Last Updated on March 18, 2021 by Michelle Ball
By Michelle Ball, California Education Attorney for Students since 1995
Pursuant to California Education Code section 66017, a California Community College, California State University (CSU), or University of California (UC) may suspend a student for willful disruption, to protect lives or property, or to ensure the maintenance of order. [This is not an exhaustive list.] However, if the suspension by the college is issued immediately (e.g. the student is kicked off campus right then), the student is legally entitled, per this section, to a hearing within 10 days.
If the college suspension is not issued immediately (e.g. the student is still allowed to attend classes) or is merely proposed, 66017 states that the hearing must be “prompt” which may or may not mean “within 10 days.” I would argue the college student is still entitled to a hearing within that amount of time.
Section 66017 also instructs colleges to adopt procedures and appoint personnel to deal with discipline matters on campus. Other code sections also apply depending on the type of college involved. Needless to say, I have seen students suspended with no hearing in sight, which is unacceptable.
If you are suspended from college, insist on a prompt hearing within 10 days so you can get back to your studies. We all know how long ten days can be away from college classes and the impact can be devastating. When I attended the University of California, ten days was more than one tenth (1/10th) of my whole quarter! I would certainly have missed a lot of classes, and my grades could have declined significantly, with such an extended period of absence.
Simple knowledge of timelines and assertion of rights can help college students survive the surprise of an unexpected suspension. Hiring a student attorney can’t hurt either.
Education Attorney for Students
LAW OFFICE OF MICHELLE BALL
717 K Street, Suite 228
Sacramento, CA 95814
Please see my disclaimer. This is legal information, not legal advice and no attorney-client relationship is formed by this posting. This blog may not be reproduced without permission from the author and proper attribution of authorship. This blog may not reflect the current state of the law.