In keeping with RUSM’s commitment to creating a safe and productive learning environment, RUSM has implemented the disciplinary process to discourage conduct inconsistent with the high standards held by most of its students. Following a disciplinary action, RUSM may impose appropriate sanctions, varying according to the severity of the offense, that RUSM hopes will protect those dedicated to learning this challenging profession and encourage ethical conduct among their peers. This applies throughout your education at RUSM.
Sanctions are determined by the Senior Associate Dean of Student Affairs following the resolution of a disciplinary action. This may be an informal resolution, such as a Complaint settled through mediation; or a hearing following an infraction of the Honor Code or Code of Conduct. The latter two are held before the Honor Council and Grievance Committee, who may also recommend sanctions.
There follows a list of the most commonly imposed sanctions, but RUSM may also choose to impose other sanctions, not listed here, depending on the severity of the misconduct. RUSM strives to find a balance between encouraging those that deserve a second chance while still protecting the rights of the majority of its students, who deserve an orderly learning environment.
- Warning or Admonition. A warning or admonition is the issuance of an oral or written reprimand. These are generally given to alert a student in danger of more serious sanctions if academic, attendance, conduct or other compliance issues are not promptly addressed.
- Required Compliance/Remediation. When a student is out of compliance with enrollment, admission or health clearance requirements, RUSM will inform the student of the area needing attention, and how the situation may be rectified. In the event of a delay in compliance, RUSM may impose one or more of the following sanctions, and perhaps other appropriate measures as required, until the student becomes fully compliant.
- Restricted campus/hospital privileges until compliance is reached.
- Collection of monies or property where restitution is owed.
- Counseling and education in the area of noncompliance.
- Participation in psycho-educational groups and/or assigned educational initiatives designed to assist the student towards compliance.
- Disciplinary Probation. Ongoing or serious disciplinary issues may result in the student being placed on Disciplinary Probation for a defined period of time. Students may continue their studies during disciplinary probation, but will have restricted access to other components of campus activity. A student on probation also risks suspension or expulsion in the event of additional violations during this period. Probation may include exclusion from RUSM-sponsored events, such as the following:
- RUSM-sponsored social events
- RUSM-sponsored extracurricular activities
- Campus clubs
- Student organizations
- Student leadership roles
- Involvement in or attendance at public performances on campus
- Assistance with student/campus publications
- Attendance at or involvement in events or activities sponsored by student campus organizations
However, students on disciplinary probation will be permitted to participate in any activity or event that is required for course work.
Lifting of Probation: Probation is lifted after the time period specified, when a) no further violations are committed; and, b) all terms specified in the disciplinary decision have been successfully completed.
Student file: This period of probation is documented in the student file as Disciplinary Probation. Upon completion of the terms of this probationary period, a student may request that the probation be noted as successfully completed. Students are encouraged to document all efforts taken to address any cited violation, and confirm that this documentation is preserved in their student files.
Financial Aid: Unlike Academic Probation, periods of Disciplinary Probation will not impact a student’s eligibility for or status regarding financial aid.
- Students with on-going or serious problems in such areas as compliance or conduct may be recommended for suspension following a formal or informal disciplinary hearing. Suspended students are ineligible to enroll in classes or participate in any activities held on RUSM or clinical premises for a determined period of time. Students on suspension will not be allowed to attend classes, campus-sponsored events, or otherwise visit campus property for the duration of the suspension. There are two types of suspension – Interim Sanctions, imposed during the resolution of a serious disciplinary case; and the Suspension Sanction, imposed by a Board of Conduct following the resolution of such a case.
- Interim Sanction: A student may be suspended on a temporary basis prior to an informal resolution or hearing, according to one or more of the following guidelines:
- RUSM may choose to impose an Interim Sanction when one or more of the following occur:
- There is an indication that a student’s misconduct will be repeated or continued;
- There is an indication that safety for the student and/or the RUSM community will be compromised without immediate action; and/or
- Sanction is necessary for RUSM or its affiliates to carry on its functions effectively and efficiently.
- An Interim Sanction may be imposed without advance notice, and take immediate effect.
- As with a Suspension Sanction, interim sanctions imply a loss of all student rights and privileges.
- An Interim Sanction generally does not conclude until after a final disciplinary determination has been made.
- A student on an Interim Sanction may submit a concisely written appeal, limited as to whether the Interim Sanction should remain in effect until the disciplinary action reaches a conclusion. This appeal will be reviewed and decided upon by the Dean or a delegate. (See more on Appeals, below.)
