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Addressing Noncompliance

Posted by on Monday, August 24, 2020 in .

Vanderbilt’s Return to Campus Plan follows a phased and data-driven approach and considers the city of Nashville’s phases, adapting them to be applicable to a college campus.

Compliance serves as an important aspect of the Return to Campus Plan, reminding campus community members of their responsibilities in helping to reduce the spread of COVID-19. With the understanding that campus life will look very different with compliance in place, guidelines have been developed to promote the health and safety of the campus community as much as possible.


Students, faculty, staff and postdocs will be expected to comply with all university policies and protocols designed to reduce the spread of COVID-19 infection and promote the health and safety of the Vanderbilt and Nashville communities.


Any intentional, significant, pervasive, or repeated violations of COVID-19 policies and protocols, including requirements related to face mask/coverings, physical distancing, travel, and the maximum gathering size, will be addressed through the Office of Student Accountability, Community Standards, and Academic Integrity.

The potential campus-wide impact of violating the University’s Gatherings policy, either on- or off- campus is severe. The presumptive sanction applied by Student Accountability if a student is found responsible for hosting a gathering that violates the policy will be suspension for a minimum of one semester; a first sanction may be as severe as expulsion, depending on the nature of and circumstances surrounding the violation. Attending, participating in or otherwise supporting, and/or concealing a gathering that violates the policy may also result in suspension or expulsion for a first offense. Additionally, failure to comply with the Gatherings policy may result in a restriction from campus for the remainder of the academic year.

Students also should take note of Nashville’s guidelines surrounding gatherings. Failure to comply with the city’s public health emergency orders can result in criminal penalties. 

The Office of Student Accountability, Community Standards, and Academic Integrity may also implement interim restrictions while students await the formal student accountability process if the university has sufficient evidence to conclude that the reported behavior presents a threat to the health and safety of our university community. Those interim restrictions may include but are not limited to: requiring students to sequester in their residence hall room or off-campus accommodation or elsewhere; prohibiting students from attending in-person classes or activities; restricting student access to university buildings; requiring COVID-19 testing.

Students living on-campus who are suspended or expelled for violating COVID-19 policies and protocols will be required to vacate the residence hall. No refund for tuition, housing costs, or relevant fees will be issued.


The Vanderbilt Faculty Manual provides that faculty may be disciplined for violations of the university’s standards of conduct. The process for reaching a decision to discipline a faculty member is overseen by the dean in consultation with the provost.


The university’s progressive discipline policy states that a staff member can be disciplined for violations of protocols and procedures governing safety. The policy outlines a process for correcting single and repeat episodes of employee failure to comply with rules. Safety violations will be handled under this process.