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A unit of the University System of Georgia

Academic Information

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College Year

The college year is comprised of three standard terms of instruction, Fall Semester, Spring Semester, and Summer Semester. Fall and Spring Semesters are approximately fifteen weeks in length. Summer Semester consists of periods of instruction which begin after the completion of the Spring Semester and end prior to the start of the Fall Semester. Students may enter at the beginning of any semester.

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Unit of Credit

Gordon State College (GSC) adheres to accepted policies and procedures for determining the credit hours awarded for courses and the credit hours required to complete degree programs. As a unit of the Board of Regents of the University System of Georgia (BOR), GSC adheres to the BOR definition of semester hours, which stipulates that, “A minimum of 750 minutes of instruction or equivalent is required for each semester credit hour.” [Board of Regents of the University System of Georgia (BOR) Policy Manual Section 3.4.1] Each credit course offered by Gordon State College is designated in this catalog by a three digit code to indicate the number of semester hours associated with the course. For example, ENGL 1101 is designated with the code (3-0-3). The first digit (3-0-3) indicates the number of semester hours per week the course meets in a lecture; the second digit (3-0-3) indicates the number of semester hours per week the course meets in a laboratory or practicum setting; and the third digit (3-0-3) indicates the total number of semester hours the course receives. Laboratory science courses, except biology, are designated in this catalog with the letter K (e.g., Principles of Chemistry I is designated CHEM 1211K). Laboratory sections for biology courses are designated in course schedules with the letter L (e.g., Principles of Biology I Lab is designated as BIOL 1107L in course schedules).

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Class Load

A student scheduling 12 or more semester hours of credit is classified by the College as a full-time student. This classification given by the College does not necessarily coincide with Selective Service, Veterans Administration, Financial Aid, or Gordon State College Foundation Scholarship classifications.

The standard class load for full-time students is 16 hours per semester, which includes one course in physical education. Most transfer programs of study require students to complete 64 semester hours of course work. Therefore, students must complete an average of 16 semester hours of course work per semester to complete degree requirements in two years.

Students may not register for more than 18 semester hours in any given Fall or Spring semester without written approval from their advisor and the Department Head or School Dean. The maximum number of hours a student may take for the summer is 11 hours. Students who need to take more than 11 hours must have written approval from the academic advisor and the advisor’s Department Head or Dean.

In general, a student must have been at Gordon State for at least two semesters and have achieved a cumulative grade point average of 3.0 before requesting an overload of 19 or more semester hours for Fall or Spring semester or 12 or more hours during the summer semester. To request an overload, students must complete a Student Petition. Learning Support students may not register for more than 18 semester hours in Fall and Spring semesters. Overloads will not be approved.

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Academic Advisement

Upon entering the College, each student is assigned an advisor who will assist the student in selecting classes appropriate to that student’s program of study. Students are responsible, however, for knowing and fulfilling the graduation requirements of the College and the requirements within their programs of study.

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Class Schedule

Gordon State offers both daytime and evening classes along with hybrid and online formats. Daytime classes typically meet two days a week, three days a week or four days a week. Evening classes meet twice a week or once a week. Prior to the beginning of each semester, Class Schedules showing course offerings for that semester will be made available to students on the Gordon State College website at www.gordonstate.edu.

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Registration

Registration procedures are posted on the Gordon State College website at www.gordonstate.edu each semester under Registration Information. Students have the responsibility to see that they do not have conflicting classes and to report to the courses and sections indicated on their schedule forms.

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Late Registration

Late registration procedures are posted on the Gordon State College website at www.gordonstate.edu each semester under Registration Information. If a student cannot register during the official registration period, late registration will be permitted during the official late registration period posted under Registration Information. Although students may be allowed to register for classes during late registration after classes have already begun, they should be aware that missing classes may negatively impact their ability to complete all course requirements successfully.

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Change of Schedule—Drop-Add

After classes begin each semester, students may alter their schedules during the official drop-add period by dropping and adding courses. The procedures for drop-add and the dates for the official drop-add period are posted on the Gordon State College website at www.gordonstate.edu each semester under Registration Information.

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Dropping Courses

The student’s class schedule which is in effect following the drop-add period in any semester becomes the student’s official class schedule. Any courses dropped prior to the end of the official drop-add period are removed from the student’s academic record and are not shown in the official student record.

