Breaches of Discipline

Breaches of discipline can be either academic or non-academic.

Academic

  • Plagiarism: Passing the work of another person as one’s own
  • Conduct which may disrupt teaching, study, research or administration of the institute e.g. Noise pollution
  • Misuse of a student card, or impersonation, or activities involving false pretences or dishonesty.
  • Acts or omissions by students while outside the Institute engaged in field exercises work experience, placement or assignment, organised by the Institute, or while representing the Institute or any Club or Society, which would breach these regulations if committed within the Institute
  • Failure to comply with specific safety regulations in laboratories and workshop where the risk of injury to self or others is real.
  • Failure to comply with Health and Safety regulations.
  • Knowingly making false allegations about a fellow student or staff member

Non-Academic

  • Abuse of alcohol or other substances on the campus, including contravention of the regulations which may be made from time to time relating to the consumption of alcohol on the campus.
  • Conduct which is likely to interfere with any meeting, scholarly or other activity, (for example: sporting and social activities, within the Institute or organised by an Institute club or society.)
  • Forging of college documents.
  • Damaging, defacing, stealing or misappropriating any property of the Institute, or of a staff or student member, or of any club or society of the Institute, or occupying or using such property other than in accordance with the provision made by the Institute, club, or society.
  • Unwarranted interference with safety equipment, fire fighting equipment or alarm systems.
  • The use of any property of the Institute or of its clubs and societies, other than in accordance with the appropriate rules and regulations made by any authority of the Institute.
  • Bullying, or harassment, or sexual harassment of any student of the Institute by any student or member of staff.
  • Bullying, harassment, sexual harassment of any staff member of the Institute by any student.
  • Possession, or distribution, of illegal substances. This is a serious breach of the Institute regulations (any such alleged offence will be immediately reported to the civil authorities).
  • Abuse of the internet in any manner.
  • Misbehaviour outside the Institute which tends to damage its good name in the wider community or tends to cause it to come into disrepute.
  • Acts or omissions by students, in the student villages, which would breach these regulations if committed within the Institute.

 

Procedures for dealing with breaches of discipline

  1. All alleged breaches of this disciplinary code should be brought to the attention of the Institute’s Registrar.
  2. The Registrar, or his/her nominee, shall take steps as soon as it is practicable to inform the student of the alleged offence.
  3. The Registrar shall explain to the student his/her rights and will ask him/her to accept or reject the accusation and make any submission he/she deems appropriate.
  4. The Registrar may then make any of the following decisions:
    1. Dismiss the complaint
    2. In the case of plagiarism, refer the case to the Disciplinary Committee.
    3. Request full compensation where damage is done to Institute or private property.
    4. Refer the matter to the Disciplinary Committee. (Where the seriousness of the matter warrants it, the Registrar may impose a temporary suspension of the student from the Institute and/or the award to the student of a degree, diploma, certificate, scholarship, prize or other academic award and shall in such a case ensure that the Disciplinary Committee is convened without delay). All serious alleged breaches must be considered by the Disciplinary Committee.
    5. Suspected criminal offences shall be referred to the civil authorities and may also be dealt with under this Code.
    6. Where appropriate, any report arising from a matter investigated under sexual harassment, or bullying or harassment, shall be referred direct to the Disciplinary Committee.

 

Disciplinary Committee

  • The Disciplinary Committee shall be chaired by one of two designated executive members, nominated by the Academic Council.
  • The Disciplinary Committee shall be composed of four independent members from the Academic Council, having regard to conflict of interest and any previous involvement. The chairperson shall be one of the four members.
  • The President shall appoint all members of the Disciplinary Committee. If any member is involved in a disciplinary matter being considered, he / she shall disqualify him / herself from the Committee.
  • The Registrar shall not be a member of the Disciplinary Committee.
  • Decisions of the Committee shall be by simple majority, with the chairperson having a casting vote in event of a tie.
  • A written record of the proceedings shall be kept.
  • A quorum shall be three, which must include the chair.

 

Pre-Hearing

  • The Registrar shall prepare a summary containing details of the alleged offence and shall forward it to the Disciplinary Committee.
  • Notice of the hearing is to be sent by post or email to the student at least three clear days before the date of the hearing or handed personally to the said student at least three clear days in advance of the hearing.
  • The written notice shall contain a copy of the summary compiled by the Registrar and a note of any documents on the Institute proposes to rely at the hearing.
  • The student in entitled, within reason:
    • To call the attendance of witnesses for the purpose of the hearing
    • to inspect all relevant documents and to obtain copies of any documents
    • To be represented or accompanied at the hearing by a person of the student’s choice, such as the President of the Students’ Union, a college chaplain, student counsellor or a parent.
  • Where a dispute involves two students, both should be asked to make written submissions to the committee. The Registrar shall call witnesses, as appropriate and as deemed necessary.

 

Procedures

  • The Registrar, or his/her nominee, shall present the allegation to the Committee in the presence of the student.
  • If the student is not present, the hearing continues in his / her absence.
  • The student shall be asked to admit or deny the alleged offence.
  • If the student admits the substance of the charge or complaint to be true, it shall not be necessary for the Registrar or nominee to offer evidence, although both parties may make such submissions or addresses as they wish in relation to the penalty.
  • If the student denies the alleged charge, the subsequent procedure shall be fair and reasonable, having regard to the nature of the offence and the penalties laid down in these Regulations.

