Terms of Reference of the Academic Integrity and Conduct Panel

  1. Terms of Reference
  2. Jurisdiction
  3. Membership
  4. Rules of Procedure for Appeal Hearings
  5. Information Sessions

1. Terms of Reference

Decisions about matters of academic integrity and misconduct in an academic setting are made by the Associate Dean (Studies), who has full knowledge of the circumstances, familiarity with the particular Faculty and/or university regulations, and experience in dealing with issues in the larger Faculty context. This process is in accordance with the Senateís Policy on Student Appeals, Rights and Discipline, which recognizes that "decisions should generally be made by those who are most familiar with the context"

The Academic Integrity and Conduct Panel (hereafter called the "Panel") is established by the Faculty of Arts and Science and created by Faculty Board to

  • review, hear, and dispose of student appeals from decisions of the Associate Dean (Studies) in the following areas:
    • findings of or sanctions for a departure from academic integrity,
    • findings of misconduct in an academic setting,
  • direct, where appropriate, the Associate Dean (Studies) to initiate the process of recommending to Senate that a student be required to withdraw from the University for departures from academic integrity or misconduct in an academic setting;
  • make recommendations to the Associate Dean (Studies) regarding matters of policy arising from Panel discussions and hearings; and
  • serve as the final body of academic appeal in the Faculty of Arts and Science. (A further appeal may be made on matters of process to the University Student Appeals Board.)

2. Jurisdiction

2.1. The Panel has jurisdiction over appeals related to academic integrity and misconduct in an academic etting involving students registered in the Faculty of Arts and Science.

2.2. In an appeal hearing, the Panel shall serve as a true appeal Panel, which is not empowered to substitute its own decision for that of the Associate Dean (Studies), but rather is required to review the decision of the Associate Dean (Studies) based on the same information available to the Associate Dean (Studies) at the time the decision was made.

2.3. In this context, the Panel shall

  • review the circumstances of an appeal,
  • ensure that there was procedural fairness,
  • ensure that there was appropriate consideration of extenuating circumstances,
  • uphold the academic policies and principles reflected in the Faculty regulations,
  • determine if the decision of the Associate Dean (Studies) was fair and reasonable,
  • refer all cases back to the Associate Dean (Studies) upon the receipt of any new evidence which may alter the original decision; and
  • uphold or grant the student's appeal, or modify the penalty only if unreasonable in accordance with the policy document on assigning remedies and sanctions (Files and Findings, March 2007) and consistent with previous Faculty decisions.

3. Membership

All Panel hearings shall be heard by four (4) members and must include one faculty member from each of the following constituencies ñ Humanities, Social Sciences, and Natural Sciences and Mathematics. One of the faculty members shall be the Chair.

The fourth member of the Panel will normally be a student member. If no student member is available, however, then a faculty member (known as the ‘alternate’) will be selected.

The membership shall be further defined as outlined below.

3.1. Faculty Members

Three (3) faculty members shall normally serve for a period of three years ñ one from each of the constituencies ñ Humanities, Social Sciences, and Natural Sciences and Mathematics. New members shall assume their duties on September 1 of each year.

One (1) faculty member shall normally serve as an alternate Panel member for a period of three years and may come from any constituency. The new member shall assume his or her duties on September 1 of each year.

3.2. Student Members

One (1) student member shall serve for a one-year term and may be any member of the ASUS executive or a student delegate appointed by the executive. When scheduling meetings, a concerted effort will be made to accommodate the studentís schedule. The student member shall assume his or her duties on May 1 of each year.

3.3. Support Staff

The Panel will be supported by the Assistant to the Associate Dean (Studies) and a secretary appointed by the Faculty Office. Such persons will serve as advisors to the Panel and will have no voting rights.

3.4. The Role of the Chair

The Chair of the Panel will be a faculty member. In particular, the Chair shall

  • convene hearings;
  • preside over every hearing of the Panel;
  • ensure consistency of decisions;
  • ensure hearings are conducted fairly and with due process;
  • not vote in a hearing, except in the case of a tie;
  • write the Panelís final decision for communication to the student; and
  • convey any recommendations of the Panel to the Associate Dean (Studies).

4. Rules of Procedure for Appeal Hearings

4.1. General Rules

4.1.1. The Panel shall make its decisions in accordance with Faculty Regulations.

4.1.2. All appeals are to be heard in camera by the Panel.

4.1.3. In cases where a Panel member knows the student or is otherwise familiar with any circumstances which may be perceived as a conflict-of-interest regarding the appeal, that individual may not serve as a Panel member at the hearing.

4.1.4. No member shall participate in the deliberations of the Panel unless present at the entire hearing.

4.1.5. As needed, the Chair shall have the power to issue such supplementary rules of procedure to govern the conduct of a hearing.

4.1.6. The Panel has no power to compel any person to attend a hearing.

4.2. Pre-Hearing Rules of Procedure

4.2.1. A student who wishes to appeal an academic decision by the Associate Dean (Studies) to the Panel shall file the appeal with the Office of the Faculty of Arts and Science.