Following the drop-add period, a student may drop a course or withdraw from all courses by the mid-term date posted on the Gordon State College website at www.gordonstate.edu each semester under Registration Information and receive a grade of W for the course(s). To drop courses, a student must submit an appropriately completed Schedule Change Form to the Registrar’s Office. To withdraw from all classes, submit an appropriately completed Student Withdrawal Form.

The W is not computed in the student’s grade point average, but it will appear on the official student record. A student may not exercise this right to drop a course or withdraw from all courses to avoid sanction for academic dishonesty (also see Academic Dishonesty Policy, pages 89 and 380).

Students who withdraw from part of their schedule after midterm will automatically receive a WF in each class. If the student has experienced a personal hardship or crisis that occurred after midterm and the student had a reasonable chance of passing the course at the time of the hardship, the student may file a Student Petition Form and supply documentation that confirms the hardship or crisis. If the petition is successful, the student will be assigned a grade of W rather than the WF. Such petitions for a hardship/crisis withdrawal should be processed before the end of the semester and in no circumstance will be considered when filed after midterm of the following semester. Petitions for spring semester hardship/crisis withdrawals must be filed by midterm of the following full summer session. Petitions for a hardship/crisis withdrawal cannot be filed for a course if the student has taken the final examination in the course. Student Petition Forms are available on-line at the web page of the Office of the Registrar and are available in that office and academic offices.

Any student who stops attending a course without appropriately processing a Schedule Change Form will receive a grade of WF in the course. Schedule Change Forms will not be processed after the last day of class for the semester.

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Student Withdrawal

Should it become necessary to withdraw from all classes for the semester, a student must complete and submit a Student Withdrawal Form from the Registrar’s Office.

Students must withdraw by the close of the official drop-add period to remove courses from the academic record and to receive a full refund of tuition and fees. Dates for the official drop-add period are posted on the Gordon State College website at www.gordonstate.edu each semester under Registration Information. Following the drop-add period, a student may withdraw from all courses by the mid-term date posted under Registration Information and receive a grade of W for the courses. W’s are not computed in the student’s grade point average, but will appear on the official student record. A student may not exercise this right to withdraw from all courses to avoid sanction for academic dishonesty (also see Academic Dishonesty Policy, pages 89 and 380).

Students who withdraw from their entire schedule after midterm will automatically receive a WF in each class. If the student has experienced a personal hardship or crisis that occurred after midterm, and the student had a reasonable chance of passing the course at the time of the hardship, the student may file a Student Petition Form and supply documentation that confirms the hardship or crisis. If the petition is successful, the student will be assigned a grade of W rather than the WF. Such petitions for a hardship/crisis withdrawal should be processed before the end of the semester. Petitions will be considered when filed before midterm of the following semester. Petitions for spring semester hardship/crisis withdrawals must be filed by midterm of the following full summer session. Petitions for a hardship/crisis withdrawal cannot be filed for a course if the student has taken the final examination in the course. Student Petition Forms are available on-line at the web page of the Office of the Registrar and are available in that office and academic offices.

A student who stops attending all courses for the semester without appropriately processing a Student Withdrawal Form will receive grades of WF in all courses. Student Withdrawal Forms will not be processed after the last day of class for the semester.

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Class Attendance

Class attendance is expected of all students enrolled at Gordon State College. Being prepared for class in advance and participating on a regular basis is a vitally important ingredient for academic success. Research continually shows that poor attendance and/or limited participation usually results in low grades. However, because the delivery mode, content, assignments, and other particulars for each class section vary so widely, Gordon State College does not specify an official campus-wide attendance standard. Nonetheless, students who are absent with the approval of the Office of Academic Affairs will be permitted to earn credit for work missed during their absences. In addition, with the prior approval of the Academic Affairs office, dual enrollment students who are absent will also be permitted earn credit for work missed during their absences Approval of such activities will be granted by the Academic Affairs Office and posted online at http://www.gordonstate.edu/absences. Such excused absences are reserved for situations in which students are representing their school or the college. All students are responsible for contacting instructors prior to all excused absences in order to arrange to make up any missed work.

