Academic Calendar 2021-2022

Appeal Regulations

For information on the Faculty of Arts and Science appeals process please visit https://www.queensu.ca/artsci/undergrad-students/academic-appeals or drop by Dunning Hall, 1st floor. Faculty Regulations are regularly  reviewed and may change at any time. The Calendar contains the most up-to-date version of the Academic Regulations.

The following is a summary of the information relating to Appeal of Academic Decisions:

Section 1: Introduction

1.1 – General Overview of Appeal of Academic Decisions

The Academic Regulations for the Faculty of Arts and Science are designed to ensure that academic standards are upheld and that all students are treated fairly and equitably. The Faculty does, however, understand that there are occasions in which extenuating circumstances – that is, personal circumstances beyond a student’s control – adversely affect a student’s performance at Queen’s University. The appeal process is available to reconsider the suitability of sanctions or penalties imposed upon a student in light of information brought forward by the student concerning such extenuating circumstances.

In general, with the exception of appeals related to final examinations, final grades, or non-academic discipline where other criteria will apply, appeals are only granted where there are significantly extenuating circumstances, beyond the student’s control, which would merit the waiving of a particular Faculty regulation or decision. Extenuating circumstances normally involve a significant physical or psychological event that is beyond a student’s control and debilitating to their academic performance. These kinds of extraordinary situations should be supported by official documentation from a health care or related professional.

Official documentation does not need to outline the specifics of the particular condition or matter affecting the student, but must clearly indicate ways in which the extenuating circumstances directly affected the student’s performance, and should verify that these effects were substantial enough to cause the academic problem. Information on the start, duration and present state of the extenuating condition is critical to helping the instructor, Associate Dean (Academic) or Board of Studies to make an informed decision. Further, a clear statement on whether the condition or circumstances have either improved or are being managed so that they will not have a significant detrimental effect on future academic performance is also essential.

The appeals process does not compensate for extenuating circumstances that the student is unable to resolve, or for which the student is unwilling to actively seek accommodation. In addition, the appeals process does not compensate for extenuating circumstances that are actively being accommodated, for example where a student’s permanent disabilities are being accommodated through Queen’s Student Accessibility Services. Multiple appeals citing the same extenuating circumstances will be reviewed very closely. This review may include, with the permission of the student, consultation with the appropriate professionals involved to obtain more detailed information. In order for such an appeal to succeed, there must be convincing evidence that the circumstances that affected the student’s academic performance will be resolved within a reasonable timeline, or will be appropriately managed on an ongoing basis.

1.2 – Contexts for Appeals in the Faculty of Arts and Science

1.2.1 – Academic Integrity

The International Center for Academic Integrity (ICAI) defines academic integrity as “a commitment, even in the face of adversity, to six fundamental values: honesty, trust, fairness, respect, responsibility and courage. From these values flow principles of behaviour that enable academic communities to translate ideals into action”. This concept is more fully explored in Academic Regulation 1 in the Arts and Science Calendar, but the educational mission of Queen’s with its emphasis on “intellectual integrity,” “freedom of inquiry and exchange of ideas” and “equal dignity of all persons” depends on an adherence to academic integrity in all its actions (see the Senate Report on Principles and Priorities). In support of the concept of academic integrity, students have the responsibility to familiarize themselves with the rules and regulations of the Faculty. Additional information on academic integrity regulations, information for instructors and students and direction for appeals can be found in Academic Regulation 1. Appeals for issues of academic integrity are described in Appeal of Academic Decisions, Section 2.

1.2.2 – Procedural Fairness

Procedural fairness or natural justice holds that:

  1. Students must have access to any evidence and information relevant to the academic matter in question;
  2. Students must have a meaningful opportunity to respond;
  3. Students have a right to seek support or advice (normally from the University Ombudsman);
  4. The decision maker must be free from apprehension of bias; and
  5. The decision maker must provide reasons for the decision based on evidence and the decision must be consistent with the Academic Regulations.

1.2.3 – The University Setting

The University environment is characterized by a spirit of free exchange and inquiry, and the appeal process should be carried out with this in mind. The appeal process should take into consideration the educational context and role of disciplinary proceedings.

Educational hearings are not legal proceedings and should not resemble a courtroom. The proceedings should not be adversarial or prosecutorial; instead they should be conducted in an environment of mutual respect.

