Approved by Senate: April 2021
To be read in conjunction with the Student Academic Appeals Policy
Table of Contents
36. Record of Appeal
37. Decision of USAB
Appendix A - Forms - Form 26(a) Notice of Appeal and Form 26(b) Response
1. 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.
2. An appeal to USAB is commenced by the student filing a Notice of Appeal (Form 26(a) – See Appendix 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).
3.If a student has new evidence about something that they believe affected their performance and that was not known or was not available to the student at the time the prior decision was made through no fault or omission of the student, the student must submit that new evidence by way of a request for reconsideration to the prior decision- maker and obtain a written decision before an appeal can be filed with USAB. If the student fails to do this and their appeal to USAB contains new evidence, then, subject to section 45 of the Policy, USAB shall remit the matter back to the prior decision-making body for reconsideration.
4. The respondent in a case before USAB is normally the person who had initial responsibility for making the decision or commencing the proceeding that concerns the student. Normally the decision-maker whose decision is under appeal is not the respondent. In the event of uncertainty as to who is the respondent, the Secretary of USAB may serve more than one person and require those notified to select one person to serve as respondent and have responsibility for the case before USAB.
5. The Secretary of USAB shall provide the respondent(s) with a copy of the Notice of Appeal, including all Schedules and supporting documentation, normally by email to the respondent’s university email address. The respondent shall have two weeks after receiving the appeal materials to file a Response (Form 26(b)) with the Secretary of USAB, normally by email to USABSecretary@queensu.ca. Copies of all relevant documentation in the possession or control of the respondent shall accompany the Response.
6. Upon receipt of the Notice of Appeal, the Secretary of USAB shall also send copies of the Notice of Appeal with accompanying schedules to the University Secretary, who shall appoint the faculty and student panel members to hear the appeal (from the roster of panel members). Those on the roster of USAB Chairs will determine who will Chair a USAB panel for any particular appeal. The Secretary of USAB shall forward copies of the Response with accompanying schedules to the Chair of USAB panel when they are filed.
7. Subject to paragraph 10, if a student fails to file their appeal to USAB within the required time limit, they shall forfeit their right to appeal.
8. If the respondent fails to file documents according to these rules, USAB may convene a proceeding without receiving such documents.
9. The Chair of USAB may extend, or in exceptional circumstances and with notice to the other party, shorten any time limit established by these rules if:
- A written request to do so is submitted to the Chair of USAB within the original time limit for filing an appeal. If a written request for an extension of time is not submitted to the Chair within the original time limit, the Chair shall not grant the request and the right to appeal is forfeited; and
- A satisfactory, good faith reason is provided for the delay (or for the shortening of the time limit, as the case may be); and
- There is no prejudice to the other party.
10. During exam or holiday periods the Chair will normally grant an extension of time for filing an appeal but only if a written request for such an extension was submitted by the student within the original time limit for filing an appeal.
11. Subject to paragraph 13, the Chair of USAB may decide not to continue the appeal process if:
- The Notice of Appeal is incomplete or otherwise substantively defective.
- The Chair determines that USAB does not have jurisdiction to decide the appeal.
- The Chair determines that the appeal is clearly without merit or has been commenced in bad faith; or, the student commencing the appeal has not complied with paragraph 18.
- There is some other substantial technical defect in the appeal as filed.
12. The Chair shall give the student notice of their intention not to continue the appeal process under paragraph 11; the Chair’s notice shall set out their reasons and the requirements the student has to meet in order to continue the appeal process. Only one notice shall be given. Students will not be given multiple opportunities to correct their appeal materials. A student who receives a notice from the Chair must satisfy the stated requirement(s) for continuing the appeal process within two weeks after the date of the Chair’s notice.
13. The Chair of USAB shall notify the parties in writing of the intention to dismiss the appeal without an oral presentation before USAB and shall invite and consider written submissions of the parties.
14. If a decision is made to dismiss an appeal without an oral presentation meeting, the Chair of USAB shall inform the parties in writing, stating the reasons for the decision.
15. Each party to an appeal is entitled to receive a copy of every document submitted to USAB by another party. The Chair of USAB may, at any stage of the appeal, make a direction for:
- The exchange of documents.
- The provision of particulars.
- Any other relevant disclosure.
16. The Secretary of USAB, on behalf of USAB, shall give the parties at least seven calendar days’ notice of the oral presentation meeting. The notice shall include:
- The date, time, place and purpose of the meeting.
- The names and roles of each member of USAB panel that will hear the appeal. If the student or the responding academic unit believe that any of the named members of the panel have a conflict of interest, they must notify the Secretary of USAB in writing no less than five calendar days prior to the date of the oral presentation. The Secretary of USAB will refer the matter to the Chair of the panel for a decision (or to the alternate Chair if it the Chair who is alleged to have a conflict). If a panel member is to be replaced because of a conflict of interest, the University Secretary will appoint a different panel member.