Instructors will determine reasonable accommodations for missed coursework that best fit the circumstances of their course. Examples of reasonable accommodations might include, but are not limited to:

  • Rescheduling of an individual’s quiz or exam;
  • Revising the deadline for any out-of-class assignment at the instructor’s discretion;
  • Creating an alternate assignment with an equivalent grade.

At the beginning of each semester, every instructor will distribute a course syllabus and clearly state his or her attendance policy. It is the student’s responsibility to inquire of the instructor if there are questions.

SEE ENROLLMENT VERIFICATION SECTION BELOW FOR ADDITIONAL INFORMATION.

A WF will be assigned as the final grade if the student stops attending class after mid-term.

The instructor will notify the Registrar’s Office in writing if a student receiving veteran’s benefits is absent from a class three consecutive weeks  in a fall or spring semester, two consecutive weeks in a full session summer semester, or one week in a half session summer semester.

Field trips and extracurricular activities which require a student’s absence from class must be approved by the Provost; however, final approval for class absences remains with the individual instructor.

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Enrollment Verification

Every semester, faculty will provide electronic verification of class attendance for each student on each official class roll following procedures outlined by the Registrar. Class rolls become official at the close of the drop-add period each semester. Faculty enrollment verification is due on the tenth calendar day of fall and spring semesters and as announced for summer semester. Students reported as never attending a class by this date will be removed from the official class roll.

  • For students who do not receive financial aid, loans or scholarships, tuition and fees will be recalculated after the class is removed from the schedule. If appropriate, a refund will be issued to the student.
  • For students receiving financial aid, loans or scholarships, tuition and fees will be recalculated after the class is removed and financial aid, loans or scholarships will be adjusted accordingly. This adjustment could result in a reduction of aid awarded or loss of loan or scholarship funds.
  • No student will be enrolled in a class after the close of the drop/add period.

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Final Examinations

All instructors are expected to give a final exam or alternative assessment in each of their courses unless exceptions are approved by the Department Head and Dean on an individual or program basis. The final examination schedule must be followed as published. Any change from the schedule must be approved by the Associate Vice-President for Academic Affairs. All students are expected to take the final examination.

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Grading System and Grade Point Average

Every course listed on a student’s official semester schedule will be listed on the student's permanent record and will include an appropriate grade or symbol designation (even if the student has not completed the semester's work). The following grades are used in the determination of the grade point average:

Letter Grade Numerical Grade Equivalent Description
A 4.0 Excellent
B 3.0 Good
C 2.0 Satisfactory
D 1.0 Passing
F 0.0 Course completed with failing grade
WF 0.0 Withdrawn Failing

A student’s semester grade point average is computed by dividing the number of credit hours in the courses attempted for the semester in which a grade of A, B, C, D, F, or WF was received into the number of quality points earned on those hours. The number of quality points associated with each grade is determined by multiplying the numerical grade equivalent by the number of credit hour for the course. That is,

Quality Points = (Numerical Grade Equivalent) x (Credit Hours)

For example, consider a student receiving an A in a three semester hour class, a B in a three semester hour class, and a C in a four semester hour class. The student’s grade point average is calculated as follows:

Letter Grade Numerical Equivalent Credit Hours   Quality Points
A 4.0 3 (4.0) x (3) = 12
B 3.0 3 (3.0) x (3) = 9
C 2.0 4 (2.0) x (4) = 8
Total Credit Hours: 10 Total Quality Points = 29
Grade Point Average = 29 ÷ 10 = 2.9

The cumulative grade point average is computed by dividing the total number of credit hours in all courses attempted in which a grade of A, B, C, D, F, or WF has been received into the number of quality points earned on those hours. Grades earned in courses numbered below 1000 are not included in the computation of a student’s grade point average. Effective Fall 2010, a student who repeats a course will have the cumulative grade point average calculated using the grade from the last attempt. The grade of the first and subsequent attempts that are excluded from the GPA will remain on the student’s official permanent record. When adjustments are made to the cumulative grade point average based on repeated courses and Academic Renewal, the result is considered a cumulative adjusted grade point average.  (See Academic Renewal section for details on this policy.)

The symbols listed below are used in the cases indicated and are not included in the determination of the grade point average.

