as increased monitoring, supervision or security at locations where the reported sexual misconduct occurred; increasing education and prevention efforts, including to targeted population groups; conducting climate assessments; and/or revisiting its policies and practices.
If Pepperdine determines that it can respect a student’s request for confidentiality, Pepperdine will also take immediate action as necessary to protect and assist the student.
- Formal Report
Anyone may formally report a complaint of sexual misconduct or retaliation related to a sexual misconduct to the University by contacting the Title IX deputy coordinator at:
Tabatha Jones Jolivet
Associate Vice President for Student Life
Title IX Deputy Coordinator
24255 Pacific Coast Highway
Tyler Campus Center Suite 210
Malibu, CA 90263
A student reporting sexual misconduct may do so verbally or in a written report. If a written report is submitted, it should contain a brief written statement citing the type(s) of sexual misconduct that occurred (see definitions section above) and supporting facts (e.g., alleged perpetrator, what happened, when and where the incident occurred, witness(es), etc.). The scope of any investigation, and who will conduct the investigation, shall be in the sole discretion of the Title IX deputy coordinator. The investigation may include, but is not limited to, meeting with the parties, talking with witnesses, and reviewing any supporting documents.
Formal reports and any related investigative materials concerning a Pepperdine student will be submitted to the associate dean of student affairs for community standards as discussed in section V below to determine whether an administrative or student disciplinary committee hearing will be convened. Formal reports and any related investigative materials concerning Pepperdine faculty or staff will be submitted to the grievance officer as discussed in section VI below. Formal reports concerning non-student third-parties will be resolved by the Title IX deputy coordinator. Reports should be submitted as soon as possible after the sexual misconduct takes place. The University reserves the right to investigate, take disciplinary action, and/or report sexual misconduct to local law enforcement regardless of how much time has passed since it occurred and even if the sexual misconduct is reported after the student graduates or employee leaves the University.
B. Reporting Options Outside the University
- Community Resource Centers
- The Santa Monica Rape Treatment Center
Santa Monica-UCLA Medical Center
1250 Sixteenth Street
Santa Monica, California 90404
Provides professional support, including counseling, medical and advocacy services, to victims of sexual assault.
- The Sojourn Services
1453 16th St, Santa Monica, CA 90404
Provides professional support, including counseling, medical and advocacy services, to victims of domestic and dating violence. Sojourn also operates a crisis shelter.
- Local Law Enforcement
Malibu/Lost Hills Sheriff Station
27050 Agoura Rd, Agoura Hills, CA 91301
(818) 878-1808 or 911 for emergency
For help in reporting the sexual misconduct to local law enforcement, call the Department of Public Safety (506-4700). It is important to understand that reporting sexual misconduct does not obligate the reporting party to press criminal charges.
- Civil Court
Santa Monica Municipal Court
1725 Main St #102, Santa Monica, CA 90401
For help filing a civil lawsuit, please contact the Santa Monica Municipal Court.
C. Resources for Students Located Out of State or Abroad
If you are participating in a program located out of state or abroad, please consult with your program director for confidential reporting options, available community resources, and law enforcement contact information in your location.
D. Reporting Party Immunity/Good Samaritan Policy
Sometimes victims of sexual misconduct are hesitant to report to University officials because they fear that they themselves may be charged with policy violations (e.g., underage drinking). To encourage reporting, Pepperdine offers victims immunity from policy violations related to the sexual misconduct.
Because Pepperdine places a high priority on student health and safety, the Good Samaritan policy was created to encourage students to take immediate action in any crisis or medical emergency. Pepperdine students are expected to care for others by getting help from appropriate officials even when violations of the Code of Conduct have occurred. In crisis situations involving alcohol, drugs, physical violence, and/or sexual misconduct (e.g., sexual assault, domestic violence, dating violence, and stalking), the University strongly considers the positive impact of taking responsible action when determining the appropriate response for alleged policy violations related to the incident. This means that no University disciplinary sanctions will be issued to either the reporting student(s) or to the student(s) in need of assistance related to the violations that occurred at or near the time of the incident.
This policy applies to students who report sexual misconduct or participate as key witnesses in sexual misconduct investigations, or who seek medical assistance for themselves or another by contacting an appropriate official (e.g., resident advisor, Public Safety officer, or calling 911). The incident will still be documented, and educational and/or health interventions may be required as a condition of replacing disciplinary sanctions. This policy may not apply to the hosts of a party if they do not seek immediate medical assistance for the student in need.
In any situation involving imminent danger to the health and safety of any individual(s), or where sexual misconduct has been alleged to have occurred, students are expected to: 1) immediately contact Public Safety or other emergency officials to report the incident; 2) remain with the individual(s) needing support and cooperate with emergency personnel as long as it is safe to do so; and 3) meet with appropriate University officials after the incident and cooperate with any University investigation.
V. Authority and Responsibility for Student Sexual Misconduct Discipline
The associate dean of student affairs for community standards (“associate dean”) is responsible for the overall coordination of rules and regulations regarding the adjudication of violations of the Sexual Misconduct Policy by students.
The associate dean reviews formal reports, as well as confidential reports if the Title IX deputy coordinator has determined that a confidentiality request cannot be honored, and any related investigative materials. The associate dean may conduct further investigation of the report if he or she deems necessary. The scope of any investigation shall be in the sole discretion of the associate dean. The investigation may include, but is not limited to, meeting with the parties, talking with witnesses, and reviewing any supporting documents.
If the associate dean considers the report and investigative materials to indicate a probable violation of the Sexual Misconduct Policy, the matter will be heard through either an administrative hearing or a hearing with the student disciplinary committee. During such hearings, the reporting party will be referred to as the “complainant” and the accused party as the “alleged perpetrator.” The vice president for student life and dean of student affairs serves as the final appeal for disciplinary decisions in sexual misconduct cases.
The University’s actions are not dependent on the initiation or outcome of criminal charges. Disciplinary proceedings may be carried out prior to, simultaneously with, or following civil or criminal proceedings.