4.2.2. The student must submit an appeal, in writing, within 21 calendar days of receiving the decision of the Associate Dean (Studies).

4.2.3. As part of an appeal, a student should

  • fill out the Appeal to the Academic Integrity and Conduct Panel form;
  • indicate on the appeal form whether she or he intends to appear before the Panel;
  • submit a brief letter to address the written statement of the Associate Dean (Studies) in denying the appeal (no new information should be presented to the Panel; in such cases, the appeal will be returned to the Associate Dean (Studies) for reconsideration); and
  • indicate if she or he will bring a representative to the hearing and advise who that representative will be.

4.2.4. The Associate Dean (Studies) may file an additional submission responding to the student's letter of appeal to the Panel. Such a response must be filed within 10 calendar days of receipt of the appeal by the Faculty Office. Any such response shall be forwarded to the student. If the student wishes to reply in writing, the reply must be submitted within 10 calendar days of receipt of the response.

4.2.5. The Secretary of the Panel will

  • acknowledge receipt of the appeal;
  • receive from the Associate Dean (Studies) the written materials relevant to the appeal file for the use of all parties and the Panel;
  • supply the student with a copy of the appeal file and these rules of procedure;
  • allow 10 calendar days for the student to acknowledge that he/she has seen the contents of the appeal file; and
  • set a hearing date for the Panel.

4.2.6. After setting a hearing date, the Secretary of the Panel shall give the student notice of the hearing. A notice of hearing shall include

  • a statement of the time, place and purpose of the hearing; and
  • a statement that if the student notified does not attend the hearing the Panel may proceed in the studentís absence and the student will not be entitled to any further notice in the proceeding.

4.2.7. In the event that the student indicates that he or she intends to appear before the Panel, or the Panel asks the student to appear, the Associate Dean will also be advised of the appeal and the hearing date and will be present at the hearing as a party to the proceedings.

4.3. The Appeal Hearing

4.3.1. Panel members will have access to the student's appeal file, which will contain the following materials:

  • an Appeal to the Academic Integrity and Conduct Panel form;
  • a letter of response written by the student to the decision of the Associate Dean (Studies);
  • the decision letter sent to the student by the Associate Dean (Studies) and any additional submissions by the Associate Dean (Studies);
  • all documents used by the Associate Dean (Studies) in arriving at the previous decision; and
  • a copy of the studentís most recent transcript.

4.3.2. While the student has the right to appear before the Panel, it is not required that he or she must do so. If the student wishes to appear at the hearing, he or she may be represented by counsel or an agent. The student (or his or her representative) may make an oral submission which will usually be no more than 10 minutes in length.

4.3.3. If the student wishes to appear at the hearing, the Associate Dean (Studies) will also be present. The Associate Dean (Studies) may also be represented by counsel or an agent, should the student choose such representation. The Associate Dean (Studies) (or his or her representative) may also make an oral submission which will usually be no more than 10 minutes in length.

4.3.4. At a hearing at which the student has appeared, members of the Panel may ask questions of the student or the Associate Dean (Studies). However, there shall be no witnesses at these hearings.

4.3.5. The Chair may NOT admit new evidence at the hearing, including any documents or other subject matter that is not part of the existing appeal file. If the student raises new evidence, the appeal shall be referred back to the Associate Dean (Studies) for reconsideration.

4.3.6. If, during the course of any hearing, the Panel decides that information is required in order to clarify the matter, the Chair may adjourn the hearing to permit the relevant parties to bring forward such information or facts or to permit the Panel to obtain such information.

4.3.7. The Panel may decide to adjourn the hearing at the request of a party when it believes that a party may be unfairly prejudiced should the hearing proceed.

4.4. The Decision

After hearing all evidence, the Panel shall either:

  • uphold the Associate Deanís decision;
  • grant the appeal; or
  • offer an alternate remedy to that proposed by the Associate Dean (Studies) within the scope of the Faculty Regulations.

4.5. Post-Hearing Rules of Procedure

4.5.1. Within 21 days of a hearing at which the student has appeared, the Board shall give its decision and its supporting reasons to the parties in writing.

4.5.2. The decision shall also advise that the student has a right to appeal, in writing, to the University Student Appeals Board within two weeks of receipt of the Panel's decision. It shall also refer to the Co-ordinator of Dispute Resolution Mechanisms as a resource for information and advice.

4.5.3. Any recommendation from the Panel for a requirement to withdraw due to a departure from academic integrity or a finding of misconduct in an academic setting must be directed to the Associate Dean (Studies), who will initiate the process of conveying this recommendation to the Senate Committee on Academic Procedures (SCAP) for its approval.

5. Information Sessions

Each year, the Chair of the Panel, in collaboration with the Associate Dean (Studies), will hold at least one informational meeting to ensure Panel members are familiar with the Academic Regulations of the Faculty, the appeals process, Panel procedures, and the Panel's recent decisions.