The Committee on Discipline (COD) has the authority to resolve complaints against former students and former student organizations. Due to the rarity of such cases, the retroactive and permanent nature of the sanction, and the special circumstances surrounding each such case, the COD has established the following special procedures to respond to such complaints.
- The Chair of the COD will conduct an initial review of each complaint to determine whether, based on the allegations presented on the face of the complaint, it is appropriate to move forward with an internal investigation or a COD resolution of the case.
a. In order to be eligible for internal investigation or COD resolution, a complaint against a former student or student organization must:
- Allege conduct that occurred while the respondent was a student or a registered or recognized student organization and that was against MIT policy at the time of the alleged conduct.
- Allege conduct that would have resulted in a consideration of expulsion if the complaint had been submitted while the respondent was a student, or that would have resulted in the consideration of permanent loss of recognition for a student organization.
- Not allege misconduct of which the COD had sufficient knowledge in time for the COD to have a reasonable opportunity to adjudicate prior to the student’s graduation. The Chair of COD can waive this limitation upon his or her determination that good cause exists to do so.
- Have occurred within the following time frame:
- For allegations of academic misconduct, there shall be no time limit.
- For allegations of all other misconduct, the COD will generally not consider complaints that allege misconduct that occurred more than two years prior to the date the complaint is made. The Chair may waive this limitation upon a petition from the complainant documenting that good cause exists to do so.
- Have a compelling and current nexus to MIT (this can include, without limitation, any ongoing status of the respondent at MIT; MIT’s need to maintain a safe campus; the ongoing status of the complainant, witnesses, or other people involved in the case at the Institute; MIT’s need to maintain integrity in academic programs; the need to correct ongoing misconduct; and other similar criteria) or in the judgment of the COD Chair raise an issue of significant importance to the Institute. In determining this point, the Chair shall consider the case holistically and shall have wide discretion.
- As a result of this initial review, the Chair can choose to:
- Request an internal investigation and, at the conclusion of the investigation, conduct an adjudication of the case per normal COD Rules.
- Determine that the case will not move forward.
- The Chair’s decision on whether to permit a complaint against a former student or student organization to be investigated or resolved by COD is final and not subject to appeal.
- If the preceding conditions are met and the COD finds a graduate responsible for misconduct occurring prior to the individual graduating from MIT, the COD can revoke the individual’s degree. It is expected that the sanction of degree revocation will be reserved for the most serious policy violations.
- Whether or not the COD process leads to a sanction of degree revocation, the COD has the authority to implement sanctions short of degree revocation if the preceding conditions are met and it finds a graduate responsible for misconduct that occurred while the graduate was a student. Such sanctions include without limitation: temporarily or permanently banning a graduate from being on campus, participating in Institute-sponsored programs, or returning to MIT in the future for further study or employment; transcript notation of disciplinary action; restitution; and any other sanctions that the COD determines are appropriate.
- All other components of the COD Rules and Regulations that are not specifically modified by this section, including the appeal options, remain in effect and will be applied to a case of degree revocation.