A. Interim Measures
Upon receipt of a report of sexual misconduct, the University may impose reasonable and appropriate interim measures designed to eliminate the reported hostile environment or alleged violation and protect the parties involved. The University will maintain consistent contact with the parties to ensure that all safety and emotional and physical well-being concerns are being addressed. Interim measures may be imposed regardless of whether a confidential or formal complaint has been filed.
The complainant or alleged perpetrator may request separation or other protection, or the University may choose to impose interim measures at its discretion to ensure the safety of all parties, the broader University community, and/or the integrity of the investigative and/or disciplinary process.
All individuals are encouraged to report concerns about failure of another individual to abide by any restrictions imposed by an interim measure. The University will take immediate and responsive action to enforce a previously implemented measure.
- Available Interim Measures
The Title IX deputy coordinator or designee, at his or her discretion, may implement interim measures with potential remedies which may be applied to the complainant and/or the alleged perpetrator including:
- access to counseling services and assistance in setting up an initial appointment, on and off campus;
- imposition of an on-campus “no-contact directive”;
- rescheduling of exams and assignments;
- providing alternative course completion options;
- changing class schedules, including the ability to transfer course sections or withdrawal from a course without penalty;
- changing work schedules or job assignments;
- changing a student’s University-owned housing;
- assistance from University support staff in completing University housing relocation;
- limiting an individual’s or organization’s access to certain University facilities or activities pending resolution of the matter;
- voluntary leave of absence;
- providing an escort to ensure safe movement between classes and activities;
- providing medical services;
- providing academic support services, such as tutoring; and/or
- any other remedy that can be tailored to the involved individuals to achieve the goals of this policy.
- Interim University or Housing Restriction
The vice president for student life and dean of student affairs or designee may impose an interim University-wide restriction or University housing restriction on the alleged perpetrator prior to an administrative hearing or student disciplinary committee hearing. Such measures may be imposed: a) to ensure the safety and well-being of members of the University community or preservation of University property; or b) if the alleged perpetrator poses a definite threat of disruption of, or interference with, the normal operations of the University. During the interim restriction, the student may be denied access to the residence halls and/or to the campus (including classes). The interim measure does not replace the regular disciplinary process, which will proceed on the normal schedule, up to and through an appeal, if required.
B. Administrative Hearings
In some sexual misconduct cases, the associate dean meets individually with the involved parties rather than hearing the case before the Student Disciplinary Committee. This is most often true when the violation is of a less serious nature and discipline would not result in suspension or dismissal. Prior to the hearing, the involved parties will be provided in writing with a notice describing the behavior that allegedly violates the Sexual Misconduct Policy, the investigative materials, and any other information the associate dean deems necessary to provide to the parties. The notice and related materials will be sent to the involved students’ pepperdine.edu email accounts. The notice will also include the date and time of the hearing. The complainant will first meet with the administrative hearing officer (normally the associate dean) to discuss the incident. After the meeting with the complainant, the administrative officer will meet with the alleged perpetrator to discuss the incident. The meeting will be followed by an email from the administrative hearing officer summarizing the discussions and imposing a sanction if a violation of the Sexual Misconduct Policy is found.
Sanctions imposed as a result of an administrative hearing cannot be appealed. Student disciplinary committee sanctions may be appealed; therefore, students who are required to attend an administrative hearing may request instead to have the matter heard by the Student Disciplinary Committee if they want an appeal option.
C. Student Disciplinary Committee Hearings
If, after reviewing a sexual misconduct report and related investigative materials, the associate dean believes that there is a probable violation of the Sexual Misconduct Policy and the resulting sanction could result in a suspension or dismissal from the University, the matter will be submitted for hearing by the Student Disciplinary Committee. The committee will include a minimum of three faculty and/or staff members, with a mix of both male and female members. The associate dean will chair the committee but is not a voting member unless there is a tie vote.
Prior to the committee hearing, the involved parties will be provided in writing with a notice describing the behavior that allegedly violates the Sexual Misconduct Policy, the investigative materials, and any other information the associate dean deems necessary to provide to the involved parties. The notice and related materials will be sent to the involved students’ pepperdine.edu email accounts. The notice will also include the date and time of the hearing, not less than five (5) or more than fifteen (15) calendar days after the involved parties have been notified. Maximum time limits for scheduling hearings may be extended at the discretion of the associate dean.
Other than as outlined below, hearings need not adhere to formal rules of procedure or technical rules of evidence followed by courts of law. Hearings will be conducted according to the following guidelines:
- All procedural questions are subject to the final decision of the associate dean.
- The hearing will normally be conducted in private. Admission of any person to the hearing will be at the discretion of the associate dean. The associate dean may accommodate concerns for the personal safety, well-being, and/or fears of confrontation of the complainant, alleged perpetrator, and/or other witness during the hearing by providing separate facilities, and/or by permitting participation by telephone, video conferencing, written statement, or other means, as deemed appropriate by the associate dean.
- Involved parties may be assisted at hearings and pre-hearing meetings by an advisor of their choice. The advisor cannot speak for the involved parties. The role of the advisor is to accompany the involved parties and advise them privately during the pre-hearing and hearing process.
- Hearings will be chaired by the associate dean or designee, and will proceed in the following manner:
- Reading of the charges.
- The alleged perpetrator’s denial or admission of the charges (If the alleged perpetrator admits the charges, then the committee may dismiss the alleged perpetrator and deliberate on the appropriate sanctions).
- Presentation of information and/or witnesses supporting the charges and questions by the committee.
- Presentation of information and/or witnesses that rebuts the charges and questions by the committee.
- Each involved party has the option of presenting a closing statement to the committee.
- The chair and the involved parties may call witnesses. The committee may ask questions of the witnesses. Witnesses may only be present while giving testimony. Involved parties must present a list of witnesses and purposes of their statements to the chair at least 24 hours in advance of the hearing.
- A list of witnesses called by the University should be presented to the involved parties at least 24 hours before the hearing.
- Pertinent records, exhibits and written statements may be accepted as information for consideration by the committee at the discretion of the chair. This information must be submitted to the chair at least 24 hours before the hearing.
