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Maintaining Effective Learning Environments (Policy 3240)

University Policy 3240

Download a Printable Version of Policy 3240

Effective Date

February 02, 2021

Responsible Party

Provost and Vice President for Academic Affairs, (208) 426-1212
Associate Vice President for Public Safety, (208) 426-3911
Dean of Students, (208) 426-1527

Scope and Audience

This policy applies to all University instructors and students.

Additional Authority

  • Idaho Code 33-3716
  • Idaho State Board of Education Policy, Section III.B.
  • Idaho State Board of Education Policy, Section III.P.
  • University Policy 1060 (Non-Discrimination and Anti-harassment)
  • University Policy 1065 (Sexual Harassment, Sexual Misconduct, Dating Violence, Domestic Violence, and Stalking)
  • University Policy 1075 (Nondiscrimination on the Basis of Disability)
  • University Policy 2020 (Student Code of Conduct)
  • University Policy 2080 (Equal Access for Students with Disabilities)
  • University Policy 12020 (Exclusion from Campus)
  • University Policy 12050 (Behavioral Intervention and Threat Assessment)

1. Policy Purpose

To provide guidance to instructors in maintaining and fostering an environment in which instructors may teach and students may pursue learning outcomes without interference.

2. Policy Statement

Instructors have the professional responsibility and authority to maintain effective Learning Environments. Instructors at Boise State University are granted the independent authority to dismiss students from an instructor-led Learning Environment for reasons consistent with this policy. Instructors expect students will adhere to University Policy 2020 (Student Code of Conduct). This policy supports and reinforces that policy.

3. Definitions

3.1 Learning Environment

The diverse physical locations, virtual spaces, and contexts in which students learn (e.g., online course, lab, in the field, classroom, etc.).

3.2 Disruptive Behavior

Student behavior that, based on the instructor’s reasonable discretion, materially interferes with learning and normal academic functions and that continues after an instructor’s request to cease. Examples include:

  • Any behavior(s) so pervasive or persistent, or a single egregious offense, that substantially interferes with the Learning Environment;
  • Behavior that impedes other students’ ability to achieve the learning outcomes of the course;
  • Any behavior that interferes with the instructor’s ability to effectively teach;
  • Behavior that may cause individuals in the Learning Environment to reasonably fear for their safety and well-being; and/or
  • Threats of physical violence.

4. Responsibilities and Procedures

4.1 Instructor Responsibilities

Instructors are responsible for fostering Learning Environments that allow all students to pursue their education without others interfering with their learning. Instructors are responsible for ensuring students may express views relevant to the conversations and/or material engaged in the Learning Environment. Instructors set parameters for the manner in which views are expressed such that they both invite rigorous intellectual discourse and engagement and meet academic integrity requirements and the course expectations. Instructors also must adhere to University Policies 1075 (Nondiscrimination on the Basis of Disability) and 2080 (Equal Access to Students with Disabilities).

4.2 Student Responsibilities

As members of an academic community, students have rights and responsibilities. Students have the right to participate in their education and contribute to the Learning Environment, and the responsibility to ensure their contributions adhere to the expectations of that Learning Environment and learning outcomes.

4.3 Dismissal from a Course

a. When a student (or students) engage in Disruptive Behavior, the instructor may dismiss the student(s) from the Learning Environment to secure the effectiveness and integrity of the Learning Environment for all students. Dismissal may be temporary or permanent.

b. An instructor may also dismiss a student (or students) from participating in any course when a student (or students) otherwise violate University Policy 2020 (Student Code of Conduct). The instructor may alternatively, or also, refer the student(s) to the Office of the Dean of Students.

4.3.1 Temporary Dismissal from a Course

Multiple temporary dismissals from a course are, at the instructor’s discretion, sufficient grounds for permanent dismissal.

4.3.1A Instructor Obligations

An instructor may dismiss a student from a course for violations of this policy for up to two (2) class periods, or the equivalent. In such instances, and no later than one (1) University business day after the dismissal, the instructor must report the temporary dismissal to their Department Chair, their Dean, and the Office of the Dean of Students. In addition, the instructor should consider submitting a CARE Alert and/or contacting other relevant University units.

4.3.1B Student Obligations

If a student is instructed to leave a class while instruction is ongoing, the student must comply immediately. After such temporary dismissal, the student must meet with their instructor to review the dismissal and identify conditions for returning to class. Either the student or the faculty member may request that a third party (e.g., Department Chair, colleague, Associate Dean, ASBSU representative) join the meeting.

4.3.2 Permanent Dismissal from a Course

An instructor may dismiss a student from participating in a course for the remainder of the semester if the following steps are followed.

a. The instructor must prepare a Statement of Fact (SOF). The SOF must include:

  • The individual(s) being dismissed;
  • The factual details of the incident, including applicable dates, times, or places;
  • Specific reasons for the dismissal; and
  • Witness information.

b. Prior to the class period immediately following the dismissible incident, the instructor must submit the SOF to the Department Chair, the college Dean, and the Office of the Dean of Students.

4.4 Grievance Procedure

Nothing in this policy is intended to limit a student’s constitutionally protected rights outside of the Learning Environment. A student who believes they have been treated unfairly may file an Academic Grievance under University Policy 3140 (Academic Grievance).

5. Forms

Care Alert