Procedural Fairness

What Does Fairness Mean?

Fairness does not require that we all be treated the same, in fact, inequity can arise if we treat everyone the same all the time. Consideration must be given to the nature of the situation, the impacts on the individual and level at which the decision is being made.

Fairness is not about getting the outcome you want. Fairness means that the process should be consistently applied, you should be heard and treated with respect.

fairness triangle



Situational Fairness
"What was decided?"

Relational Fairness
"How were you treated?"

Procedural Fairness
"How was it decided?"

Student Rights and Responsibilities

Faculty communication along with many University policies and procedures reference student rights and responsibilities but the meaning behind it is often confusing. In most cases, in the context at the University, the student’s right is in reference to the right to procedural fairness in any academic decisions across the University, along with the student’s right to appeal any academic decision (assuming the grounds for appeal are met).

Appeal processes were developed to reconsider the appropriateness of any sanctions or penalties that may have been imposed upon a student.

Students have a responsibility to familiarize themselves with the Senate Student Academic Appeals Policy (SAAP) , as well the specific academic regulations from their home Faculty. The SAAP policy in particular includes reference to resources for students and the responsibilities and authority of Faculty and Schools.

Procedural Fairness

Helping to ensure procedural fairness in decision making across the University is one of the central roles of our office. It relates to the steps taken by the decision maker before and after deciding or responding to an appeal.

Procedural fairness has four major components:

1. The right to know the case against you
2. The right to an impartial decision maker
3. The opportunity to be heard
4. The right to a decision and the rationale for that decision

Notice Information Right to Respond Impartiality Reasons
Advance notice of consideration of a decision must be given to the student. Student must have access to the information that is being considered. Student must be given a meaningful opportunity to have their opinion heard and considered. The decision maker must be impartial and unbiased. The decision maker must give meaningful reasons for the decision or the outcome.

*Information has been adapted from the ACCUO Fairness Guide 2015