- Involved parties will receive a copy of witness lists and all relevant materials submitted.
- If, during the course of the hearing, additional policy violations are discovered, the alleged perpetrator will be notified of the new charges and will be granted additional time, if needed, to prepare a defense of the new charges. The alleged perpetrator may waive the additional time and the hearing can proceed with the new charges taken under consideration by the committee. A record should be made in the hearing notes of additional charges and whether or not the alleged perpetrator desires additional preparation time.
- Information about the misconduct of other students shared at the hearing may be used as the basis for disciplinary action unless immunity pursuant to the reporting party Immunity/Good Samaritan policy has been granted.
- The committee’s determination will be made on the basis of the preponderance of the evidence standard (whether it is more likely than not that the alleged perpetrator violated the Sexual Misconduct Policy).
- After the hearing, the committee will determine by majority vote whether the alleged perpetrator has violated the Sexual Misconduct Policy.
- If the alleged perpetrator is found to have violated the Sexual Misconduct Policy, the committee will then make a recommendation to the associate dean on the appropriate sanction(s).
- The associate dean will notify the involved parties in writing to the involved parties’ pepperdine.edu accounts of the committee’s decision and the sanctions issued, if any.
- There will be a single written record of the hearing, which normally consists of the statement of alleged misconduct, a summary of the information presented in the hearing, a summary of the statement of the involved parties, statement of the decision, and the sanctions issued, if any. The hearing will not be transcribed or otherwise recorded.
- If either of the involved parties fails to appear at the hearing or participate, the committee may make a decision based on the available information. If the associate dean determines that good cause exists for the either of the involved parties accused student not appearing at the hearing, a new date may be set for the hearing.
- The committee will render a decision within 60 days of the formal report being filed or within 60 days of the Title IX deputy coordinator’s decision not to honor a confidentiality request. However, there may be extenuating circumstances that render this time-frame impractical. In such cases, decisions will be rendered as promptly as possible.
Violation of the Sexual Misconduct Policy may result in the imposition of one or more of the sanctions listed below. Sanctions that may be imposed are not limited to those listed. In certain limited situations, the associate dean or designee may impose a sanction but suspend or postpone its actual implementation. Failure to comply with the sanction(s) imposed by the associate dean may result in further disciplinary action, including but not limited to, a registration hold, placement on, or extension of, University probation, suspension, or permanent dismissal.
Sanctions are based on general principles of fair treatment. While attempting to be consistent in its disciplinary decisions, the University also seeks to be fair and sensitive to the facts and circumstances of each individual case.
- Warning: Oral or written notice to the student that the student is violating or has violated the Sexual Misconduct Policy and that continuation or repetition of misconduct may result in a more severe sanction.
- University Probation: A status which indicates that a student’s relationship with the University is tenuous. Probation is for a designated period of time and includes the probability of more severe disciplinary sanctions if the student is found in violation of the Sexual Misconduct Policy or other policy violations. Probation may also result in the loss of privileges, depending on the policies of various University departments and organizations.
- Loss of Privileges: Such loss may include, but is not limited to, financial assistance, eligibility to represent the University officially on athletic teams or performing groups, or use of specific University facilities, or services.
- Restitution: Compensation for loss, damage or injury. Failure to pay such charges may result in additional sanctions (including, but not limited to, denial of re-enrollment or refusal to release official transcripts and records).
- Educational Sanctions: Reading/writing assignment, drug or alcohol assessment/treatment, seminar attendance, or other discretionary sanctions as deemed appropriate.
- Dismissal from University Housing: Loss of privilege to live in University housing. In accordance with University housing policy, students required to live on campus who are dismissed from University housing may be dismissed from Pepperdine University. Any student dismissed from University housing prior to the end of the contractual period may be responsible for any remaining monetary charges, as well as ineligible for reimbursement for any charges already paid.
- Suspension: Temporary separation of the student from Pepperdine University for a definite period of time, after which the student is eligible to return without re-applying through the office of admissions, unless the student is absent for two or more academic years, which does require re-application and readmission by the office of admission, as is the case for all students. Conditions for readmission may be specified.
- Expulsion: Temporary separation of the student from Pepperdine University for a definite period of time, but not less than two semesters, after which the student must re-apply through the office of admission and be granted acceptance before becoming eligible for re-enrollment at the University. Conditions for readmission may be specified, but the student is not guaranteed readmission.
- Dismissal: Permanent separation of the student from Pepperdine University. The student is dismissed from the University and is permanently ineligible to re-enroll at the University at any time in the future. When students are dismissed, expelled, or suspended for disciplinary reasons, there will be no refund of tuition or room charges for the semester and all financial assistance for subsequent semesters will be reviewed and is subject to cancellation.
If a violation occurs just prior to a student’s scheduled graduation, sanctions may be imposed even if all academic requirements are completed. Sanctions may include, but are not limited to, community service, research or reflective paper, restitution, loss of privilege to participate in the graduation ceremony, deferment of degree, and a transcript hold. The University may withhold issuing a degree until all sanctions are fulfilled. In the case of a serious violation, the University may permanently withhold a degree.
E. Retention of Disciplinary Records
Other than University dismissal or permanent withholding of a degree, disciplinary sanctions will not be made part of the student’s permanent academic record, but will become part of the student’s disciplinary record. Cases involving the imposition of sanctions other than University expulsion or dismissal or withholding of a degree will be expunged from the student’s disciplinary record seven years after graduation.
F. Appeals Process
Students who wish to appeal the decision of the Student Disciplinary Committee hearing can submit a written appeal to the vice president for student life and dean of student affairs (“vice president”) or designee. The appeal must be submitted within seven (7) calendar days of the issuance date of the committee’s written decision. The written appeal must specify grounds that would justify consideration. General dissatisfaction with the outcome of the decision or an appeal for mercy is not an appropriate basis for an appeal. The nonappealing party will be emailed a copy of the appeal and may email a response to the vice president within seven (7) calendar days from the date of the vice president’s email. If submitted, the appealing party will be provided a copy of the response.