I In courses numbered 1000 and above and only with the approval of the Dean of the school or Department Head, this symbol indicates that a student was making satisfactory progress but, for non-academic reasons beyond the control of the student, was unable to meet the full requirements of the course. An I must be satisfactorily removed within 12 calendar months; however, at the instructor’s discretion, the time may be reduced as specified in the chart below. If an I is not satisfactorily removed within the time allowed, the I will be changed to a grade of F.
 
Semester during which the grade of Incomplete was assigned Semester by the end of which course requirements must be completed
Fall The immediately-following spring semester
Spring or Summer The immediately-following fall semester
 
IP In courses numbered below 1000, the symbol IP may be used to indicate progress, but not completion. In such a case, the student must register for and pay fees for the course until it has been completed with a grade of a C (or better).
W This symbol indicates that a student was permitted to withdraw without penalty. Withdrawals without penalty will not be permitted after the official mid-term date posted on the Gordon State College website at www.gordonstate.edu each semester under Class Schedules and Registration Information except in approved cases of extenuating personal hardship (See Grade Appeal Process on page 89).
V This symbol indicates that a student registered to audit the course.
K This symbol indicates credit earned through an appropriate examination program.
NR This symbol indicates that a grade was not reported by the instructor at the time grades were processed.
WM

This symbol indicates that a student was permitted to withdraw without penalty under the Board of Regents policy for military service refunds. The use of this symbol indicates that the student was permitted to withdraw without penalty at any time during the term.

S This symbol indicates satisfactory completion of a course graded on a satisfactory/unsatisfactory basis.
U This symbol indicates unsatisfactory work in a course graded on a satisfactory/unsatisfactory basis.

The following additional symbols may be used with any of the grades or symbols listed in this section:

% Institutional Learning Support course.  Not included in hours earned or academic GPA.
* Through summer semester 2014, course used to satisfy a Required High School Curriculum (formerly College Preparatory Curriculum) foreign language, natural science, or social science deficiency.  Included in hours earned and academic GPA but not applicable to graduation.
$ Effective fall semester 2014, course used to satisfy a Required High School Curriculum (formerly College Preparatory Curriculum) foreign language, natural science, or social science deficiency.  Included in hours earned, academic GPA, and applicable to graduation.
%* Institutional Learning Support course used to satisfy a Required High School Curriculum (formerly College Preparatory Curriculum) English or math deficiency.  Not included in hours earned or academic GPA.
#

Academic Renewal (Forgiveness) Policy applied to course.  A#, B#, and C# are included in hours earned, but not in academic GPA.  D#, F#, and WF# are not included in hours earned or academic GPA.

@ Institutional course.  Not included in hours earned or academic GPA.
~ External program grade.  Included in hours earned; not included in academic GPA.
T When preceding a grade, designates transfer credit.

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Repeating Courses

Effective Fall 2010, a student who repeats a course will have the cumulative Grade Point Average calculated using the grade from the last attempt. The grade of the first and subsequent attempts that are excluded from the GPA will remain on the student’s official permanent record.

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Maintaining the Standard of Academic Performance

Students are responsible for maintaining the standard of academic performance established by the faculty for each course in which they are enrolled. Professors have a responsibility to (1) advise students of course expectations, (2) state criteria for grades clearly, and (3) make themselves available for conferences with individual students who seek counsel and advice regarding their progress in the course.

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Double Credit

No course a student takes will provide credit for more than one academic requirement or elective. Courses may not be used to satisfy requirements in more than one Area in the Core Curriculum.  “Double credit” is not allowable.

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Academic Renewal

The Academic Renewal Policy of the University System of Georgia allows students who have experienced academic difficulty to make a fresh start on the academic grade point average (GPA) after an absence of at least three calendar years (nine semesters). Students seeking Academic Renewal must submit an application for Academic Renewal to the Registrar’s Office within one calendar year of enrollment or re-enrollment. Applications for Academic Renewal are available in the Registrar’s Office. To qualify for Academic Renewal, students applying for Academic Renewal must demonstrate their readiness to return to college level studies by enrolling or re-enrolling in a minimum of 6 semester hours in courses selected from Areas A–F of the Core Curriculum at Gordon State College and earning a GPA of 2.0 or higher on those hours. A student can be granted Academic Renewal only one time.

