These policies relate specifically to the Division of Student Life. In some cases, links to more complete university policies are provided as well.
Alcohol on Campus
The University of Tennessee, Knoxville allows lawful, responsible service, possession, and consumption of alcoholic beverages in compliance with University policies and federal, state, and local law.
No alcoholic beverages of any kind may be served, possessed, or consumed by any student under the legal drinking age, which is 21 years in the State of Tennessee.
Students 21 and over are permitted to possess and consume alcoholic beverages on University-controlled property at events where alcoholic beverages are sold to the public or at events registered with the University. They also are permitted to possess and consume alcoholic beverages off University-controlled property in compliance with federal, state, and local law.
Student organizations holding events at which alcoholic beverages are served, both on and off University-controlled property, must comply with the University’s Event Registration Procedure. Event registration forms must be submitted to the appropriate department office in the Division of Student Life (e.g., Office of Sorority & Fraternity Life, Center for Student Engagement, RecSports, or Multicultural Student Life). If approved, the event must fully comply with the Event Registration Procedure and all other specific requirements or restrictions on the service, possession, and consumption of alcoholic beverages.
For more information, see the full policy.
The university Student Code of Conduct defines hazing as: “Any intentional or reckless act, on or off University-controlled property, by one (1) student, acting alone or with others, which is directed against any other student, which endangers the mental or physical health, safety, or welfare of that student, or which induces or coerces a student to endanger their mental or physical health, safety, or welfare. Hazing does not include customary athletic events or similar contests or competitions and is limited to those actions taken and situations created in connection with initiation into or affiliation with any organization regardless of the student’s willingness to participate.”
Additionally, the university has a Hazing Prevention Team with resources to help identify, act on, and prevent hazing. Hazing can also be reported directly to Student Conduct & Community Standards. Hazing can affect people in many different ways including anger, confusion, betrayal, fear, resentment, embarrassment, humiliation, hopelessness, helplessness, anxiety, and/or depression. If you or someone you know is experiencing any of these feelings, contact 865-974-HELP or complete the HELP referral form. We must all be committed to ending hazing.
Arrests of students on campus may be made by police officers for violations of the law. The Vice Chancellor for Student Life or their designee is notified of the arrest and prepares on-campus charges when appropriate. The student who may have violated a criminal law and a university Standard of Conduct is subject to rulings by both jurisdictions.
Before interrogating a student, Law enforcement staff will advise the student of their rights. No form of intimidation or harassment will be used by University Police to coerce an admission of guilt. If the student waives their right to have counsel, the student may still stop answering questions or request an attorney at any time. A student will not be deprived of their liberty without arrest.
Campus Emergency Notification
The university employs a variety of methods to notify the campus community of dangerous situations and major interruptions in campus operations. The goal is to inform our community of an imminent threat so that students, faculty, and staff are able to take appropriate action for their specific situation. The campus community is asked to spread UT Alerts to others who may not be aware of the threat. Learn more about UT Alert.
UT Alert text messages and e-mails are the most commonly employed method. Texts are character-limited; therefore, they are very general and recipients must use judgment in choosing the appropriate action based on the information available. In general, be aware of your surroundings and know how to evacuate and shelter in buildings you frequent. Signs are posted in the buildings and guidance for specific emergencies is at the Emergency Management website. UT Alert e-mails will contain more guidance on how to respond.
Emergency Blue Phones and Neyland Stadium outdoor speakers are used for voice announcements in some emergencies.
UT Alerts are issued early in the emergency, often before details are available. Updates to the situation will be posted on the campus main web page at utk.edu when available.
All UT Alert activations are followed by an “all clear” message letting you know the situation has been stabilized. Protective actions should continue until the all clear is issued.
When an emergency significantly disrupts campus operations and schedules, inclement weather procedures apply and changes to campus schedules will be posted at utk.edu.
Timely Warning (Safety Notice)
A timely warning, also called a Safety Notice, is an email message used to notify the campus community in a timely manner of specific crimes occurring at specific locations.
Safety Notices may be issued to members of the affected campus community when the reported incident is a Clery Act crime which:
(1) is reported to UT Police Department, the Clery Coordinator, university campus security authority, or local law enforcement; (2) occurs on the university’s Clery geography (i.e., on campus, in or on a non-campus building or property in use or controlled by the university, or on public property immediately adjacent to the university); and (3) is considered by the institution to represent a serious or continuing threat to university students and employees, or their property.
