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Student Appeals Committee

Terms of Reference

Purpose and Authority

The purpose of this committee is to:

  • Review student appeals on academic standing referred by the Dean and to make recommendations to the Dean regarding the disposition of the appeal. The committee will review information relevant to the issues raised in the appeal before making a recommendation to the Dean.

The committee will confine itself solely to questions arising from the grounds of appeal set out in these terms of reference, including the procedure in the appendix. The committee may not substitute its academic judgment for that of the faculty on the basis that, on the evidence, the committee would have reached a different conclusion.

Composition

This committee is made up of ex officio and appointed members.

The Faculty of Medicine's commitment to equitable and diverse membership on its committees and advisory councils guides its nomination and selection process.

Voting Members

Ex officio

  • Executive Associate Dean, Education (chair) (1)
  • Executive Associate Dean, Clinical Partnerships and Professionalism or alternate appointed by the chair (1)

Appointed

  • One Department Head/School Director (1)

In the event a committee composed of these individuals cannot be constituted in a timely manner the chair may appoint a senior faculty member as an alternative committee member.

Appointment Process

Ex officio members are members by virtue of their administrative appointment.

Appointed members are appointed by the Dean through the annual process initiated by the Dean's Office.

Term

Ex officio members are members as long as they hold their administrative appointment.

Appointed members are members for the duration of the appeal process in which they were called to participate.

Chair

Chaired by the Executive Associate Dean, Education, or designate.

Meeting Schedule and Administration

Meets at the call of the chair, as needed.

Quorum and Decision Making Process

Quorum consists of all voting members.

Decisions are made by vote, requiring 50% plus one of voting members present to pass.

Lines of Accountability and Communication

This committee:

  • Makes recommendations to the Dean.
  • Receives information from the decision maker and student.

Responsibilities

This committee:

  1. Follows the Appeal Process for Appeals on Academic Standing for Undergraduate Medicine, Undergraduate Medical Laboratory Sciences, and Midwifery Programs in the Faculty of Medicine (see the Appendix).

Approval

This version of these terms of reference, including the appendix, has been approved by the Faculty Executive Committee on September 26, 2017, and by the Faculty of Medicine (Full Faculty) on November 14, 2017.

Version History

  • Minor revisions: August 19, 2013; September 10, 2015
  • Approved by Faculty Executive: May 15, 2012, effective June 1, 2012
  • Minor revisions: August 18, 2011; February 10, March 15, May 10, 2012
  • Created January 23, 2008

Appendix: Appeal Process for Appeals on Academic Standing for Undergraduate Medicine, Undergraduate Medical Laboratory Sciences, and Midwifery Programs in the Faculty of Medicine

This document establishes the appeal process for appeals on Academic Standing for students in undergraduate medicine; undergraduate medical laboratory sciences; and midwifery programs in the Faculty of Medicine. Every effort will be made to decide student appeals under this policy in a timely manner.

Initiating an Appeal

All appeals on academic standing for students in undergraduate medicine; undergraduate medical laboratory sciences; and midwifery programs in the Faculty of Medicine are made to the Dean. The student must forward a letter of appeal to the Dean identifying the decision under appeal and clearly setting out the grounds of appeal in accordance with this Policy. The letter of appeal must include any documents in support of the appeal that the student wishes to be considered. The student's letter of appeal must be received in the Dean's office within 10 days of the decision the student wishes to appeal.

The Dean, or delegate, will review the letter of appeal to determine whether the appeal is based on one of the grounds of appeal set out in this Policy. If the Dean, or delegate, determines that the appeal is not based on a ground of appeal set out in this policy then the Dean may dismiss the appeal.

If the Dean, or delegate, determines that the appeal is based on one of the permissible grounds of appeal set out in this Policy then the Dean will refer the appeal to a committee ("committee") which will be chaired by the Executive Associate Dean Education ("Chair") or designate.

Grounds for Appeal

A decision on academic standing reflects the assessment of faculty as to whether a student has met the academic standards of his or her undergraduate program. It is a decision determined through the exercise of academic judgment in the evaluation process utilized by the undergraduate program.

A student may appeal a decision on academic standing only on the following grounds:

  • The decision is inconsistent with the policies for evaluation and promotion adopted by the undergraduate program;
  • The decision did not take into account all relevant evidence or relied on irrelevant evidence;
  • The decision is based on an arbitrary or discriminatory exercise of academic judgment by the faculty or program.

In rare circumstances a student may appeal a decision on the basis of additional mitigating evidence that was not known to the student, and not available to the decision maker, at the time the decision was made.

A student may not appeal a decision solely on the basis that the student does not agree with the application of an evaluation or promotions policy or with the academic judgment of faculty.

Committee Meeting

The committee will notify the decision maker (e.g.: Chair of Student Promotions and Review Board, head of program or school) of the request for appeal and will provide the decision maker with a copy of the letter of appeal. The decision maker may be asked to provide a written response to the matters raised in the appeal. A copy of any written response provided by the decision maker will be provided to the student and the student will be allowed to respond either in writing or orally during the meeting with the committee. 

The committee will review all materials relevant to the decision under appeal and the grounds of appeal including any applicable evaluation or promotions policies, the student's academic record, any applicable narrative assessments and any faculty committee minutes relevant to the decision under appeal.

The committee will schedule a meeting with the student to discuss the appeal and to attempt to resolve the dispute. At the discretion of the Chair the decision maker may also be invited to attend this meeting. Neither the student nor the decision maker will be represented by legal counsel at this meeting. However, the student may be accompanied by a support person. This meeting could be arranged through videoconferencing as appropriate.

Either before or during the meeting with the student the committee may request additional information, oral or written, related to the decision or the grounds of appeal. All such additional information will be shared with the student and the decision maker and they will be given an opportunity to respond to the additional information. 

After consideration of all information relevant to the appeal the committee will make a recommendation to the Dean with respect to the disposition of the appeal based on a majority vote of the committee members who reviewed the appeal,

The decision and recommendation of the committee will be provided to the Dean in writing.

The committee may recommend that the decision be overturned, modified with specific directions or upheld as written.

Decision of the Dean

Upon receipt of the recommendation of the committee the Dean may request additional information from the student or the decision maker before making a final decision. Any additional information provided in response to a request from the Dean will be provided to the student or faculty and they will have an opportunity to respond to the information.

The Dean will make the final decision regarding the disposition of the appeal after consideration of the committee's recommendation and of any additional information provided in response to the Dean's request under the preceding paragraph.

The Dean will notify the student of the final decision in writing at the earliest opportunity.

A student may appeal the decision of the Dean to the Senate Committee on Academic Standing. Information on how to bring an appeal to the Senate Committee is available in the UBC calendar.

Student Academic Appeals Process Flow Diagrams

The following diagrams supplement the process described above.

UGMC Student Academic Appeals Process.JPG


BMW Student Academic Appeals Process.JPG


BMLSc Student Academic Appeals Process.JPG