UT President moves to update institutional rules

Cassandra Jaramillo

President Greg Fenves announced Wednesday the University plans to update its institutional disciplinary rules. The announcement comes after a West Campus racially motivated attack on Feb. 20 that is currently being reviewed by the Office of the Dean of Students. 

“The University’s Student Judicial Services has been actively addressing this matter as it relates to UT students, based on our current institutional rules and timelines,” Fenves said in a statement. “Some of these rules, however, make it difficult to resolve the issues quickly and have revealed the need for us to improve our policies, particularly with incidents of hatred and violence.”

The Office of the Dean of Students handles administrative disciplinary processes for code of conduct violations. Fenves said the dean of students will have the authority to expedite the investigative process into allegations of actual or threatened violent conduct.

“The updated policies will also give the dean the ability to impose interim suspensions on students who are accused of actual or threatened violence,” Fenves said in a statement. “In all such cases, the dean will look at an individual’s conduct, not speech.”

Fenves said updated rules will still ensure due process to students accused of violations.

Fenves said for several months, the dean had been reviewing policies and the West Campus racially motivated attack highlighted a need to make changes immediately. 

“We will work closely with UT System to have them approved promptly,” Fenves said.