A Safety Notice will contain pertinent information about the incident to enable persons to protect themselves or their property and aid in the prevention of similar crimes. Such information generally could include: (1) a brief description of the incident; (2) the general location, date, and time of the incident; (3) a description of the suspect, if a sufficient amount of detail is known about the suspect, which may include a composite drawing or photograph of the suspect; (4) a description of injuries or the use of force, if relevant; (5) a description of the incident’s possible connection to other incidents; (6) suggested measures that university students and employees can take to help protect themselves or their property; and (7) contact information and other instructions for the campus community. Safety Notices will not include information that, in the judgment of the Chief of UTPD or his/her designee, would compromise law enforcement efforts.
The decision whether to issue a Safety Notice is on a case-by-case basis in light of all of the facts known concerning the crime, such as the nature of the crime and whether university students and employees are at risk of becoming victims of a similar crime. Typically, the Clery Coordinator or his/her designee will follow a timely warning matrix checklist and may consult with other departments to help determine if a threat to campus safety exists. The apprehension of the alleged perpetrator typically removes the risk to university students and employees.
The Clery Coordinator typically does not issue a Safety Notice for an incident for which a report was filed more than five days after the alleged incident.
The Clery Act does not require the university to issue a Safety Notice for: (1) a Clery Act crime that occurs outside of the university Clery Geography; or (2) for a crime that is not a Clery Act crime, even if that crime occurs on the university’s Clery Geography. However, the Chief of UTPD or his/her designee may, in his/her discretion, issue a Safety Notice for a crime for which the Clery Act does not require the university to issue a Safety Notice.
Safety Notices are typically written by the Clery Coordinator and sent to the Chief of UTPD and the Public Safety Public Information Officer for review. Once finalized, the Safety Notice will be distributed to all UTK netid accounts (e.g., students, faculty, and staff) through a campus email marketing platform known as Emma. Safety Notices also may be distributed through the university’s Clery website, the UTK Clery social media account and UTPD’s social media accounts.
Safety Notices are not issued for every Clery crime as notices are issued on a case by case basis. However, even if a Safety Notice is not issued for a Clery crime, the incident will still be listed on the Daily Crime Log, added to our annual crime statistics, and reported to the Department of Education.
For more information on Timely Warnings (Safety Notices), visit the Clery FAQ page on the UTK Clery website.
Campus Free Speech
Under the Tennessee Campus Free Speech Protection Act, as implemented in Board Policy BT0021, the University is committed to maintaining its campus as a marketplace of ideas, and students have certain rights to speak, to assemble and demonstrate, and to distribute literature. To learn more visit https://freespeech.utk.edu/.
The University recognizes the need to provide students an avenue to advertise events and information for their various activities. The purpose of this policy on chalking is to balance the overall aesthetic appearance of campus with the need for student information sharing.
Students and student organizations may engage in chalking only on:
- Horizontal concrete or asphalt surfaces;
- Surfaces that are in open areas that reasonably can be expected to be naturally cleaned by rain (e.g., not including under overhangs or other areas that could block the surface from being exposed to rain);
- Surfaces on which chalking reasonably can be expected to done without jeopardizing the health or safety of the persons doing the chalking.
Notwithstanding the previous statement, areas in which chalking is not permitted include, without limitation:
- Vehicular streets;
- Horizontal surfaces covered by brick or stone;
- Pat Summitt Plaza;
- Torchbearer Plaza;
- the UT Seal at Johnson-Ward Pedestrian Mall
- the engraved “Torch” at the Haslam Building
- Covered sidewalks; and
- Any vertical surface (e.g., doors, buildings, walls, windows, sculptures, fountains, benches, picnic tables, signs, poles, newspaper boxes, columns, ash urns, bus stops, University-owned signage, emergency phones, railings, utility boxes, mailboxes, waste receptacles, planters, light poles, lampposts, trees)
Only water-soluble dry stick sidewalk chalk may be used (e.g., aerosol spray chalk, markers, paints (latex or oil-based), or similar products are prohibited). Chalking in areas not permitted is subject to immediate removal. Students and student organizations who violate this policy may be charged the cost of cleanup, referred to the Office of Student Conduct and Community Standards, and/or the violation may be reported to the police.
This policy does not apply to “The Rock.” Students and student organizations may use any kind of chalk or paint on The Rock.
Distressed Faculty and Staff
The 946-CARE referral line is designed to assist distressed faculty or staff who appear to be a threat to themselves or others or are distressing to other members of the campus community. The CARE line offers support through the Employee Assistance Program as well as other resources. If you encounter a staff or faculty member who appears to be in distress, contact 865-946-CARE (2273). During work hours (Monday through Friday, 8 a.m.–5 p.m.), 946-CARE is answered by trained professional Human Resources staff. After hours and on weekends and holidays, it is answered by the UT Police Department. The 946-CARE Response Team provides case management and threat assessment as needed.
Drug-Free Campus & Workplace
University policy prohibits the unlawful use, manufacture, possession, distribution, or dispensing of drugs (“controlled substances” as defined in the Controlled Substances Act, 21 U.S.C. 812) and alcohol on university property or during university activities. See the full policy.
