27. Academic Appeals

Subject to the following regulations, and to any specific regulations of any graduate academic unit which do not conflict with either this regulation or any other regulation of the School of Graduate Studies, and the General Post Graduate Degree Regulations as contained herein, students have the right to appeal certain academic decisions, as set out in the following paragraphs:

1. Academic decisions relating to performance in course work, other than grades or  academic offences, including, but not limited to:

  • (a) a requirement to withdraw as a result of performance in courses;
  • (b) the satisfaction of qualifying or probationary requirements; and
  • (c) inclusion of graduate or equivalent courses for which a grade has been awarded towards fulfillment of the degree program requirements.

2. Academic decisions relating to the performance in comprehensive examinations, field examinations, demonstrations of expertise, teaching apprenticeships, advanced practicums, or internships, as may be required in a specific graduate degree program or by the School of Graduate Studies.

3. Academic decisions made by a supervisor, a supervisory/advisory committee, graduate academic unit, examining board or the School of Graduate Studies relating to the preparation and examination of a thesis, dissertation, report and/or major research paper, including:

  • (a)  unsatisfactory progress in research or scholarly work towards the thesis, dissertation, report or major research paper;
  • (b) a decision that the thesis, dissertation, report or major research paper proposal is not acceptable;
  • (c) failure in an oral examination of a thesis, dissertation, report or major research paper; or 
  • (d) a decision that a final thesis, dissertation, report or major research paper is unacceptable.

4. The grounds for appeal of any decision as set out in (a), (b), or (c) above, are limited to 

  • (a) relief on the grounds that the decision was made without due regard to proper procedure such that the student was materially disadvantaged; and/or
  • (b) relief on the grounds that the decision was made in a manner which was not fair in all of the circumstances.

Students have no right to appeal on the merit of an academic decision made by Faculty, committees or Boards pursuant to University Regulations.  Students also may not, subject to the criteria set out from time to time by the School of Graduate Studies, appeal on the grounds of the professional and/or academic qualifications of the individuals to be, or actually, selected to be members of any committee, or Graduate Academic Unit or examining board.

Students may, when undertaking an appeal pursuant to this regulation, seek the advice of the Student Advocate on the Fredericton Campus or the Director of Student Affairs and Services on the Saint John Campus, as the case may be, with respect to the submission and conduct of an appeal.  Where requested in writing to do so, the Director of Student Affairs and Services on the Fredericton Campus, or the Director of Student Services on the Saint John Campus, as the case may be, may assist the student in both the preparation and submission of an appeal, and may represent the student both in the settlement process and any subsequent appeal proceedings.  Students also have the right to be represented by an individual of their choice.

27.(A) Appeal Procedure

(a) Students shall submit any of the above academic appeals in writing to the Dean of Graduate Studies within thirty (30) days of being notified of the decision which the student(s) wishes to appeal.

(b) The Dean of Graduate Studies, at the Dean’s sole and only discretion, may require that the appeal first be submitted to a settlement process.  The Dean may designate an assistant or Associate Dean of Graduate Studies to exercise this discretion on behalf of the Dean.

27.(B) Settlement Process

Where the Dean of Graduate Studies requires that an appeal be submitted to the Settlement Process, the following process will apply:

(a) The Dean of Graduate Studies will make the referral of the appeal to the Settlement Process, in writing, to the student(s) and, Director of Graduate Studies in the Graduate Academic Unit of the student(s).

(b) Step 1 - Within ten (10) days of receipt of written referral, the student(s) and the aforesaid Director of Graduate Studies (or the Chair of the Department, or Dean of the Faculty where there is no Department, where the aforesaid Director of Graduate Studies is in a conflict), shall meet and attempt to resolve the issue under appeal to their mutual satisfaction.

(c) Step 2 - In the event that the matter is not resolved in a mutually satisfactory manner pursuant to subparagraph (b) above, within ten (10) days from the date of said referral, the student(s) and the aforesaid Director of Graduate Studies (or the Chair of the Department, or Dean of the Faculty where there is no Department, where the aforesaid Director of Graduate Studies is in a conflict), of the student(s) shall notify the Graduate Studies Committee of the appropriate graduate academic unit, and said Graduate Studies Committee shall appoint a representative to meet with the parties set out above in an attempt to resolve the issues under appeal to the mutual satisfaction of all parties concerned.