The written appeal must specifically address at least one of the following criteria:
- Insufficient information to support the decision.
- New information, sufficient to alter a decision, or other relevant facts not brought out in the original hearing, because such information and/or facts were not known to the person appealing at the time of the original hearing.
- Procedural irregularity in the student disciplinary committee proceedings that undermined the alleged perpetrator’s ability to present a defense or the complainant’s ability to present relevant information supporting his or her complaint.
- Bias or conflict of interest by a committee member or investigator.
- Inappropriateness of the sanction for the violation of the Sexual Misconduct Policy.
Generally, the appellate process does not require a hearing, nor does it require the vice president to make personal contact with the students or the student disciplinary committee. The vice president may, but is not required to, convene an ad hoc appeal committee to assist in making a recommendation regarding the appeal. The vice president shall not be bound by the committee’s recommendation.
Within twenty (20) business days from the date of receipt of the written appeal, the vice president may affirm, reverse, or modify the sanction. The vice president may also return the case to the student disciplinary committee for further consideration. The vice president’s decision shall be final and effective immediately. A copy of the decision letter will be emailed to the parties’ pepperdine.edu accounts.
VI. Sexual Misconduct by Faculty or Staff
This policy is applicable to sexual misconduct reports filed by a student against a faculty or staff member. This policy is not applicable to reports filed against another student. The grievance officer shall be a faculty or staff member designated by the Title IX deputy coordinator from the accused faculty or staff member’s school.
The grievance officer will review formal reports, as well as confidential reports if the Title IX deputy coordinator has determined that a confidentiality request cannot be honored, and any related investigative materials. The grievance officer may conduct further investigation of the report if she or he deems necessary. The scope of any investigation shall be in the sole discretion of the grievance officer. The investigation may include, but is not limited to, meeting with the parties, talking with witnesses, and reviewing any supporting documents.
If the grievance officer considers the report and investigative materials to indicate a probable violation of the Sexual Misconduct Policy, the matter will be reviewed as described below. The dean of the faculty or staff member’s school serves as the final appeal for decisions in sexual misconduct cases. The University’s actions are not dependent on the initiation or outcome of criminal charges. Proceedings may be carried out prior to, simultaneously with, or following civil or criminal proceedings.
If the grievance officer determines that the allegations in the student’s (“complainant”) report do warrant further consideration, then the grievance officer shall email a notice describing the behavior that allegedly violates the Sexual Misconduct Policy and investigative materials to the person against whom the complaint is made (“respondent”). All emails will be sent to the parties’ pepperdine.edu email accounts.
The respondent shall be given fourteen (14) calendar days from receipt of the notice and investigative materials to return a written response and any supporting materials to the grievance officer. Necessary extensions may be granted at the discretion of the grievance officer. A copy of the respondent’s response, investigative materials, and any supporting materials submitted by respondent will be emailed to the complainant.
If the grievance officer desires, he or she may appoint an ad hoc committee to assist in further investigation of the complaint and/or advise the grievance officer on whether the Sexual Misconduct Policy was violated. The grievance officer shall not be bound by the committee’s recommendation.
Within twenty (20) business days of receipt of the written response, the grievance officer shall make a decision by a preponderance of the evidence based on the report, the response, and any other information the grievance officer deems relevant. A copy of the decision will be emailed to both parties. If a sanction is recommended against a staff member, the decision will be forwarded to Human Resources for further action. If a sanction is recommended against a faculty member, the decision will be forwarded to the dean of the faculty member’s school for further action.
Any party may submit a written request for appeal to the dean of the faculty or staff member’s school (“reviewing officer”) within seven (7) calendar days from the date of the decision. The request for appeal must specifically set forth all grounds for appeal. General dissatisfaction with the outcome of the decision or an appeal for mercy is not an appropriate basis for an appeal. The nonappealing party will be emailed a copy of the appeal and may email a response to the reviewing officer within seven (7) calendar days from the date of the grievance officer’s email. If submitted, the appealing party will be provided a copy of the response.
The reviewing officer shall be limited to addressing only the following questions:
- Insufficient information to support the decision.
- New information, sufficient to alter a decision, or other relevant facts not submitted to the grievance officer, because such information and/or facts were not known to the person appealing at the time of submission to the grievance officer.
- Procedural irregularity in the proceedings that undermined the respondent’s ability to present a defense or the complainant’s ability to present relevant information supporting his or her report.
- Bias or conflict of interest by the grievance officer or investigator.
- Inappropriateness of the sanction for the violation of the Sexual Misconduct Policy.
Generally, the appellate process does not require a hearing, nor does it require the reviewing officer to make personal contact with the parties or the grievance officer. The reviewing officer may, but is not required to, convene an ad hoc appeal committee to assist in making a recommendation regarding the appeal. The reviewing officer shall not be bound by the committee’s recommendation.
Within twenty (20) business days from the date of receipt of the written appeal, the reviewing officer shall make a final decision based on the submitted materials and any other information the grievance officer deems relevant. The reviewing party may affirm, reverse, or modify the grievance officer’s recommendation. The reviewing officer may also return the case to the grievance officer for further consideration. The reviewing officer’s decision shall be final and effective immediately. A copy of the decision letter will be emailed to the parties’ pepperdine.edu accounts.
All written decisions made and materials produced in connection with a grievance conducted under this policy shall be retained by the grievance officer for seven years after the student graduates.
Discrimination and Harassment Policy
Pepperdine University affirms that all members of our community are created in the image of God and therefore should be treated with dignity and respect. Our University Code of Ethics states that we do not unlawfully discriminate on the basis of any status or condition protected by applicable federal or state law. Further, we respect the inherent worth of each member of the community and do not engage in any forms of harassment. We follow the profound truth found in the Golden Rule, “In everything do to others as you would have them do to you” (Matthew 7:12).