All students are provided with a university e-mail account. The University of Tennessee uses the university-supplied e-mail account as an official means of communication with all students. Official communication can include, but is not limited to, information and notices about financial obligations, student conduct, course schedules, canceled courses, and financial aid. Students are responsible for activating, maintaining, and checking their university-supplied account and for all official university communication sent to that account. For more information about student e-mail accounts and responsibilities, and to set up your UT e-mail account, visit oit.utk.edu/email/.
When, in the judgment of the University’s Chancellor, conditions are such that it is impractical for the Student Conduct Board to function, the Vice Chancellor for Student Life may suspend these procedural regulations and appoint an ad hoc committee to hear a conduct matter. Any such ad hoc committee shall follow procedures that will insure that the Respondent is provided with due process. Additional information is outlined in Section XII of the Student Code of Conduct.
The Facilities Services Department is responsible for the basic operation and continual maintenance of the physical facilities of the Knoxville and agricultural campuses of the University of Tennessee. On the campuses, responsibilities of Facilities Services include building operation and maintenance and grounds landscaping and maintenance. A Facilities Services Guide has been prepared to inform all members of the university community of available services, policies related to maintenance and operation of the university’s facilities, and procedures by which facilities services may be obtained.
Freedom of Assembly and Demonstration
Because free inquiry and free expression are indispensable to the attainment of the goals of a university, the University of Tennessee encourages students to develop the capacity for critical judgment and to engage in an independent search for truth. The institution supports the rights of students and other members of the University of Tennessee community to express freely their views for or against actions and opinions with which they agree or disagree.
The University of Tennessee also recognizes a concurrent obligation to develop policies and procedures which safeguard this freedom of expression but which, at the same time, will maintain an atmosphere on the campus conducive to academic work, and will preserve the dignity and seriousness of university ceremonies and public exercises, and will respect the private rights of all individuals. The right of peaceable assembly is a guaranteed constitutional right and one which this institution does not intend to abrogate. Students, faculty, and staff are encouraged to report violations of policies associated with freedom of assembly and/or expression to the Office of Student Conduct and Community Standards or the Office of the Dean of Students. The following regulations are intended to enumerate the essential provisions necessary to reconcile freedom of assembly with responsibility in any campus meeting conducted for the purpose of expressing opinions of the participants.
- Student gatherings may be conducted in areas which are generally available to the public, provided such gatherings:
A. Are conducted in an orderly and peaceful manner.
B. In no way obstruct vehicular or pedestrian traffic.
C. Do not interfere with classes, scheduled meetings, events, and ceremonies or with other essential processes of the university.
D. If inside a building, are held in an assigned meeting room.
- Only meetings which have been approved in advance by the proper office may be held:
A. Within university buildings.
B. Within university stadia.
C. Adjacent to residential or academic facilities of the campus.
- Meetings which would impose an unusual demand upon staff or facilities must have approval regardless of where they are held on campus.
Violations of the above university policy will result in appropriate disciplinary action.
Incidents of Bias
UT is committed to maintaining a safe environment grounded in civility and respect for all members within the campus community. The Office of the Dean of Students, in conjunction with other offices on campus, assists students and student groups in resolving incidents of bias.
Bias-related incident: Any act of bigotry, harassment, intimidation, coercion, or damage to property by known or unknown perpetrators that occurs on campus or within an area that impacts the UT community and which an individual can reasonably conclude is directed at a member or a group of the UT community due to that individual’s or group’s actual or perceived age, color, creed, disability, ethnicity, gender, gender identity or expression, marital status, national origin, race, religion, sexual orientation, veteran status, or any combination of these or related factors.
Some examples of bias-related incidents include, but are not limited to:
- Defacement and vandalism
- Coercion or intimidation
- Racial epithets written on someone’s dry-erase board
- Racially themed parties
- Using a racial, ethnic, or other slur in a joke to refer to or identify someone
- Threats, destruction of personal property, harassment, or threatening telephone calls or electronic mail
- Ridiculing a person’s language or accent
- Insulting a person’s traditional; manner of dress
- Hate messages and symbols
- Language and imagery objectifying women
- Verbal, physical, or online harassment (e.g. text, social media)
- Damage to property via written slur, graffiti, or hate symbol
Bias/hate crime: Any criminal offense or attempted criminal offense that one could reasonably and prudently conclude is motivated, in whole or in part, by the alleged offender’s bias against an individual’s actual or perceived age, ancestry or ethnicity, color, creed, disability, gender, gender identity or expression, height, immigration or citizenship status, marital status, national origin, race, religion, religious practice, sexual orientation, socioeconomic status, or weight.
For more information about the bias protocol and procedures, go to bias.utk.edu.
