Information for faculty

The University of Victoria is committed to promoting critical academic discourse while providing a respectful and productive learning environment. All members of the university community have the right to experience, and the responsibility to help create, such an environment. 

Some disruptive students may have emotional or mental health conditions but are expected to adhere to the same standards of behaviour as other students. Instructors should set clear standards and expectations for classroom behaviour early in the course.

When a student is being disruptive in the academic environment, the following tips may help you communicate and set out behavioural expectations for the student:

  1. The instructor should initially speak with the student outside of the classroom to discuss any incidents and review classroom behavioural expectations. During this discussion, the instructor should clearly express the behaviours of concern and how it is impeding the learning process and academic environment.

    As there are a wide variety of disruptive behaviours possible, the instructor may want to discuss the student’s behaviour with Counselling Services if the behaviour appears to involve potential mental health issues. The Office of Student LifeHealth Services,Campus Security, or the Ombudsperson could also be helpful resources to consult for guidance on facilitating dialogue and setting out clear expectations to the student around appropriate classroom behaviour.

  2. As required, the instructor may facilitate a meeting with the student and the department chair or dean to review any incidents, behavioural issues and to discuss expectations and supports available. 

    A checklist for a discussion with a student on disruptive classroom behaviour could include:

    • reviewing the behaviours that are of concern (e.g., any behaviours or communications of concern)
    • emphasizing that the university is committed to a safe, respectful and productive learning environment and discuss how the student’s’ behaviour is affecting the academic environment
    • clarifying that the university is committed to working with the student to find ways to resolve concerns satisfactorily
    • highlighting appropriate student support services (e.g., Health ServicesCounselling Services, Centre for Accessible Learning (CAL), etc.) available if the student is currently experiencing difficulties.

Significant classroom conduct concerns

There are some occasions where unacceptable and disruptive classroom conduct persists to the point that allegations of non-academic misconduct should be filed through the Office of Student Life. In such cases, an investigation under the Resolution of Non-Academic Misconduct Allegations policy (AC1300) may be required to resolve the concerns.