 

In particular the following practices shall be observed:

  1. All the evidence shall be heard in the presence of the student and of his/her representative and they shall be given the opportunity to cross-examine all witnesses or challenge any evidence called by the Registrar or his/her nominee.
  2. The student shall be given the opportunity of offering evidence and presenting witnesses and documentation relevant to the issues.
  3. All members of the committee are entitled to question the Registrar, or nominee, the respondent student(s) and/or any witnesses.
  4. The relevant Head of Department or School may be invited to make a submission.
  5. The Registrar or his/her nominee and the student or student’s representative(s) shall be given the opportunity to make submissions after evidence has been taken including representations in regard to the penalty.
  6. The Committee shall deliberate in the absence of the complainant, respondent student and/or representatives but shall be entitled to seek legal advice on any matter arising in the course of the proceedings if deemed necessary. The Committee may also seek further information before arriving at a decision.
  7. In the event that the Committee is required to reconvene at a future date, membership of the Committee shall remain the same as for the original hearing.

 

Disciplinary Committee Penalties

Where a student is found guilty of the offence or offences charged, the Committee is empowered to impose a penalty or a combination of penalties. The list of penalties listed is indicative and not absolute. The Disciplinary Committee has discretion to impose penalties other than those listed, as may be deemed appropriate.

 

Academic

  • A reprimand.
  • To decide that no mark shall be awarded for the module in question and, if deemed appropriate, all the examinations at that session. The Committee can decide that any repeat mark for the module, or module component, is capped at 40% and, at its discretion, that any repeat be treated as a second attempt. The Committee can also decide that the student would not be allowed re-sit for twelve months.
  • Exclusion from examinations for a specified period.
  • Deprivation of award of degree, diploma, certificate, scholarship, prize or other academic award in exceptional cases.
  • Suspension from the Institute for a stated period, or until such time as any requirements laid down by the Committee is honoured.
  • Expulsion from the Institute in exceptional circumstances where no other penalty is deemed appropriate, having regard to the gravity of the offence.

 

Non-Academic

  • A fine not exceeding €500.
  • An order for the reparation of any damage or loss caused either to the Institute or to any of its members or members of the public.
  • Exclusion from specific Institute facilities.
  • Suspension from the Institute for a stated period, or until such time as any Requirements lay down by the Committee, such as the restitution of damage or loss, are fulfilled or a specific requirement undertaken.
  • Expulsion from the Institute in exceptional circumstances where no other penalty is deemed appropriate, having regard to the gravity of the offence.
  • The Committee may, having regard to all the circumstances of the case decide not to impose any penalty.

 

Appeal

An appeal may be made to the Governing Body within two weeks from the date of issue of the decision of the Disciplinary Committee and the appellant shall submit in writing the grounds for appeal. The date of issue of the said decision shall be the date on which the decision is posted to the student’s address, as recorded on the Institute’s register of students, or the date on which the said decision is handed to the student. The appeal should be addressed to the Secretary/Financial Controller of the Institute.

 

Governing Body Appeals Committee

Committee is made up of:

  • Three members of the Governing Body
  • The President of the Students’ Union or his/her nominee
  • One neutral Head of College/School, or Head of Department
  • A member of the administrative staff may be appointed as a non-voting secretary to the Governing Body Appeals Committee.

The chairperson shall be a member of the Governing Body other than a staff member or student of the Institute and one of three nominated by it for that role.

Decisions of the Governing Body Appeals Committee shall be taken by a simple majority, with the chairperson having a casting vote in the event of a tie.

 

Procedures of Governing Body Appeals Committee

A copy of the appellant’s grounds of appeal including his/her submission, if any, shall be provided to the Committee.

  1. A copy of the relevant record of the Disciplinary Committee of the Academic Council shall be provided.
  2. The appellant, or appellant’s representative, and the Registrar, his/her nominee, or other Institute representative may make oral submissions to the Governing Body Appeals Committee.
  3. In exceptional cases, where in the opinion of the Governing Body Appeals Committee, the requirements of justice so dictate, the Committee may consider evidence which was not tendered at the hearing before the Disciplinary Committee but provided always that the intention to adduce such fresh evidence has been notified to the student and to the Registrar or other Institute representative, as the case may be, in sufficient time to enable the student or the Registrar or other Institute representative to consider properly the said fresh evidence and to deal therewith adequately at the hearing of the appeal.
  4. The Governing Body Appeals Committee may:
    1. Allow the appeal.
    2. Decrease or increase the penalty, or vary the nature of the penalty.
    3. Reject the appeal.

If any party to a dispute is dissatisfied with any decision of the Governing Body Appeals Committee, he/she shall have the right to appeal to the Ombudsman as per the Ombudsman (Amendment) Act 2012, within 12 months of the action occurring.

 

External appeal

If any party to a dispute is dissatisfied with any decision of the Governing Body Appeals Committee, he/she shall have the right to an external appeal to such independent person or persons as the President of the Institute shall nominate to hear the dispute. The nominee ideally should be acceptable to both parties. The member(s) of the Institute who referred the dispute to external appeal shall be bound by the decision of such independent person or persons, save that either party may avail of any legal remedy available.