USAB hears appeals by students from the final academic decision-making body within their Faculty or School. Where an appeal to USAB is permitted, after exhausting all internal appeals within their Faculty or School, a student may appeal to USAB within two weeks after the date of the Faculty’s or School’s last decision.
USAB jurisdiction limits them to hear the following types of appeals:
- A decision that impedes a student’s academic standing. For clarity, USAB has the jurisdiction to review a decision if it results in the application of an academic regulation that impedes a student’s academic standing in a program, but USAB does not have the jurisdiction to review the academic regulation itself.
- A decision concerning a departure from academic integrity.
- Step-two decisions made by a Unit Head concerning an employment-related issue between an undergraduate teaching assistant and their course supervisor.
USAB does not have the same discretion as the decision-maker whose decision is being appealed. USAB is intended to ensure that fair procedures have been followed and that there has not been a clear error in the exercise of discretion. Accordingly, the grounds for an appeal to USAB are limited to cases in which a student is able to establish that:
- The decision-making body whose decision is being appealed failed to act in accordance with the rules of procedural fairness. A breach of procedural fairness includes such things as failing to:
- Permit a student to be heard by an unbiased decision-maker.
- Follow applicable rules, regulations, or university policy, in a way that adversely affected a student’s right to a fair process.
- Make a reasonable decision. A “reasonable” decision is one that is rational in that its findings are based on evidence, thought out and supported by facts and logical inferences from findings of fact. To be reasonable, the decision must contain adequate reasons for the conclusions. A decision should be upheld if it falls within a range of possible, acceptable outcomes, in which case USAB is not permitted to substitute its opinion for that of the decision-maker whose decision is under appeal.
- The decision-maker whose decision is being appealed to USAB acted without, or exceeded its, jurisdiction.
An appeal to USAB is commenced by the student filing a Notice of Appeal (Form26(a)) and all supporting documentation with the Secretary of USAB by email to USABSecretary@queensu.ca.
The supporting documentation must include Schedules A, B, and C as stated in Form 26(a).
- Schedule A: Copies of ALL decision letters from all prior levels of appeal
- Schedule B: Statement of the grounds for appeal, underlying facts & remedy sought
- Schedule C: List of relevant documents (copies of all documents must also be attached)