Discrimination and harassment, and any related retaliation, as defined below, is prohibited and will result in disciplinary action, up to and including dismissal from the University. This policy applies to all University students, including any matriculated undergraduate or graduate student who is enrolled full- or part-time; has completed the immediately preceding term, is not presently enrolled, and is eligible for re-enrollment; or is on an approved educational leave or other approved leave status. This includes the period before classes begin, while the student is attending classes, between academic sessions or on leave. This policy applies even if the student withdraws from school while a disciplinary matter is pending. This policy applies to student conduct that occurs both on and off campus. This policy does not apply to sexual misconduct. For information regarding sexual misconduct, please see the Sexual Misconduct Policy.
Speech that constitutes a protected exercise of a student’s rights under California’s Leonard Law will not be deemed a violation of this policy. However, some speech that may be protected by the Leonard Law is nonetheless inconsistent with the Golden Rule, and students are encouraged to live by this higher standard rooted in our Christian faith and heritage.
The University encourages students to immediately bring any concerning behavior to the University’s attention even if such behavior does not constitute discrimination, harassment, or retaliation as defined below.
Unlawful discrimination occurs when an individual is treated less favorably with respect to the administration of the University’s educational programs and activities, admissions, financial aid, or on-campus housing, based upon that individual’s membership in a class protected by applicable law.
Harassment is defined as conduct that is so severe and/or pervasive, and objectively offensive, that its effect, whether or not intended, impairs a person’s ability to participate in the University’s educational programs and activities or their living environment. Objectively offensive conduct means that it must be offensive both to the recipient of the conduct and to a “reasonable person” in the recipient’s circumstances.
Examples of harassment include, but are not limited to:
- Some students hang a noose from the ceiling of an African-American student’s room.
- Over the course of the semester, a gay student is repeatedly called names (including anti‐gay slurs like “fag” and “homo”) both to his face and on social networking sites.
- After a student discloses that he receives an accommodation for his learning disability, another student calls him a “retard” every time he walks into the classroom.
- Someone spray paints “terrorist” on a Muslim student’s car.
- A student draws a swastika on a Jewish student’s message board.
Retaliation is any form of sanction or adverse treatment against a person because that person has asserted a good faith complaint of discrimination or harassment, or assists in providing information regarding a complaint of discrimination or harassment. Retaliation may consist of intentional disparagement, harassment, negative remarks, or other treatment that creates a hostile environment.
III. Reporting Discrimination, Harassment, and Retaliation
Students who feel that they have been subjected to discrimination, harassment, and/or retaliation, should contact the dean of their school. Students accused of harassment, discrimination and/or retaliation will be subject to disciplinary proceedings set forth in the applicable school’s code of conduct. Student complaints against faculty or staff members are subject to the nonacademic student grievance procedure.
Confidential reports may be made by contacting a counselor at the Student Counseling Center located at TCC 270 or at (310) 506-4210. Confidential reports can also be made by contacting University Chaplain Sara Barton, at TCC 106A or at (310) 506-4275.
Anonymous reports may be made on the anonymous Wave Tip line by calling voice mail at (310) 506-7634 or on the LiveSafe app. For any campus emergency, call (310) 506-4441.
Nonacademic Student Grievance Procedure
The purpose of this Nonacademic Student Grievance Procedure is to provide for the resolution of student grievances, including allegations of discrimination, harassment, and the denial of reasonable accommodations to persons with disabilities (including whether the student is a qualified individual with a disability, the adequacy of the student’s documentation regarding the student’s disability, and decisions regarding the student’s academic adjustment or auxiliary aid, including denial of requested and/or approved services). This procedure is applicable to nonacademic student grievances filed against faculty, staff, or any nonstudent third-party. This policy is not applicable to grievances filed against another student. To file a nonacademic grievance against another student, please see “Reporting Misconduct” in the “Student Code of Conduct” section of this catalog.
This procedure is designed to allow students to address complaints in a prompt, fair, consistent, and objective manner. Any act of reprisal by a University employee or by one acting on behalf of the University, including the intimidation of a grievant, respondent, or witness during the pendency of an investigation, will result in prompt disciplinary action. (This procedure shall not be used to bring frivolous or malicious complaints. If a complaint has been made in bad faith, disciplinary action may be taken against the person bringing the complaint.)
Before initiating a formal grievance, a student has the option to–but is not required to–discuss the matter in dispute with the person against whom the student has a grievance and seek a mutual resolution of concerns. The student may be encouraged to return to this informal level of resolution at any time during this procedure. It is the University’s belief that most grievances can and will be resolved at this level.
If an informal resolution does not result, the student must submit a complaint to the grievance officer to initiate a formal grievance. Initially the student’s concerns may be communicated orally; however, they must be in writing before any review or other action takes place. (Assistance will be provided to disabled students who are unable to write a complaint.) This written complaint should be submitted as soon as possible after the student knows of the subject problem. The complaint should specify the University or Graziadio School policy, procedure, or norm violated and specifically set forth all relevant factual details.
The Associate Dean of academic affairs at the Graziadio School shall serve as the grievance officer concerning complaints against faculty, staff, or nonstudent third-parties. The Dean of the Graziadio School shall serve as the grievance officer concerning complaints about the Associate Dean, and in this instance, the Provost will serve as the reviewing officer if the case involves a request to appeal the grievance officer’s decision. In matters involving complaints regarding the denial of an accommodation, the grievance officer (and any other decision-making individuals involved) will have the necessary training and expertise concerning (1) the student’s disability, (2) the applicable University policies and procedures, (3) the applicable legal standards, and (4) the appropriate methods for resolution, including the scope of remedies available to the student, or shall seek consultation as necessary and appropriate. (Which information can be obtained through consultation with the University’s Disability Services Office.)
The grievance officer shall read the complaint, all relevant records or other factual information, and all University policies and procedures as may be necessary to determine whether the complainant’s allegations warrant implementing the remainder of the procedures outlined below. If, for example, the allegations in the complaint, even if true, would not constitute a violation of a University policy, procedure, or norm, then the grievance officer should inform the student in writing that the student’s allegations are not subject to the grievance process.
If the grievance officer determines that the allegations in the complaint do warrant further investigation and consideration, then the grievance officer shall forward, via certified U.S. Mail, notice of the complaint and its substantive allegations to the person against whom the complaint is made (“respondent”) and, if discrimination or harassment is alleged, the University Equal Employment Officer. This shall be done as soon as possible, but in no event later than 21 calendar days after the grievance officer receives the written complaint.