UT remains open except in the most severe weather conditions. Decisions about campus operations are made based on conditions on campus and major transportation routes. It is anticipated that the campus community shall also monitor local conditions to assess the travel risk. When a decision to close or delay is made, information is distributed to the campus community via UTAlert, shared with local media, and posted on the university website. For more information, see the full policy.
The following policy applies to literature distribution by University of Tennessee students inside and outside campus buildings.
The distribution of leaflets and handbills and the circulation of petitions on campus shall be free and unhindered. Any material to be distributed should be in accordance with the applicable local, state, and federal laws.
Special racks and bulletin boards are provided at numerous places on the campus and may be used by members of the university community. Litter produced by an individual or group as a result of distributing information is the responsibility of the individual or group. Continued littering will result in appropriate judicial action. Traffic and specialized usage of certain facilities dictate the following specialized guidelines:
Hand Billing: Students, faculty, and/or staff wishing to distribute literature in the outdoor areas of campus are able to do so freely, subject to time, place, and manner restrictions. Individual buildings on campus may have policies restricting the distribution of literature in interior spaces. Places such as Pedestrian Walkway is an area where students, faculty, and/or staff are able to distribute literature freely (e.g., to pass out literature, a university affiliated group is not required to submit an Event/Solicitation Form). An Event/Solicitation Form must be submitted if the person or group is distributing materials (other than literature) or selling materials.
In the classroom: Generally not permitted; special requests should be presented to the professor using the classroom.
In academic buildings: Requests should be presented to the academic officer in charge of the facility. A list of building managers can be found on the Center for Student Engagement website under Solicitation and Event Requests.
In RecSports facilities: Requests should be presented to the Administrative Office (upper level) in the TRECS facility for approval by the RecSports Marketing Coordinator . Requests for the TRECS, Student Aquatic Center, , Intramural Field, HPER Building, and surrounding grounds must be submitted to this location for approval.
In residence halls: Distribution is limited to the main bulletin board. Distribution may not take place in the living areas of the residence hall unless the material is posted or distributed by a hall staff member. Postal boxes may not be used unless the material is considered US mail. For special pamphlet and leaflet distribution in lobby areas, approval of Hall Director may be required.
In the Student Union: Posting of any item on painted surfaces, doors, or windows is prohibited. Items posted in violation of this policy will be removed, and the individual posting them will be assessed any costs of removal or repair of damage. Digital display advertising is available. For more information, visit the Student Union Website.
In campus outdoor areas: Posting of information is allowed only on general bulletin boards. Posting of any item on painted surfaces, doors, or windows is prohibited. Items posted in violation of this policy will be removed, and the individual posting them will be assessed any costs of removal or repair of damage.
While the responsibility for class attendance and achievement rests with the student, it is recognized that there are occasions in which the student is unable, because of health reasons, to attend scheduled classes. The policy of the Student Health Service is not to provide medical excuses. Explanations of absence and satisfactory arrangements for academic makeup can be accomplished through communication between the student and the professor.
(EEO/AA Statement/Non-Discrimination Statement)
All qualified applicants will receive equal consideration for employment and admission without regard to race, color, national origin, religion, sex, pregnancy, marital status, sexual orientation, gender identity, age, physical or mental disability, genetic information, veteran status, and parental status, or any other characteristic protected by federal or state law. In accordance with the requirements of Title VI of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972, Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973, and the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990, the University of Tennessee affirmatively states that it does not discriminate on the basis of race, sex, or disability in its education programs and activities, and this policy extends to employment by the university. Inquiries and charges of violation of Title VI (race, color, and national origin), Title IX (sex), Section 504 (disability), the ADA (disability), the Age Discrimination in Employment Act (age), sexual orientation, or veteran status should be directed to the Office of Equity and Diversity, 1840 Melrose Avenue, Knoxville, TN 37996-3560, telephone 865-974-2498. Requests for accommodation of a disability should be directed to the ADA Coordinator at the Office of Equity and Diversity.
For additional information, visit the Office of Equity and Diversity website.
The use of University property by non-affiliated persons for free expression activities is governed by the Rules of the University of Tennessee, Chapter 1720-01-12. A student organization may invite a non-affiliated person to participate in the student organization’s free expression activities, subject to the terms of the invitation and subject to time, place, and manner restrictions.
In accordance with state law, the University of Tennessee notifies the parent or legal guardian of any student under the age of twenty-one who is found to be in violation of federal, state, or local law or university policy related to the use, possession, or distribution of drugs and/or alcohol. For additional information, visit the Student Conduct and Community Standards website.
Preferred First Name
Beginning Fall 2017 any student at the University of Tennessee, Knoxville can request to use a preferred first name. A preferred first name is a name that you wish to be known by or identified by on campus. No legal documentation needs to be provided to select a preferred first name.
