The primary goal of the Shepherd University Disciplinary Policy is always to pursue the full restoration of the involved student. With this goal in mind, the suspension of a student from Shepherd University is not a desired result, but may occur if a student shows an unwillingness to comply with or meet the objectives of a restorative action plan. Intermediate consequences are employed whenever possible to avoid suspension or expulsion. Each incident is reviewed on a case-by-case basis, with consideration of (1) the severity of the violation, (2) the context of the incident, (3) a history of prior misconduct, (4) the responsiveness of the accused to confrontation, and (5) the degree to which the individual displays genuine repentance.
Community members are expected to provide firsthand testimony that will bring greater clarity and understanding to the review. While painstaking efforts are taken to maintain consistency concerning each individual case, confidentiality often prevents the disclosure of details that contribute to a decision, occasionally resulting in unanswered questions regarding a disciplinary outcome. Uninformed community members are asked to extend the benefit of doubt to officials, knowing that prayerful consideration has been employed in the proceedings and the subsequent outcome.
The Dean of Students Affairs serves as the chief student conduct officer for the university and works with other administrators to resolve student disciplinary matters. The Student Handbook provides guidelines that are used to establish continuity for administering consequences for violating community standards.