If approved for Academic Renewal, an Academic Renewal GPA is begun when the student resumes taking coursework following approval for Academic Renewal. After Academic Renewal is granted, the Academic Renewal GPA is used for determining academic standing and eligibility for graduation. To graduate from Gordon State College, a student must meet the college’s residency requirement for graduation after acquiring Academic Renewal. To be eligible for honors at graduation, a student must meet the college’s residency requirement for graduation after acquiring Academic Renewal.

All previous courses, including transfer coursework earned before the three year absence, remain on the student’s record with Academic Renewal indicated by the # symbol posted with each affected grade. These grades are not calculated in the Academic Renewal GPA. Credit for previously completed coursework is retained for courses with a grade of A#, B#, or C#. Courses with D#, F#, or WF# grades must be repeated at Gordon State College if required for the degree.

Applicability of retained credit to degree requirements will be determined by the degree requirements in effect at the time Academic Renewal status is conferred on the student. Students receiving Academic Renewal are eligible for transient study except for courses with previous grades of D#, F#, or WF#.

Readmitted students must be absent from Gordon State College for at least three calendar years (nine semesters) to be considered for Academic Renewal. Transfer credit will be awarded for eligible coursework completed at other institutions during the three year absence.

Students transferring to Gordon State College may apply for Academic Renewal for coursework completed at a previous institution if they have been absent from that institution for at least three calendar years (nine semesters). Only coursework completed prior to a three year period of absence will be considered for Academic Renewal. The three year period is calculated from the date of enrollment or re-enrollment at Gordon State College. Transfer credit will be awarded for eligible coursework completed at other institutions during the three year period of absence.

All academic standings which occurred in the past remain recorded on the student’s permanent record. Students who encounter subsequent academic difficulty and are suspended after receiving Academic Renewal may be subject to permanent dismissal from Gordon State College.

Receiving Academic Renewal does not supersede the admissions requirements of any program which requires a specific minimum GPA based upon all coursework. Re-entry into any program after receiving Academic Renewal is not automatic.

Receiving Academic Renewal has no effect on eligibility for the HOPE Scholarship program or on financial aid requirements regarding Satisfactory Academic Progress.

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Student Bill of Rights

Students have the following rights:

  1. to attend classes during their regularly scheduled time without deviation from such time and without penalty if the student cannot attend an instructional hour not institutionally scheduled;
  1. to consult with an assigned advisor for a reasonable amount of time each semester;
  1. to reasonable transfer of the core curriculum within the University System;
  1. to consult with faculty outside of classroom time during regularly scheduled office hours or by appointment;
  1. to reasonable access to campus facilities which are required to complete course assignments and objectives;
  1. to receive at the beginning of each semester a syllabus for each course which outlines course objectives and requirements and to be informed of any changes in these syllabi;
  1. to receive access to any of their records kept by the institution (may be waived by students in certain cases like placement office records); and
  1. to be informed of the grade appeal process.

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Intellectual Diversity and Student Rights

As stated in the Gordon State College Creed, the Gordon State College community desires that its students develop the capacity for open-minded inquiry and intellectual and academic honesty. To that end, the College protects these prerogatives for its students and student organizations:

  1. Students have the right to learn and to inquire. They have the right to examine and discuss questions of interest by orderly means that do not impede the collegial process of learning.
  2. Students have the right to take stands on issues and the right to support causes by orderly means that do not disrupt the regular and essential campus operation.
  3. Students have the right to expect that their academic work will be evaluated on the basis of academic performance and not on the basis of irrelevant matters such as personality, personal characteristics, degree of political activism, or personal beliefs. At the same time, students are responsible for maintaining the standards of academic performance established by the faculty for each course in which they are enrolled.
  4. Recognized student organizations are allowed to invite any person to address a meeting that the organization is sponsoring for the purpose of hearing that person’s ideas. However, the President of the College has final responsibility for campus events and activities and can either affirm or cancel a speaker’s invitation.
  5. Individual students and recognized campus organizations have the right to publish and distribute written materials provided that the material is identified by the name of the student or organization and done in accordance with College regulations.

Students with concerns related to protection of these rights in a specific class should initiate conversation with the instructor of the class and, if the concern is not addressed, contact the appropriate Department Head followed by the Dean of the School. If the student is uncomfortable going directly to these persons or if the concern is broader than classroom interactions, the student may contact the Alternative Dispute Resolution Committee or the Vice President for Student Affairs.