Preferred names are limited to alphabetical characters, apostrophes, periods, and hyphens. The University of Tennessee, Knoxville reserves the right to deny a preferred first name if it contains inappropriate or offensive language, or is being used for misrepresentation.
Once the preferred first name has been established, the student is responsible for confirming with their instructors the existence and use of the preferred first name on respective class rosters.
Official, external communications such as financial aid reporting, official transcripts, billing and similar documents will continue to display an individual’s legal name. The name on your FASFA (application for federal financial aid) must match the legal name in the student information system in order for aid to be processed.
The link to change preferred first name will be on the One Stop website, https://onestop.utk.edu/contact-updates/, and on the front page of MyUTK.
Requests to Report to an Administrative Office
Such requests, including a summons to any Student Conduct hearing, must be promptly carried out. When the request to report at a specific date conflicts with a student’s schedule, notification of class absence for such person will be issued by the Dean of Students or their designee.
Anyone who observes a safety or health hazard or a near miss should contact Environmental Health and Safety. Accidents involving visitors or students should be documented using an incident report form that is available from the Risk Management Office. Environmental Health and Safety can be contacted by telephone at 865-974-5084, by e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org or in writing at Environmental Health and Safety, 414 East Stadium Hall, 1425 Tee Martin Drive, Knoxville, TN 37996-3503. For more information on safety policies, procedures, and plans, contact Environmental Health and Safety or visit the department’s website.
In accordance with the Tennessee College and University Security Information Act of 1989 and the Jeanne Clery Disclosure of Campus Security Policy and Crime Statistics Act, the University of Tennessee has prepared an annual security and fire safety report containing campus security policies and procedures, data on campus crimes, and other related information. The report for the Knoxville campus and additional information, is available at the university’s Clery Act website. Additionally, a free printed copy of this report may be obtained by any student, employee, or applicant for admission or employment from the Office of the Dean of Students, 413 Student Services Building, or at the UT Police Department, 1101 Cumberland Avenue.
Sexual Misconduct, Relationship Violence, Stalking, & Retaliation
The university has adopted a policy that prohibits sexual harassment (including sexual assault, dating violence, domestic violence and stalking), sexual exploitation, and retaliation. The policy applies to students, faculty, and staff. The policy applies to students, faculty, and staff. The policy (link to updated policy) and related processes are available, along with additional information on resources, supports, reporting options, and related issues, found on the Office of Title IX website.
The Annual Security and Fire Safety Report
The University of Tennessee, Knoxville, is committed to the safety and security of the campus community. As required by the Jeanne Clery Disclosure of Campus Security Policy and Campus Crime Statistics Act (Clery Act), the university releases an annual report addressing a wide range of safety information and security procedures. The Annual Security and Fire Safety Reports for the past three years are available on the university’s Clery web page.
These reports contain information on crime reporting, crime prevention and awareness programming, fire safety, a university police overview, emergency response, disciplinary procedures, and other matters of importance related to security and safety on campus. The report also contains statistics for reported crimes that occurred on campus, in certain off-campus buildings or property owned or controlled by the university, and on public property within or immediately adjacent to and accessible from the campus.
If you would like a copy of the Annual Security and Fire Safety Report, you may download the document from the Clery website, request a hard copy from the UT Police Department at 1101 Cumberland Avenue, or have a hard copy mailed to you by emailing email@example.com.
The University of Tennessee, Knoxville is a smoke-free campus. Smoking is prohibited in and on all University Property, which includes all outdoor spaces. This prohibition includes smoking in private vehicles when parked or operated on University Property. Any university student who is found to have violated the university’s policy on smoking may be subject to discipline in accordance with campus procedures. For more information, please reference the full policy.
A university social activity is defined as any social function planned and/or attended by students. The best guide for planning social activities is common sense and mature judgment. Student organizations sponsoring a social function are responsible for the conduct of members as well as nonmembers. Student organization officers are encouraged to call upon advisors and members of the university staff for assistance in planning and operating their activities.
Resources for planning campus activities is available on the Center for Student Engagement website.
Both commercial and noncommercial solicitations are prohibited in nonpublic areas of the university. Solicitations and sales in public areas of the university are restricted to invitees, registered organizations, and faculty, staff, and students of the university and are subject to reasonable restrictions as to time, place, and manner.
As it pertains to student organizations, “solicitation” is defined as the seeking of funds or support by a registered student organization from sources other than its members, including the procurement of supplies and other forms of support and the selling and distribution of items, materials, or products and services. Registered student organizations may be authorized to solicit on campus as long as such solicitation is consistent with the aims of the organization and is not for the personal benefit of members. In interpreting the aims or purposes of the registered student organization, the statement in its constitution will be followed.
