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EIU Dean of Students

FAQs for Faculty

How do I handle a student that is disrupting the classroom?
If the student poses a threat to the safety of themselves or others, contact the University Police Department immediately and submit a report to the Dean of Students Office.

In other instances of disruption, address the student in a calm, courteous manner before it escalates. If it does not subside, ask to speak with the student after class. If the disruptive behavior continues, you may ask the student to leave your class.
What does the Internal Governing Policy regarding disruptive behavior in the classroom state?
If, in the judgment of the instructor, librarian, faculty assistant or graduate assistant, students act in such a manner as to disrupt the normal academic functions in a classroom, lab, studio, library or learning environment (including an online learning system), the following actions may be taken:
  1. If the student does not comply with a specific request to cease the disruptive behavior, the instructor, faculty assistant, graduate assistant, librarian, or other university employee may direct the student to leave the classroom, lab, studio, library or learning environment for that day. If the student refuses to leave, the employee may call the University Police for assistance.
  2. If the disruption is extreme or continuous and associated with a course enrollment, the instructor may request an administrative withdrawal of the student. Only with the approval of the chair and dean will an administrative withdrawal occur.
  3. Notification of a student's withdrawal from a course shall also be sent to the Vice President for Academic Affairs, Vice President for Student Affairs, Dean of Students, and the Office of the Registrar.
    1. The student may appeal this decision to the to the Vice President for Academic Affairs within ten (10) business days. Such appeals may be in the form of a letter or email describing why the student believes the withdrawal should be overturned.
  4. When a student has been withdrawn from a course, the instructor shall assign a grade according to University policy.
What are some examples of classroom disruption?*
"Classroom disruption" is defined as behavior that a reasonable person would view as substantially or repeatedly interferes with the overall academic learning and teaching environment. Examples may include persistent talking in class, verbal and/or physical threats, repeated cell phone use, etc. 
What should I do if a student has plagiarized or cheated on an assignment?

Notify the student of your suspicions and inform them that the matter has been submitted to the Dean of Students Office. Complete the Notification of Academic Misconduct Form at Be sure to include any supporting documentation. Click here for more information regarding how to handle academic dishonestly.

*Adapted from
Should I wait for a pattern of misbehavior to occur before contacting someone in the Dean of Students Office?
Not necessarily. We often believe that problematic behavior will cease on its own, but sometimes it may not. As you address smaller behavioral problems, keep notes, in case the problem becomes larger. This documented pattern allows our staff to respond more thoroughly to your concerns.
How is confidentiality handled in cases of classroom disruption?
Our office will pursue disciplinary action in cases of proven classroom misconduct or disruption. You should only discuss allegations against students with those people who have a role in the disciplinary process. When talking with others, including colleagues, refrain from sharing any personally identifiable information from the student's record (for example, grades or reports of misconduct.)
What do I do when a disruptive student claims their behavior is the result of a disability?
The fact that a student may have a disability should not inhibit you from notifying appropriate authorities about disruptive behavior. All students need to know they are expected to adhere to reasonable behavioral standards.

Federal agencies and the courts have made it clear that an institution of higher education does not have to tolerate or excuse violent, dangerous, or disruptive behavior, especially when that behavior interferes with the educational opportunities of other students. Colleges and universities may discipline a student with a disability for engaging in misconduct if it would impose the same discipline on a student without a disability.



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