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Grade Appeal Process

It is the responsibility of the student to review final grades posted online by the Registrar’s Office at the end of the semester. A student who believes that his or her grade was incorrectly assigned should schedule a conference with the instructor who assigned the grade. If satisfactory results cannot be obtained from such a conference, the student may file a written appeal of the grade using a Student Petition Form and submitting it to the administrative assistant of the department or school in which the grade was earned.

Grade appeals should only be concerned with alleged violations of grading policy or procedure. A student concerned about course content or the instructor’s judgement should speak with the faculty member’s department head (or school dean, if no department head).

All grade appeals must be initiated by midterm of the semester following the posting of the grade. For grades posted in the spring semester, appeals must be submitted by midterm of the following full summer session. Failure of the student to adhere to the time deadline described above will result in forfeiture of all rights to appeal the grade in question. If the deadline cannot be met due to legitimate reasons, the student can appeal to the office of Academic Affairs for an extension.

An electronic version will then be circulated to the appropriate faculty member and the department head, where appropriate, for recommendations. The dean of the school will issue the decision on the grade appeal.

Special Note: An appeal requesting a grade of W can only be initiated in relation to an assignment of a grade of WF.

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Appeals of Academic Student Petition Decisions

A student shall have the right to appeal to the Provost or designee (hereafter referred to simply as “Provost”) and to the President of the College.  Failure of the student to adhere to the time deadlines described below will result in forfeiture of all rights to appeal. If deadlines cannot be met due to legitimate reasons, the student can appeal to the office of Academic Affairs for an extension.

  1. The appeal of a decision on an academic petition must be based on substantial new evidence or sufficient grounds for good cause. Substantial new evidence constitutes that which was not available during the original review process which has a direct bearing on the decision.
  2. On this basis, the student may appeal in writing to the Provost and must do so within five working days after the petition decision has been communicated to the student. The Provost will determine the merit of the appeal. If the appeal is determined to have merit, the Provost shall consider all relevant information and render a decision.
  3. If the student is dissatisfied with the Provost’s decision, the student must appeal in writing to the President of the College within five working days after the Provost’s decision has been communicated to the student.  If the appeal is determined to have merit, the President shall within five days appoint a committee composed of three members of the faculty of the College or shall use the services of an appropriate existing committee. The committee shall review all facts and make its findings and report thereon to the President.
  4. The President shall also be provided with all relevant information pertaining to the appeal.
  5. After consideration of the committee's report, the President shall within five days make a decision which shall be final.  There is no further appeal.

All grade appeals must be initiated by midterm of the semester following the posting of the grade. For grades posted in the spring semester, appeals must be submitted by midterm of the following full summer session.

Special Note: An appeal requesting a grade of W can only be initiated in relation to an assignment of a grade of WF.

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Academic Dishonesty Policy

When a faculty member becomes aware of an act of academic dishonesty, the faculty member may penalize the act in one or any combination of four ways depending on the faculty member’s assessment of the severity of the infraction.

  1. Assign a grade of F for the assignment and/or require remedial action by the student.
  2. Assign a grade of 0 for the assignment and/or require remedial action by the student.
  3. Assign a failing grade in the course.
  4. Refer the matter to the Provost.       

In addition, after having dealt with the act of academic dishonesty, the faculty member should send a brief memorandum to the Dean of the School identifying the student, the infraction, and the resolution. Academic deans will report egregious cases to the Vice President of Student Affairs for placement in student record and potential additional action.

If the student wishes to contest the faculty member’s decision, the student may appeal the decision to the Department Head and then the Dean of the School using the petition process. When the matter reaches the School Dean by faculty member referral or student appeal, the Dean may ask the Academic Judicial Committee to consider the matter and make a recommendation. As stipulated in the Student Code of Conduct found later in this catalog, the student may appeal the Committee’s recommendation to the Associate Vice President of Academic Affairs. When the deliberations are concluded, the Associate Vice President of Academic Affairs Faculty will communicate the decision to both the student and the faculty member.

If the Vice President for Student Affairs receives memoranda reporting two different incidents of academic dishonesty by the same student and neither case is overturned by appeal in the Office of Academic Affairs, the student will be summoned to the Student Affairs Office for appropriate disciplinary proceedings.

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