Requests for approval of any form of solicitation must be made online with the Center for Student Engagement no later than seven working days preceding the date of the proposed date of the activity. Prior to approval by the Center for Student Engagement, the requesting organization must make appropriate arrangements and scheduling with the administrative office of the facility to be used. Content approval for the project is not a guarantee of the availability of the space. The Center for Student Engagement will assist the organization in scheduling and coordinating outdoor space with the appropriate department, office, or division. Ordinarily, the academic buildings and the nonpublic areas of the residence halls will not be used for purposes of solicitation.
Information on solicitation, information distribution, and associated university and state policies area available on the Center for Student Engagement website under Solicitation and Event Requests.
When the death of any student occurs, whether on or off campus, the Office of the Vice Chancellor for Student Life coordinates the university’s response. The goal is to provide timely, caring assistance to the family, survivors, and campus community.
To make necessary notifications to provide support, if you are contacted regarding a student’s passing please notify the Office of the Vice Chancellor for Student Life at 865-974-7449. The Vice Chancellor for Student Life will notify appropriate university offices and officials and ensure that appropriate needs are being addressed to the family of the deceased student.
Student Programs and Services Fee
The Student Programs and Services Fee was created in accordance with the Board of Trustees’ Policy on a Student Programs and Services Fee, adopted on June 19, 2014. The SPSF replaced the former University Programs and Services Fee.
The purpose of the SPSF is to advance the university’s educational mission by funding noninstructional services, activities, programs, and facilities that promote student satisfaction and retention or promote the intellectual, physical, emotional, social, cultural, or leadership development of students.
To learn more and to read the SPSF Fee, please visit the SPSF website.
Student Records and Data/FERPA
The university’s policy regarding the use and release of student records is governed by Public Law 93-380, the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act, (FERPA), and the Tennessee Public Records Act. Under the terms of those laws, the university and its employees are charged with protecting the confidentiality of the educational records of its prospective, current, and former students. See the full policy and additional information at UT’s FERPA website.
Termination of Financial Assistance
(a) Coverage: The provisions of this policy apply to student financial assistance except graduate assistantships and fellowships.
(b) Purpose: The purpose of this policy is to provide procedures for the termination of student financial assistance.
(a) Athletic Grant-in-aid: A contract for financial assistance which has been approved by the Advisory Committee on Student Financial Aid and awarded in accordance with the provisions of the Constitution and By-Laws of the Southeastern Conference and the National Collegiate Athletic Association.
(b) Financial Aid: Assistance awarded to a student in one (1) of the following categories: federal work-study, scholarships (including graduate), loans, and grants.
(a) Athletic Grant-in-Aid
i. Whenever the Athletic Department proposes that a student’s financial assistance be terminated within the contract period, the student shall be notified in writing by the Director of Financial Aid of the proposed termination. The notice shall contain the reasons for termination, the student’s right to a hearing in accordance with the contested case provision of the Administrative Procedures Act or in accordance with the provisions hereinafter provided.
ii. Whenever athletic financial aid is not to be renewed at the end of the contract period, the student shall be notified of his/her right to a hearing, in accordance with the requirements of the Constitution of the National Collegiate Athletic Association, before the Advisory Committee on Student Financial Aid.
(b) Financial Aid. Whenever financial aid is to be modified or terminated, the student shall be notified of the reasons for the proposed modification or termination and of the right to appeal by contacting the Director of Financial Aid. If the Director of Financial Aid is unable to amiably resolve the student’s appeal, it shall proceed as follows:
i. If the appeal concerns interpretation of policy, the student shall be afforded the right of further appeal through the Vice Provost for Enrollment Management and the Vice Chancellor for Academic Affairs to the Chancellor.
ii. If the appeal concerns a disputed question of fact, the student shall be advised of the right to a hearing before the Advisory Committee on Student Financial Aid or in accordance with the Administrative Procedures Act.
(4) Request for a Hearing:
The request for a hearing together with his/her election of an Administrative Procedures hearing or one under this policy shall be made in writing to the Director of Financial Aid within five (5) calendar days of receipt of the notice of proposed termination.
(a) If the student elects a hearing under the provision of the Administrative Procedures Act, the Director of Financial Aid shall forward the file to the Provost for the appointment of a hearing officer.
(b) If the student elects a hearing under this policy statement, the Director of Financial Aid shall immediately forward the request for a hearing together with a copy of the complete file to the Chairperson of the Advisory Committee on Student Financial Aid.
(5) Hearing Committee:
At the beginning of each semester, the Chairperson of the Advisory Committee on Student Financial Aid shall appoint a hearing subcommittee of not less than three (3) persons who shall be charged with the responsibility of hearing all appeals during that semester.