(d) Where, as a result of either Step 1 or Step 2 of the settlement process, a resolution of the issues under appeal mutually satisfactory to all parties concerned is reached, a written report on the outcome of the settlement process will be prepared and provided to the Dean of Graduate Studies by the aforesaid Director of Graduate Studies (or the Chair of the Department, or Dean of the Faculty where there is no Department, where the aforesaid Director of Graduate Studies is in a conflict) of the student(s) together with a written acknowledgement signed by the student(s) indicating agreement with the outcome.  

(e) Where no settlement is reached as a result of the settlement process, the Graduate Studies Committee of the Graduate Academic Unit, or its designate, shall report same in writing to the Dean of Graduate Studies, with a copy to the student.

(f) Where as a result of the Settlement Process there is a resolution of the issues satisfactory to all parties the appeal will be deemed to be disposed of and the matter shall not be subject to any further appeal.

(g) Where the Dean of Graduate Studies elects not to refer an appeal to the Settlement Process, the Dean of Graduate Studies shall forward the appeal of the student(s) to the Appeals Sub-Committee of the Executive Committee of the School of Graduate Studies.

(h) Where the Dean of Graduate Studies refers an appeal to the Settlement Process, and has received a report that the Settlement Process has not resulted in a resolution, the Dean shall forward the appeal of the student(s) to the Appeals SubCommittee of the Executive Committee of the School of Graduate Studies, within ten (10) days of receipt of the report.

(i) No person directly involved in either the settlement process, or in the evaluation of the academic progress of the student(s) may be appointed to any appeal subcommittee.

(j) The Appeals Sub-Committee must schedule a hearing of the appeal within a reasonable time, and must give notice in writing of the appeal hearing date to all parties to the appeal at least two (2) weeks in advance of the appeal hearing date.

(k) The Appeals Sub-Committee shall give notice to the student(s), or the person acting on the student(s)’ behalf, of the time and place of the hearing and shall give access to the student(s) or the person acting on the student(s)’ behalf to all materials relevant to the appeal.

(l) The Appeals Sub-Committee shall given notice to the instructor, Chair of the Department and Dean of the Faculty concerned of the time and place of the hearing and request any written materials relevant to the appeal be filed with the committee in a manner such that the right of access provided for in subparagraph (k) shall be facilitated.

(m) The relevant Appeals Committee shall hear and determine the matter and report the disposition of the matter to the Executive Committee at the Executive Committees next regularly scheduled meeting, for information purposes only.  The decision of the Committee shall be final, shall be provided to the student(s) in writing, and no right of appeal exists to the same Appeals Committee from this decision.

(n) Where new evidence becomes available to the student(s) of which the student(s) were unaware at the time of the original Committee Hearing, through no fault of the student(s), and prior to any proceedings commencing before a Senate Review Committee, the relevant Appeals Sub-Committee may, upon written request of the student(s), summarizing such evidence, elect to hold a further hearing to consider such new evidence and, if deemed appropriate, hand down a further or other decision on the appeal.

(o) The appeal subcommittee shall provide a written decision separate and apart from any minutes of the meetings of the meetings of the Appeal Sub Committee and of the hearing disposing of the appeal, with reasons, to the student(s), the Chair of the relevant Graduate Academic Unit, the Dean of the appropriate faculty, the Director of Graduate Studies of the relevant GAU, the Dean of Graduate Studies and the supervisor or supervisory/advisory committee of the student(s).  The written decision is considered part of students’ academic record and according is to be held in confidence by each recipient.

(p) The decision of the appeal subcommittee in any matter under appeal is final and is not subject to further appeal to the Executive Committee of the School of Graduate Studies, but may be subject to appeal to the Senate Review Committee.

27.(C) Appeal Subcommittee Hearing Procedures

(a) Student(s) must have the opportunity to appear, in person, or via conference call or video conference (at the request of the student(s)), to present oral and/or written submissions on the matters at issue on appeal.

(b) Student(s) must have an opportunity to respond to any submissions made by any other parties in the appeal and have an opportunity to present final argument and summation at the conclusion of the hearing.

(c) Student(s) must have an opportunity to direct questions to any other parties in the appeal hearing.

(d) Other parties must be given an opportunity to direct questions to the student(s) in the appeal.

(e)  Members of the appeal subcommittee may question any and all parties with respect to the matters at issue in the appeal, inclusive of the student(s).