Chairs of the Student Discipline Committee
The University of Warwick is one of the world’s leading universities for teaching and research. With an absolute commitment to excellence and an ambition to challenge the status quo, we’ve inspired positive change, sparked innovation and created opportunity across our local community, our region, the country and beyond.
The University of Warwick is now looking to appoint two independent Chairs to its Student Discipline Committee, which considers allegations of behavioural misconduct by students of the University.
Studying at University should be a special time; we know that most students at Warwick enjoy a hugely positive experience here and find a community which is warm, welcoming and supportive. Sadly though, as in wider society, misconduct does take place and we believe it is important to be open, honest and transparent with our community so that we can address such issues together. Nevertheless, whilst we are committed to doing all we can to prevent unacceptable behaviour, when it happens, we will take action.
The Office for Students (OfS) has asked all universities to assess their readiness to meet the expectations in this area that they have set out. The University of Warwick is increasingly regarded as leading in the sector for its disciplinary processes and our assessment is that we meet all the OfS’ expectations, going beyond in some cases, but recognising that there is always more to do.
These roles are pivotal in supporting the University to continue to improve and in doing so enhance our students’ confidence in our disciplinary process.
Student Discipline Committee
The Student Discipline Committee considers students’ alleged breaches of rules under the University’s discipline procedures relating to range of types of behavioural misconduct, this can include but is not limited to anti-social behaviour, alcohol and other drug misuse, misuse of university property or premises, sexual misconduct, bullying and harassment, discrimination and hate crime.
The University has clearly articulated values and principles which set out how it expects all its members to behave. We have mandatory online training on our Values and related topics that we expect all our students to complete. Where students do breach these principles and other regulations, the Student Discipline Committee will hear these cases and determine sanctions.
The Committee aims to make evidence-based decisions based on balance of probability. Given the nature of the cases considered by the Committee and the impact decisions may have, it is important that students and staff have confidence in the processes and the outcomes reached; the role of the Chair is essential to ensuring that the Committee operates in a fair and transparent manner, in line with our published regulations and policies and sector guidance published by the Office of the Independent Adjudicator and the Office for Students. Postholders will also form part of a community of staff and students engaged in contributing to the ongoing improvement of the University’s approach to managing disciplinary matters.
The role of Chair to the Student Discipline Committee has to date been filled by senior academic staff. We are now looking to appoint two Chairs of the Student Discipline Committee, to provide additional capacity and expertise in the role, working alongside existing staff as part of a wider team.
For each case heard by the Committee, there will be up to two meetings of panel, with briefing meetings with the secretariat in advance.
The Chair is accountable for the integrity of the Committee’s processes and the quality of its decision making, having final discretion over these matters. As such, their responsibilities and accountabilities include:
- Prepare for panel meetings, becoming familiar with documentation; meeting with secretariat in advance for briefing and ensuring questions on process are considered in advance.
- Lead discussions in meetings, following documented procedures, drawing the panel to a consensus on outcomes and ensuring outcomes are clarified.
- Approve minutes and outcome letters to students.
- Approve sanctions when completed, as necessary.
- Represent the Committee in related casework, such as appeals against its decisions.
- Contribute to ongoing process improvement.
- Undertake induction and regular training.
Experience, Skills and Abilities
Essential experience, skills and abilities required to undertake the role effectively:
- Experience of disciplinary or similar casework and/or complaints handling, particularly with young people and students.
- Strong levels of understanding in the areas of: sexual and domestic violence, harassment, discrimination, hate crime, and alcohol and other drug misuse.
- Ability to empathise with the student perspective and to show due care and consideration to the situation in which students find themselves.
- Experience of chairing complex casework panels.
- Experience of working with legal representatives on casework and complaints handling.
- Ability to understand and adhere to the University’s regulations and procedures in relation to misconduct and related processes and to empathise with the Higher Education context.
- Strong interpersonal and communication skills to build supportive, dispassionate and constructive relationships with panel members, students and staff supporting disciplinary processes and to work collaboratively with panel members.
- Ability to manage and facilitate discussions in the meetings, ensuring that they remain professional, focused and are enacted with respect and integrity.
- Analytical and impartial decision-making, to work with complex cases, drawing out key issues, and to draw the panel to consensus on outcomes.
- Ability to challenge constructively where appropriate, and exercise independent and sound judgement.
- Experience of dealing with confidential business
- An understanding of and the ability to show due care and consideration to matters relating to equality, identity and diversity and student wellbeing.
We expect the Chairs to have strong ethical standing, to share the University’s values and abide by its principles and to act with act with integrity and probity.
Term of Office and Time Commitment
Chairs will be appointed for three years initially.
An offer of appointment would be conditional upon proof of eligibility to work in the UK, before you may start employment with us.
Probationary period of 6 months.
You would be expected to commit up to six days per month on average but this may vary from month to month and may be less; this would cover approximately four meetings, as well as training. Meetings are usually held virtually, and can last on average 3 to 4 hours, but this can vary and will not be guaranteed.
Remuneration is £50 hourly attendance fee.
How to Apply
Please submit a CV and covering letter to firstname.lastname@example.org setting out how you fulfil the requirements of the role, by 16 April 2023. Date of interviews TBC.
Equality, Diversity and Inclusion
The University of Warwick provides an inclusive working and learning environment, recognising and respecting every individual’s differences and we aim to curate panels of the Student Discipline Committee that are diverse and representative of Warwick’s community. We welcome applications from individuals who identify with any of the protected characteristics defined by the Equality Act 2010.
To find out more about our social inclusion work at Warwick visit our webpages here.