A new survey reveals that the overwhelming majority of America’s top universities fail to provide students accused of serious misconduct with the most basic elements of fair procedure. A shocking 85 percent of top institutions maintain policies that receive a D or F grade for due process protections. Nearly 74 percent of institutions don’t even presume a student innocent until proven guilty.
Students accused of misconduct on campus are routinely required to defend themselves against serious accusations without even the most basic due process protections, according to a first-of-its-kind report from the Foundation for Individual Rights in Education.
“Spotlight on Due Process 2017” surveyed 53 of America’s top universities and found that a shocking 85 percent of schools receive a D or F grade for not ensuring due process rights. The schools were judged based on whether they guarantee those accused of campus misconduct 10 core elements of fair procedure, including adequate written notice of the allegations, the presumption of innocence, and the right to cross-examine all witnesses and accusers. FIRE awarded each institutional policy a grade based on how many of those elements it guaranteed.
“Most people will probably be surprised to learn that students are routinely expelled from college without so much as a hearing,” said Samantha Harris, FIRE’s vice president of policy research. “This report should be a huge red flag to students, parents, legislators, and the general public that an accused student’s academic and professional future often hinges on little more than the whim of college administrators.”