- A statement that if the party notified does not attend the meeting, USAB may proceed in the party’s absence and the party will not be entitled to any further notice in the appeal.
17. Documents referred to in this policy should normally be submitted to the Secretary of USAB by email to USABSecretary@queensu.ca.
18. A student shall provide to the Secretary of USAB the following information:
- Their current email address.
- A telephone number at which the student can normally be reached (cell and/or residential).
19. The student shall ensure that the above information provided is current and accurate at all times until the appeal is finally disposed of. The student shall immediately notify the Secretary of USAB in writing of any change in this information.
20. A document emailed to either party shall be deemed to have been received on the first business day after it was sent.
21. At any stage after an appeal has been submitted but prior to an oral presentation commencing before USAB, the parties may agree to engage in discussions for the purposes of resolving the appeal (“Settlement Discussions”).
22. Where parties agree to engage in Settlement Discussions, they must advise the Secretary of USAB and request a delay in scheduling the oral presentation meeting. Such Settlement Discussions shall not normally delay scheduling the oral presentation meeting for more than four weeks. If at the conclusion of this period the dispute remains unresolved, either party may request that the matter be scheduled for an oral presentation meeting before USAB.
23. If Settlement Discussions were conducted, no information shall be provided to USAB other than a notation that the parties participated in Settlement Discussions. No person who participated in the Settlement Discussions shall participate as a member of USAB panel hearing the matter.
24. The Chair may make procedural rulings concerning the conduct of an appeal, including the disclosure of documents and attendance of witnesses (although USAB has no power to compel any person to attend and oral presentation).
25. Interim directions will only be made after giving both parties a reasonable opportunity to make submissions, which normally will be in writing but the Chair may order that a tele-conference or other form of process be held to resolve interim issues.
26. Appeals to USAB and related oral presentation meetings are normally to be conducted in private.
27. The Chair may direct who may or may not be present at any stage of oral presentation, with the exception that a party and their advisor or counsel cannot be excluded.
28. No person may be compelled by USAB to attend oral presentation.
29. No party can be compelled to answer questions from USAB, but the failure to do so may lead to adverse inference.
30. If satisfied that confidentiality concerns can be adequately addressed, the Chair may direct that appeals to USAB involving two or more cases that deal with substantially similar issues and/or evidence be consolidated into a single appeal.
- USAB may receive information in an appeal that it considers to be credible and trustworthy, whether or not that information would be considered admissible as evidence in a court of law. USAB shall determine the weight of such information, relative to the other information it receives in the course of the appeal.
- Where USAB is satisfied as to the authenticity of a copy of a document or other thing, it may be accepted as evidence.
32. The Chair of USAB may exclude evidence on the ground that it is unduly repetitious, irrelevant, or otherwise improper.
33. If witnesses are permitted by USAB to attend oral presentation, a party (or their representative) may ask the witness questions as may reasonably be required for a full and fair disclosure of all matters determined by the Chair to be relevant to the issues in the appeal.
34. The Chair may limit questioning of a witness if the questioning is irrelevant or abusive or if satisfied that the examination has been sufficient to disclose fully and fairly all matters relevant to the appeal.
35. The Chair of USAB may decide to adjourn the oral presentation at the request of a party when the Chair is satisfied that an injustice would occur if the oral presentation were to continue.
36. The Secretary of USAB shall keep a record of all appeals to USAB, which shall include:
- Each decision by a prior decision-maker in the case.
- All documents filed by a party to the appeal.
- Any interim orders made by USAB or the Chair.
- The decision of USAB.
- The recording of the oral presentation made by the Secretary of USAB. Attendees at the oral presentations are not permitted to record the oral presentation unless otherwise expressly permitted by the Chair.
37. Subject to paragraph 38, if members of USAB are unable to agree unanimously on the disposition of an appeal, a majority of USAB may issue a decision and the dissenting member is entitled to write a dissent.
38. If a member of USAB who has participated in the oral presentation meeting becomes unable, for any reason, to complete the meeting or to participate in the decision-making process, the remaining members may complete the oral presentation meeting and make a decision. Unless the decision is unanimous, the appeal shall be dismissed.
39. USAB decisions shall be in writing and must include reasons. Decisions are to be sent to the parties as soon as possible, normally within two weeks after the completion of the oral presentation meeting.
40. Faculties and Schools are bound by and shall implement all decisions of USAB.
41. To the extent that a procedural issue is not dealt with in these Rules of Procedure, the Chair of a USAB panel shall have the power to issue procedural directions about the conduct of individual appeals (See paragraphs 24 and 25 above).
42. The Senate Committee on Academic Procedures, on the recommendation of the Secretary of Senate, shall have the power to amend these Rules of Procedure.