What to Expect at the Board of Studies: Tips for Students

What is the Board of Studies?

The Board of Studies is the final appeal in the Faculty of Arts and Science for students' appeals of incomplete grades, final grades, requirements to withdraw and other decisions determined by the Associate Dean (Studies) (See Arts and Science Calendar).

Who is on the Board?

The Board membership consists of

  • three students
  • nine faculty members from a cross-section of Arts and Science departments

All Board hearings shall be heard by four members, one of whom in normally a student. Members who are close to the case, or for other reasons need to declare a conflict of interest, will not be in attendance.

  • a secretary to the Board and
  • an informational officer from the Arts and Science Student Services Office.

The Associate Dean (Studies) is not a member of the Board but will attend when a student chooses to appear before the Board. The Associate Dean (Studies) is there to clarify specific aspects of his or her decision and to speak to the larger context of the decision within the Faculty of Arts and Science policies, regulations and practices.

What do I need to know before my meeting with the Board?

  • You are permitted, in fact encouraged, to have representation at the hearing. You may wish to bring a trusted friend, family member, student advocate, a Dispute Resolution Advisor or even legal representation.
  • The Board will have received and read your written appeal in advance of the meeting.
  • During the meeting, anyone can call for a break in the proceedings. If you feel you would like a break to compose your thoughts, you may request one from the Chair at any time.

What will happen at my meeting with the Board?

  1. Prior to inviting you into the meeting, the Board will take a few minutes to review any jurisdictional matters and to identify anything in the documentation that requires clarification.
  2. After you are called into the meeting, the Chair will ask members to introduce themselves.
  3. After introductions, you will be invited to make a presentation clarifying any aspect of the information you have presented to the Board in written form. Since the Board will have read the written submission and already be familiar with facts presented by you, your professor(s) (if applicable) and the decision of the Associate Dean (Studies), it is not necessary to re-state your claims. Any introductory comments you might make should take no longer than 5 or 10 minutes.
  4. After your presentation, the Chair will ask the Associate Dean (Studies) if he or she wishes to make any statements concerning his or her decision, past precedents or the academic regulations related to the case.
  5. At this point in the proceedings, the Board may ask questions clarifying what you have said or written. These questions are intended to offer you a full and fair opportunity to state your case. It is important therefore to answer the questions directly and completely.
  6. After questions from the Board, all parties will be given a chance to make any final or summary comments. If you wish to do so, it is an opportunity for you to summarize the main points of your case.
  7. Following presentations and questions, all participants will leave to allow the Board to discuss the case and come to a decision. The decision of the Board will be to uphold the Associate Dean (Studies) decision, modify the decision or grant the student's appeal.

What happens after the meeting?

  1. Immediately following the meeting, the Secretary to the Board will email you with a brief notice of the Board's decision.
  2. The Chair of the Board will compose a letter outlining the decision, the reasons for the decision and the possibilities for an appeal (if the decision is not in your favour). This letter will be sent to you by mail.
  3. Decisions of the Board may be appealed on procedural grounds by either party to the University Student Appeals Board by filing a written notice of intention to appeal with the Secretary of Senate within two (2) weeks of receipt of the Board's decision.

Note: Any change in academic registration may impact government student financial assistance eligibility and/or funding. Please consult with the Student Awards Office, Office of the University Registrar, Gordon Hall, to understand the potential implications of changes to course or program registration and/or the consequences of not successfully completing the required course load.

June 2014 Appeals

Students who wish to appeal the decision of the Associate Dean (Studies) may submit an appeal to the Board of Studies.  Students must meet the following 2014 Board of Studies dates in order to be considered in time for Fall 2014 enrolment:

       August 1                 last date to submit appeal to the Board of Studies

       August 11              last date to review appeal package (electronically on QShare)

Board meetings will be scheduled during for following dates.  Students who wish to attend the Board meeting must be available during this time period:

August 25-29

September 2-5

September 8-12