The respondent shall be given 14 calendar days from receipt of the complaint to return a written response to the grievance officer. Necessary extensions may be granted at the discretion of the grievance officer.
The grievance officer will initiate a reasonable investigation into the matter. The scope of any investigation shall be in the sole discretion of the grievance officer. The investigation may include, but is not limited to, meeting with the parties, talking with witnesses, and reviewing any supporting documents.
A student may elect to withdraw a complaint at any time; however, the University reserves the right to investigate all complaints where necessary to protect the interests of the University community.
If the grievance officer desires, he or she may appoint an ad hoc committee to assist in the investigation of the complaint and/or for advice concerning the handling of this matter. In such instances, the ad hoc committee should have the necessary training or expertise necessary to investigate the complaint and offer advice on the handling of the matter.
Within twenty-one (21) business days of a receipt of the written response, the grievance officer shall make a decision by a preponderance of the evidence based on the written complaint, the response, and any other information the grievance officer determines is relevant. The decision shall be in writing and consist of factual findings, conclusions, and a remedy if one is appropriate. The grievance officer will provide a copy of the decision to all parties. In instances where discrimination or harassment is alleged, the grievance officer will provide a copy of the decision to the complainant and/or target of the alleged discrimination or harassment, the University Equal Employment Officer. The decision will explain the investigative process and contain a summary of the facts gathered, a determination as to whether discrimination or harassment occurred, the reasons for the decision and any appeal procedures. If discrimination or harassment is found to have occurred, the decision will also include any remedial or corrective actions that have, or will be, taken to prevent any retaliation or recurrence (1) institutionally and (2) directly relating to the complainant, including notice of all sanctions against the offender in order for the sanctions to be fully enforced.
Any party may submit a written request for appeal to the Dean of the Graziadio School (“reviewing officer”) within 14 calendar days from the date of the decision. The request for appeal must specifically set forth all grounds for appeal. The nonappealing party must be given the opportunity to respond in writing to the request for appeal.
The reviewing officer shall be limited to addressing only the following questions:
- Did the grievance officer consider all the important and appropriate facts in the investigation of this matter?
- Did the student prove by a “preponderance of the evidence” (that is, more likely than not) that the person against whom the student has a grievance in fact violated a University policy, procedure, or norm or otherwise engaged in any unlawful or illegal activity?
- Was the process carried out in a fair manner?
- Was the decision one that a reasonable person might have made?
- Was the grievance officer biased?
Within fifteen (15) business days from the date of receipt of the written appeal, the reviewing officer shall make a final decision based on the written complaint, the written response, the grievance officer’s written decision, the written request for appeal, and any written response to the request for appeal. The decision of the reviewing officer shall be final. The reviewing officer will provide a copy of the decision to all parties, and where discrimination or harassment is alleged, to the University Equal Employment Officer.
All written decisions made and materials produced in connection with a grievance conducted under this procedure shall be retained by the grievance officer for seven years after graduation.
Provisions Subject to Change
The provisions of this catalog, including, but not limited to, rules of conduct, academic offerings and requirements, time for completion of degrees, and all financial charges, are subject to change at any time by Pepperdine University. It is anticipated that costs will increase in future years due to inflation, strengthened academic and extracurricular offerings, and/or other factors.
Security of Student Belongings
The University is not responsible for loss of, theft of, or damage to students’ personal possessions. Theft and security concerns should be reported immediately to the Department of Public Safety. Students are responsible for their possessions while on University property and are encouraged to lock their rooms when they leave and to utilize laptop locks and other devices to safeguard their property while using University facilities. Residence hall lobby and suite doors must remain closed and locked at all times. Additionally, students are encouraged not to leave valuables unattended and unsecured. The University encourages students to obtain their own theft and casualty insurance. Such coverage may exist as part of parents’ homeowner insurance policies or may be added for an additional fee. It is also recommended that students record the serial numbers of electronic devices such as laptop computers and digital cameras. Residents are encouraged to take valuables home with them during University breaks.
All Pepperdine University campuses are smoke-free at all times and smoking is strictly prohibited with the exception of any limited, designated areas where smoking may be permitted for some period while moving toward the goal of a 100% smoke-free campus. This prohibition includes but is not limited to the interior of University facilities, outdoor areas, and undeveloped property, as well as in any vehicle owned, leased, or operated by the University. Also, the sale, distribution, and advertisement of, or sponsorship by tobacco products is prohibited anywhere on campus, at University-sponsored events, or in publications produced by the University. This policy applies to all persons on a Pepperdine University campus.
We at Pepperdine University acknowledge and respect the fact that certain individuals experience extreme difficulty in ceasing the habit of smoking. Consistent with our University mission and identity, we must avoid alienating community members, and treat those who smoke with respect, dignity, and care as we seek to implement and enforce this policy.
Increased subsidized cessation programs will be made available to faculty, staff, and students. The University encourages participation in these programs. For more information, employees should call Human Resources, and students should call their dean’s office.
All members of the University community share in the responsibility of adhering to and enforcing this policy. The success of this policy depends upon the thoughtfulness, consideration, and cooperation of those who smoke and those who do not. Informational rather than punitive enforcement is the intent of this policy. However, repeated violations of the smoking policy, such as smoking in an area other than at a designated smoking location, may result in intervention by the Department of Public Safety, discipline by the supervisor in the case of an employee, or discipline by the applicable dean’s office in the case of a student.
Student Records Policy
The Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act of 1974, also known as the Buckley Amendment or FERPA, provides, generally, that (1) students shall have the right of access to their educational records, and (2) educational institutions shall not release educational records to non-school employees without consent of the student, subject to the exceptions provided by law. “Students” as used in this notice includes former students but does not include applicants who have not attended Pepperdine University.
Right of Access
With a few exceptions provided by law, students at Pepperdine University may see any of their educational records upon request. Access must be granted no later than 45 days after the request. Students further have the right, under established procedures, to challenge the factual accuracy of the records and to enter their viewpoints in the records.