(6) Responsibility of the Hearing Committee:
It shall be the responsibility of the hearing committee to:
(a) Conduct a hearing within ten (10) business days of the student’s request for said hearing. When the University is not in session, the hearing shall be held as soon as reasonably possible.
(b) Make findings of fact and a determination as to the termination of financial aid.
(c) Notify the student as soon as possible of the committee’s decision.
(d) Notify the student of his/her right to appeal, as indicated below.
(7) Hearing Procedures:
Students who are entitled to a hearing as above provided are entitled to the following procedural rights:
(a) A written notice of the alleged grounds for termination of financial assistance.
(b) To reasonable notice of the time and place of the requested hearing.
(c) The assistance of a representative of his/her choice. If the student requesting a hearing desires to be represented by an attorney, the University must be notified by the student at least three (3) days prior to the scheduled hearing.
(d) To present the testimony of witnesses and other evidence.
(e) To confront and cross-examine all adverse witnesses.
(a) Hearing Committee Decision. The student may appeal the decision of the hearing committee in accordance with Article V, Section 7 of the University By-Laws. An appeal must be submitted in writing to the Chancellor within five (5) business days.
(b) Administrative Procedures Act. The decision of the Chancellor is final in all cases heard under the contested case provision of the Administrative Procedures Act. Further appeal shall be in accordance with the provisions of that Act.
Termination of Student Employees
(a) The provisions of this policy statement apply to all student employees except those on federal work-study (see policy statement on termination of financial assistance).
(b) The purpose of this statement is to provide procedures for the termination of student employees.
(a) Student Employee. An employee who is classified as a “student employee” by the payroll section of the Office of the Treasurer, University of Tennessee.
(b) Contract Employee. A student employee who has a written contract with the University providing employment for a specified period of time.
(c) Non-Contract Employee. A student not employed for a specified period of time, whose employment is terminable at the will of the University irrespective of the quality of the performance of the student.
(d) Gross Misconduct. Theft or dishonesty, gross insubordination, destruction of University property, falsification of records, acts of moral turpitude, reporting to duty under the influence of intoxicants, using or selling illicit drugs on University premises, disorderly conduct, provoking a fight, and such other similar acts involving intolerable behavior by the employee.
(e) Grounds for Termination of Contract Employees. A contract employee may be terminated during the term of his or her employment for gross misconduct or inadequate job performance.
(3) Non-Contract Employee:
(a) Notice. Whenever, in the opinion of the supervisor, a non-contract employee should be terminated, he/she shall be notified in writing setting forth the date of termination. If the reason for termination involves gross misconduct, the supervisor will, prior to termination, consult with the Vice Chancellor having administrative responsibility for the employee.
(b) Request for a Hearing: A non-contract employee may appeal his or her termination through the appropriate Dean/Director and Vice Chancellor to the Chancellor. No right to a hearing accompanies this right of appeal.
(4) Contract Employee:
(a) Notice: Whenever a supervisor is of the opinion that a contract employee should be terminated, he/she shall notify the appropriate Vice Chancellor. The Vice Chancellor shall notify the employee in writing of the reasons for his/her immediate termination or suspension, as appropriate, and of his/her right to request a hearing in accordance with the Administrative Procedures Act (T.C.A. § 4-5-301, et seq.) or as hereinafter provided.
(b) Request for a Hearing: The request of a contract employee for a hearing together with his/her election of an Administrative Procedures Act hearing or one under this policy statement shall be forwarded in writing within five (5) business days of the notice of termination to the Vice Chancellor having administrative responsibility for the employee.
- If the employee elects a hearing under the provisions of the Administrative Procedures Act, the Vice Chancellor shall forward the file to the Chancellor for the appointment of a hearing officer.
- If the employee elects a hearing under this policy statement, the Vice Chancellor shall immediately thereafter establish a three member hearing committee.
Responsibility of the Hearing Committee (Contract Employees)
It shall be the responsibility of the hearing committee to:
(a) Conduct a hearing within ten (10) business days of the employee’s request for said hearing;
(b) Make findings of fact and recommendations to the appropriate Vice Chancellor;
(c) Notify the employee within five (5) business days after the hearing of the committee’s findings and recommendations; and
(d) Prepare and forward as soon as it is practicable a written report of the hearing to the appropriate Vice Chancellor.
Employees who are entitled to a hearing as provided above are entitled to the following procedural rights:
(a) A written account of the alleged misconduct or grounds for inadequate work performance;
(b) Reasonable notice of the time and place of the requested hearing;
(c) The assistance of a representative of his/her choice; if the employee requesting a hearing desires to be represented by an attorney, the appropriate Vice Chancellor must be notified by the employee at least three (3) days prior to the scheduled hearing;
(d) To present all pertinent evidence including witnesses; and
(e) To confront and cross-examine all adverse witnesses.
