Date of Award

Spring 5-14-2021

Document Type


Degree Name

PHD - Doctor of Philosophy


Doctoral Program

First Advisor

Francine Jennings

Second Advisor

Brenda Matthis

Third Advisor

Rachel King



Student conduct is one of the most important aspects of student life on a college campus. The staff members who serve as conduct hearing officers play an important role in helping students recognize their rights and responsibilities in the campus community and overcome poor decision making. There is a need to study the experiences of hearing officers to inform the development of consistent and effective training for those performing this role on college campuses. The purpose of this qualitative phenomenological dissertation was to understand the lived experiences of the hearing officers, specifically in regard to the training that they have received to fulfill their roles. Grounded in the Human Resources Approach and the Strategic Training of Employees Model, research questions explored the training of conduct officers, goals of student conduct, and the influence of institutional process on conduct hearing officers, as well as the lived experiences of the conduct officers. Data were collected from 34 residence hall directors who also served as hearing officers. From these participants, five were selected to engage in semi-structured interviews. Thematic analysis of the questionnaire responses and data from semi-structured interviews resulted in 24 findings. The findings demonstrated that hearing officers want additional training to provide students a more meaningful experience, and higher-level guidance on the design of educational sanctions for their students. Recommendations include establishing national training standards, implementing additional assessment for both hearing officers and students, and exploring a range of approaches to student conduct, such as restorative justice.

Key words: employee training, hearing officers, student affairs, student conduct, students’ rights and responsibilities.

Creative Commons License

Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.

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