Students may waive their right of access to recommendations and evaluations in the cases of admission, applications for employment, and nominations for awards. Pepperdine University may not require students to sign a waiver of their right of access to their records, but students and prospective students should be aware that users of recommendations and evaluations made without a signed waiver may discount their helpfulness and validity.
Disclosure of Student Records
With several exceptions provided by law, Pepperdine University cannot release information concerning students to prospective employers, government agencies, credit bureaus, etc., without the written consent of the student. Students and alumni applying for jobs, credit, graduate school, etc., can expedite their applications by providing the University with written permission to release their records, specifying which records and to whom the release should be made. The student’s written consent is not required for the disclosure of grades, disciplinary action, or other information to parents of students who are dependents for federal income tax purposes. Parents requesting information may generally be granted access upon submission to the University of a signed statement or other evidence of federal income tax dependency.
The University has designated the following categories of information as “directory information,” which may be released to the public without notice or consent of the student: student’s name, student ID number, address, telephone number, major field of study, participation in officially recognized activities and sports, weight and height of members of athletic teams, dates of attendance, degrees and awards received, enrollment status, classification, thesis titles/topics, photograph, e-mail address, and the most recent previous public or private school attended by the student.
The student may request that certain categories of directory information not be released to the public without the student’s written consent. Such requests shall be submitted in accordance with the Student Records Policy of the University.
Student Theses, Dissertations, and Group Projects
Certain student academic works, including student theses, dissertations, and group projects, may be made accessible to the public in hard or electronic copy. Such works may be available in the University’s libraries, public online databases and repositories maintained by the University, and by professors in their classes and off-campus presentations.
This notice is not intended to be fully explanatory of student rights under FERPA or California law. Students may obtain copies of the official Student Records Policy, which contains detailed information and procedures, upon request to the Office of the Student Information and Services (Registrar’s Office), Malibu, California 90263. Copies may also be obtained online at: www.pepperdine.edu/registrar/policies.
Right to File a Complaint
Any student alleging failure of the University to comply with FERPA may file a complaint with the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act Office (FERPA), Department of Education, 330 Independence Avenue, SW, Washington, D.C. 20201. Students are encouraged to utilize the internal University grievance procedures to resolve complaints prior to contacting outside agencies.
Substance Abuse Policy
In keeping with the mission of the University and its commitment to provide an alcohol- and drug-free work environment, the University has formulated the following policy regarding alcohol and drugs.
This policy applies to all students.
Substance means any drug (including alcohol) that has known mind or function-altering effects on a human subject, specifically including psychoactive substances and including, but not limited to, substances controlled or prohibited by state and/or federal law. Alcohol in this context means beer, wine, and all forms of distilled liquor or any beverage, mixture, or preparation containing ethyl alcohol.
The University prohibits the illegal use, possession, transport, manufacture, distribution, promotion, or sale of drugs, drug paraphernalia, or look-alike (simulated) drugs and the unauthorized use or possession of alcohol while on any facility controlled by the University or as part of any University-sponsored activity.
Students may not be on University-controlled property or engage in any University activity while under the influence of any drug, alcohol, or other substance that will in any way affect their alertness, coordination, or response or affect their safety or the safety of others.
The University is very concerned about harm to students using or abusing drugs and alcohol. All drugs are toxic or poisonous if abused. Health risks of drug abuse include, but are not limited to, sleep disorders, confusion, hallucinations, paranoia, deep depression, impotence, liver and kidney damage, cardiac irregularities, hepatitis, and neurological damage. Abuse of either alcohol or drugs during pregnancy increases the risk of birth defects, spontaneous abortion, and stillbirths.
Alcohol is a depressant. It depresses the central nervous system and can cause serious, irreversible physical damage. Excessive drinking damages the liver, resulting in cirrhosis. Chronic alcohol abuse also causes hypertension; cardiac irregularities; ulcers; pancreatitis; kidney disease; and cancer of the esophagus, liver, bladder, or lungs.
Any individuals within the University community who have developed an alcohol or drug dependency and who so identify themselves to faculty or administrators will be afforded every reasonable consideration so long as they continue appropriate efforts to achieve and maintain sobriety. Such individuals have the right to expect that such disclosures will be held in confidence and not relayed to another who does not have a legitimate need to know. Facilities of the University will be made available to alcohol and drug recovery self-help groups that serve the University community and the general public for the conduct of their meetings. Confidential counseling and treatment are available to students through the Student Health and Counseling Center on the Malibu campus and the Psychological and Educational Clinic at the West Los Angeles Graduate Campus or by referral to appropriate agencies off campus.
Local, state, and federal laws establish severe penalties for unlawful possession of illicit drugs and alcohol. These sanctions, upon conviction, may range from a small fine and probation to imprisonment for up to one year or a $1,000 fine, or both. It is especially important to note that federal laws have increased the penalties for illegally distributing drugs to include life imprisonment and fines in excess of $1 million.
- Any student found supplying alcohol or drugs on campus or unlawfully supplying alcohol or drugs to another member of the community or the public at large will be subject to immediate suspension leading to dismissal.
- In the case of a student residing on campus found by a resident assistant, public safety officer, or other University official to be in an intoxicated state: Upon a first offense a report will be entered, the individual will be returned to his or her residence, a residence hall employee will be alerted to the condition of the student, and the individual will subsequently be reminded of the University Substance Abuse Policy. The student will be contacted by an appropriate University official to determine whether personal counseling is advisable or whether disciplinary action is necessary.
- If a student is unruly, disruptive, or destructive, a report will be entered and the student confined to his or her residence until sober or detained.
- A student found in two or more incidents to be under the influence of drugs or alcohol may, at the discretion of University officials, be suspended for up to one year, or in cases where no improvement is evident, dismissed from the University.
- Any student who encourages another to consume alcoholic beverages or any other substance as a means to induce that individual to engage in behavior that would otherwise be against that person’s will is subject to dismissal from the University.