- Time spent in an Interim Sanction does not count toward completion of any Suspension Sanction that may follow the final decision of the disciplinary action, unless the terms of the Suspension Sanction communicate otherwise in clear language.
Lifting of Suspension: Interim Sanctions are lifted following the granting of a successful appeal or upon the issuance of a formal or informal disciplinary decision (which may result in a further Suspension sanction). Where conditions are placed upon a student’s return, those conditions must be approved as fully completed before the student will be allowed to register for a future semester.
Student File: An Interim Sanction may impact the student’s transcript. The designation for the missed time on the transcript is determined in consultation with the Office of the Registrar on a case by case basis, following the determination reached by an informal resolution or formal hearing. If designated as a suspension, it will appear in the student’s educational file as non-academic suspension. Students are encouraged to document efforts taken to address a cited violation.
Financial Aid: Eligibility for financial aid may be impacted depending upon the length of an Interim Sanction, and whether it transitions to a suspension sanction following disciplinary action. Students are required to comply with all financial aid repayment obligations during a suspension.
- Suspension Sanction: Following the resolution of a disciplinary action, the Senior Associate Dean of Student Affairs may impose a suspension upon the student. Suspensions are generally imposed as a sanction following serious infractions of the Code of Conduct or local law, as follows:
- Suspension Sanctions may be imposed as the result of either an informal disciplinary decision or a formal disciplinary hearing.
- Typically suspensions last from one full semester (or until the end of a semester already begun), to one full calendar year (three semesters).
- Suspended students will surrender their RUSM identification card.
- Suspended students may be on campus for the limited purposes of conducting the following consultations and determinations during the five semester days immediately following the issuance of the sanction:
- Suspended students should consult with Financial Aid regarding the status of their financial aid.
- Suspended students should also consult with Student Services and an attorney or other relevant agency regarding the status of their student visa.
- When on any campus for these or other administrative purposes, the student must be accompanied by a RUSM official to the office meeting.
Lifting of Suspension: Where conditions are placed upon a student’s return, those conditions must be certified as fully completed before the student will be eligible to register for a future semester. A suspended student, upon return to campus, will be on automatic disciplinary probation for either a designated period of time, identified at the time the original sanction is issued, or until graduation from RUSM.
Student File: A suspension will appear in the student’s educational file as Non-academic Suspension. Students are encouraged to document efforts taken to address a cited violation.
Financial Aid: Students are required to comply with all financial aid repayment obligations during a suspension.
NOTE: Failure to comply with the limitations of any suspension or disciplinary probation may result in extended suspension or permanent expulsion.
- Expulsion means permanent termination of student status. An expelled student is no longer permitted to attend RUSM or any of its affiliated institutions. A student expelled on disciplinary grounds is not eligible for re-admission.
Student File: A record of this disciplinary action will be placed in the student’s file.
Financial Aid: All financial aid repayment obligations apply.
Records of Sanctions
Any sanctions imposed are recorded in the student’s disciplinary file, and, where appropriate, also noted in permanent educational records. Information regarding probations, suspensions and expulsions are readily available to RUSM officials as needed to assure administrative compliance with those sanctions.
In the event a student withdraws or is dismissed prior to the disposition of a disciplinary action, documentation of a pending disciplinary case without final determination will be included as part of the student’s educational record.
Notifications during Suspensions/Expulsions
RUSM may be obligated to take into account the interest of the following parties when resolving a disciplinary matter:
- In those situations in which a student is not a citizen of the country where the study of medicine is occurring, RUSM may be obligated to inform immigration authorities of changes to a student’s enrollment status following an expulsion or suspension. A student who has been suspended or expelled may no longer be entitled to the status of a legal resident.
- Complainants and Victims. Regarding access to sensitive information during a disciplinary action, RUSM will balance the interests of privacy and other legal rights of the accused student with those of victims and complainants.
- Legal Authorities: RUSM may be obligated to disclose information as required to legal authorities, when disciplinary action uncovers evidence of conduct in violation of the law.
- State Medical Boards, ECFMG, FCVS, Government Agencies, and Employers: RUSM may be called upon to report unusual circumstances that may have occurred during the course of your medical education.
RUSM sanctions are separate from applicable civil or criminal laws. Violations of RUSM standards may also violate federal, state and local laws of the U.S., England and the Commonwealth of Dominica, or other appropriate governance body.
Violators will be subject to all appropriate penalties within the jurisdiction of the offense. Within the Commonwealth of Dominica jurisdiction, drug trafficking, which includes producing, supplying and using, is punishable by fines, deportation and/or imprisonment.
*Sanctions may be appealed by following the process outlined in the Appeals section of this Student Handbook.