Former Director of Student Conduct reassigned following DUI arrest

By, Kayla Ebner

Photo Editor

Heidi Hartzell, former Director of Student Conduct and Community Standards at Roger Williams University, has been reassigned to other duties after a recent DUI charge in Portsmouth, a university administrator has confirmed.

Hartzell was arrested on Dec. 28 at approximately 8:22 p.m. after Portsmouth police responded to a report of a hit-and-run in Middletown. According to a police report, Hartzell was stopped on West Main Road/Hedly Street for allegedly crossing over the fog line with her passenger side tires and nearly hitting the curb. She failed a field sobriety test and was taken to the Portsmouth police station where she was cited for refusing to submit to a chemical test.

The university released a statement responding to the arrest:

“The university does not comment on specific personnel matters or release information that would compromise ongoing internal reviews. While the university takes any criminal charges filed against an employee seriously, it will always conduct a fair and thorough internal investigation before taking whatever action is appropriate, based both on the circumstances of any such case and the nature of the employee’s job responsibilities.”

“Ms. Hartzell [will] be reassigned to other responsibilities indefinitely and she will not be serving in the role of Director of Student Conduct this semester nor hear or determine the outcome of student cases,” Vice President of Student Life John King told The Hawks’ Herald.

On the RWU website, Blair Schaeffer is currently listed as Interim Director of Student Conduct and Community Standards.

Schaeffer could not be reached for comment.

Hartzell, King said, “will provide administrative, committee and project support to Student Life offices, including Student Conduct, as assigned by Assistant Vice President & Dean Dr. Lisa Landreman, who will provide overall supervision and leadership for the Student Conduct office this semester.”

The Director of Student Conduct and Community Standards, according to a job description provided by John King, “is a member of the Division of Student Life management staff team that develops the programs and initiatives of the Division. The Director coordinates a comprehensive educational student conduct system, coordinates hearings, and revises the University student conduct code and related procedures in consultation with students, senior administrators, and related offices including Residence Life and Public Safety.”

Police said that when Hartzell was pulled over, they “detected a strong odor commonly associated with alcoholic beverages emanating from her breath.” Police also said they observed her eyes to be bloodshot and watery and her speech was mumbled and stuttered. According to a police report, when Hartzell was asked if she had consumed any alcohol earlier in the evening, she responded that she had “two whiskeys.”