- Nonresident students found to be under the influence of alcohol or drugs will be detained until safe transport to their dwelling can be arranged. Patterns of intoxication and behavior problems among nonresident students will be treated in the same way that similar problems among resident students are treated.
- It will be the policy of the Department of Public Safety to prevent any intoxicated individual from operating a vehicle on campus or leaving the campus by operating a vehicle.
University Policy on Hazing
Pepperdine University is committed to the highest standards of scholarship, ethics, and Christian principles which strengthen lives for purpose, service, and leadership. Hazing is a violation of our core campus values, state and federal law, and basic human dignity. Therefore, Pepperdine is dedicated to a University community free of hazing.
Hazing is prohibited by state law and University policy. All students and members of campus organizations are required to fully comply with California’s Code requirements on hazing and the University’s regulations prohibiting hazing. California Penal Code section 245.6(b) (Matt’s Law) provides a definition of hazing and prescribes misdemeanor and felony penalties. This would allow a person to bring a civil action for injury or damages against individuals who participate in the hazing or organizations that authorize, request, command, participate in, or ratify the hazing. For the purposes of Matt’s Law, “Hazing” means any method of initiation or pre-initiation into a student organization or student body, whether or not the organization or body is officially recognized by an educational institution, which is likely to cause serious bodily injury to any former, current, or prospective student of any school, community college, college, university, or other educational institution in this state. The term “hazing” does not include customary athletic events or school-sanctioned events. Liability for hazing also extends to student organizations and not just to those who directly participated in the hazing acts. Pepperdine University prohibits any recognized student organization from engaging collectively or individually in hazing.
Examples of activities that the University include, but are not limited to, any of the following:
- Any activity that is mandatory for new members only and is not educational in nature (e.g., performing personal chores or errands).
- Such activities as new member-only scavenger hunts, new member ditches, and the like.
- Compelling a person or group to remain at a certain place or transporting a person or group anywhere without their consent (road trips, kidnaps, etc.).
- Expecting students to do anything exclusively “for the fun or entertainment of the members.”
- All forms of physical activity not a part of an organized athletic contest and not specifically directed toward constructive work.
- Conducting activities that prohibit adequate time for study.
- Depriving students of sufficient sleep (six hours per day minimum), decent and edible meals, or access to means of maintaining bodily cleanliness.
- Forcing, coercing, or permitting students to eat or drink foreign or unusual substances such as raw meat, salt water, onions, etc.
- Applying foreign substances to the body, branding, tattooing, piercing, or other bodily alteration.
- Carrying any items (shields, paddles, bricks, etc.) that serve no constructive purpose or that are designed to punish or embarrass the carrier.
- Forcing, or allowing, students to dress in any unusual or awkward fashion. Nudity at any time.
- Depriving students of “sense awareness” (sight, sound, etc.), which may cause mental and/or physical stress.
- Misleading students in an effort to convince them that they will not attain full membership status, that they will be hurt during an initiation ceremony, or any other activity that would cause extreme mental stress.
- Subjecting a person or group of people to verbal harassment.
- Conducting “interrogations” or any other non-constructive questioning.
- Disallowing students to talk for an extended period of time.
- Forcing students to make monetary payments or incur extra expenses not included in general membership dues.
Disciplinary action at the University level is considered independent from other court proceedings and may be instituted against a student also charged in civil or criminal courts based on the same facts that constitute the alleged violation of the Code of Conduct. For more information on hazing, visit www.stophazing.org.
Use of the Name of Pepperdine University or the Graziadio School
Students in the Graziadio School, either individually or collectively, shall not, without consent of the proper authorities, use the name of Pepperdine University or the Graziadio School in connection with any activity of any kind outside of the regular work of the school. Violation of this rule may result in disciplinary sanctions.
Pepperdine University takes very seriously complaints and concerns regarding the institution.
If a student has a complaint regarding the Graziadio School of Business and Management, the student may present a complaint or grievance according to the applicable policies and procedures found in this catalog.
If the student believes that their complaint or grievance warrants further attention after exhausting the procedures set forth in this catalog, you may contact:
The Western Association of Schools and Colleges (WASC) at www.wascsenior.org/comments if your complaint is about the institution’s compliance with academic program quality and accrediting standards. WASC is the academic accrediting body for Pepperdine University.
If the student believes that their complaint or grievance continues to warrant further consideration after exhausting the processes of either WASC or Pepperdine, the student may submit a complaint to the Attorney General of the State of California by filing a complaint form with the Public Inquiry Unit of the California State Department of Justice at:
Public Inquiry Unit: (800) 952-5225 (phone) or (916) 323-5341 (fax); or on-line at ag.ca.gov/contact/complaint_form.php?cmplt=PL
The Attorney General’s Office will review the process through which Pepperdine attempted to resolve your complaint. If the process complies with the University’s written policies and procedures, the Attorney General’s Office will, for the purposes of state oversight, consider the matter closed. If the Attorney General determines that the process through which the University attempted to resolve your complaint did not comply with the University’s written policies and procedures, the Attorney General may request reconsideration by the Graziadio School of Business and Management.
Nothing in this disclosure limits any right that the student may have to seek civil or criminal legal action to resolve his or her complaints.
Pepperdine University has provided this disclosure in compliance with the requirements of the Higher Education Act of 1965, as amended, as regulated in CFR 34 §§ 600.9 and 668.43(b).
Students enrolled in a program located in Texas who believe that their complaint or grievance continues to warrant further consideration after exhausting the process of either WSCUC or Pepperdine may submit a complaint to the Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board.
To submit a compliant to the Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board, students should follow the process on-line: www.thecb.state.tx.us/studentcomplaints
Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board
College Readiness and Success Division
P.O. Box 12788
Austin, Texas 78711-2788
E-mail address: StudentComplaints@thecb.state.tx.us
Phone number: 512-427-6101
This information is provided in compliance with Title 19 of the Texas Administrative Code, Section 1.110-1.120: http://texreg.sos.state.tx.us/public/readtac$ext.ViewTAC?tac_view=5&ti=19&pt=1&ch=1&sch=E&rl=Y