Decision and Appeal
(a) Hearing Committee. The appropriate Vice Chancellor shall within five (5) business days after receipt of findings and recommendations of the hearing committee notify the employee in writing of his/her decision and of the employee’s right to appeal as provided by Article 5, Section 7 of the University By-Laws. An employee’s appeal must be submitted in writing to the Chancellor within ten (10) business days after receipt of the decision.
(b) Administrative Procedures Act. The decision of the Chancellor is final in all cases heard under the contested case provision of the Administrative Procedures Act. Further appeal shall be in accordance with the provisions of that Act.
Underage Drinking and Associated Responsibilities
Tennessee law (Tenn. Code Ann. § 57-3-412) prohibits any resident, owner, or occupant of property (the social host) from allowing an underage adult to consume alcohol on such property. The legislation defines “underage adults” as those individuals who are at least eighteen years of age but less than twenty-one years of age. A resident may face criminal prosecution and university sanction if an underage adult consumes alcohol on his or her property which includes, but is not limited to, a residence hall room or apartment, fraternity- or sorority-affiliated housing, an off-campus house or apartment, or any other property owned or occupied by the individual.
Tennessee Uniform Administrative Procedures Act (APA)
The university, with the assistance and advice of students, employees and other members of the university community, has developed procedures for handling a variety of situations involving student rights and privileges. Examples of these procedures, including opportunities for a hearing, are included in the student handbook and the Student Code of Conduct. The university believes that these procedures well serve the interests of students in obtaining full and fair hearings with minimum expense, complexity, and inconvenience.
An alternative to these procedures, however, is the “Uniform Administrative Procedures Act,” (Tenn. Code Ann. § 4-5-101). This Act provides that any party whose legal rights, duties or privileges are required by any statute or constitutional provision to be determined after an opportunity for a hearing, shall be afforded an opportunity for such a hearing in accordance with the provisions of the Act. Whenever a student entitled to a hearing under the Act requests a hearing, that hearing will be conducted in accordance with the provisions of the “contested cases” section of the Act. If a student elects to invoke the hearing procedures of the Act, the student has no right to have the same matter heard through the university’s procedures.
A student entitled to a hearing under the Act may waive the right to proceed under the Act and elect to proceed under the university’s procedures. Appropriate waiver forms are available to students desiring to proceed under the university’s procedures. Contact the Office of Student Conduct and Community Standards, 405 Student Services Building.
Use of University Property & Use for Free Expression Activities
Certain rules on the use of university property, such as a rule on the use of university property for free expression activities, have been promulgated by the university in accordance with the rulemaking provisions of the Tennessee Uniform Administrative Procedures Act (TUAPA). For more information, see the complete rules on the Tennessee secretary of state website. The rules promulgated under the TUAPA supersede any conflicting provisions in this website.
Each student at the university is required to obtain and carry at all times an official university identification card (physical card or mobileID). This card (including mobileID) is used in nearly all aspects of campus life to obtain services including access to university housing and meals, attending sporting events, checking out library books, admission to events sponsored by the university or student organizations, and more. The card is non-transferable and may not be duplicated. Students are responsible for the safekeeping of this card and must immediately report it lost or stolen if the card is not in their possession. It must be shown when requested by any university official. Learn more at the VolCard Office website.
Withdrawal or Temporary Suspension Due to Mental or Physical Problems
When a student is unable to effectively pursue his/her academic work, or when his/her behavior is disruptive to the normal educational processes of the university or constitutes a threat to members of the university community due to alcoholism, drug addiction, mental instability or other physical or psychologically incapacitating illness or condition, he/she may be withdrawn or temporarily suspended from the university as hereinafter provided.
A student may be withdrawn from the university only after an evaluation of his/her mental and physical condition by a panel of at least three persons appointed by the vice chancellor for student life. The student shall be notified of the reasons for the evaluation and given an opportunity to present evidence to the committee. The committee’s findings and recommendations shall be forwarded to the vice chancellor, who will notify the student in writing of his/her decision. A student withdrawn under this procedure shall not be readmitted to the university without the approval of the vice chancellor. When a student is withdrawn from the university, he/she may be assigned a grade of W or I whichever is deemed appropriate by the faculty member involved.
Whenever a student, because of his/her mental or physical condition, constitutes a danger to persons or property, or when his/her behavior is disruptive to the normal educational processes of the university, he/she may be suspended from the university, for a reasonable period of time, by the vice chancellor for student life or the dean of students. If the university does not withdraw the student in accordance with the procedures outlined above, he/she may return to the university at the end of the suspension period. When a student is temporarily suspended from the university, he/she may be assigned a grade of W or I, whichever is deemed appropriate by the faculty member involved.