1.2.4 – The Senate Policy on Student Appeals, Rights and Discipline

The Senate Policy on Student Appeals, Rights and Discipline (SARD) provides a procedural framework for proceedings in the Faculty of Arts and Science. The expectation is that disputed matters will continue to be resolved as closely as possible to the level at which they originate, and as quickly as is consonant with careful review. In accordance with the SARD policy, informality has characterized the administration of regulations in the Faculty of Arts and Science as far as possible. However, when a matter cannot be resolved through an informal review, the Faculty’s regulations provide students with the opportunity to formally appeal academic decisions.

The SARD policy also offers the following guidance on decision making:
“[All decision making bodies are intended] to ensure that students are treated fairly, but at the same time [it is recognized] that primary responsibility for making decisions about individual students rests with those who are closest to the students, who can fairly compare the individual students to other students in similar positions, and who have knowledge of the context in which the decision is made.

It is recognized that a decision-making body has the discretion to select among a number of reasonable alternatives. A decision that is fairly made shall only be reversed if the [decision maker] is satisfied that it was not a reasonable decision. “Reasonable” in this context means a decision that is grounded in logic. In other words, a reasonable decision is one that is supported by logical inferences from accepted premises and facts. If there is more than one conclusion that may be reasonably drawn from the same premises and facts, the choice of one conclusion over another does not make the decision unreasonable. [Decision-making bodies] shall not reverse a decision solely on the basis that it would not have made the same decision itself if it were exercising discretion. There is a considerable body of Canadian jurisprudence that helps define what constitutes review on the ground that a decision is not ‘reasonable’.”

Section 2: Appeals Related to Academic Integrity

2.1 – Levels of Appeal

There are two levels of appeal for matters related to academic integrity in the Faculty of Arts and Science:

  1. The Office of the Associate Dean (Academic); and
  2. The Academic Integrity and Conduct Panel.

These levels of appeal deliver a decision addressing the academic issues raised in the case. Information on these appeals is available from the Arts and Science website, as well as the Arts and Science Faculty Office.

The Senate Policy on Student Appeals, Rights and Discipline (SARD) establishes a University-wide body, the University Student Appeal Board (USAB), which provides a final internal appeal process. USAB is intended to have a relatively narrow jurisdiction for dealing with appeals (see the Senate Policy on Student Appeals, Rights and Discipline).

2.2 – Appeal to the Office of the Associate Dean (Academic) of an Instructor’s Decision Related to Departures from Academic Integrity

Students may appeal the instructor’s finding or sanction or both to the Associate Dean (Academic) after receiving the official finding from the instructor.

2.2.1 – Submission of the Appeal

Appeals must be received in the Faculty Office within 21 calendar days of the initial decision by the instructor that is being appealed. In cases where a delay is needed on either side, there will be written notification of the delay and the reasons for the delay.

An appeal fee must also be submitted with the appeal documents.

Students must complete the Associate Dean (Academic) Appeal form, stating whether they are challenging the finding, the sanction or both aspects of the departure.

All documents used by the instructor and student in the initial decision must be included as part of the submission. Further the student should include a letter, responding to the decision by the instructor and outlining the specific concerns he or she has with the decision.

2.2.2 – Review of Appeal Documentation

In preparation for the review, the Associate Dean (Academic) may request additional relevant materials. If material in addition to that supplied by the student will be considered, the student must have at least 7 calendar days to review and respond to that material before a meeting is convened.

2.2.3 – Convening a Meeting

In most instances, the Associate Dean (Academic) will convene a meeting with the student (and his or her representative), the instructor (and his or her representative), and witnesses where appropriate, to conduct a thorough review of the evidence as it relates to the departure.

If, for any reason, the student does not wish to meet in person, he or she may indicate in writing that the written materials constitute sufficient material for the Associate Dean (Academic) to review.

Where it is decided that a meeting will occur, the Associate Dean (Academic) will notify the student and the instructor of the time and location of the meeting. The student will also be informed of the right to bring a representative and the names of those who will be present.

2.2.4 – Students’ Right to Representation

Students have the right to be accompanied by a Dispute Resolution Advisor to meet with the Associate Dean (Academic). If a student seeks formal legal representation, he or she should notify the Associate Dean (Academic) in advance. It will be expected that the student will normally be able to speak for him or herself at the meeting.

2.2.5 – The Decision of the Associate Dean (Academic)

The Associate Dean (Academic) will make a decision according to the guidelines set out in Academic Regulation 1. The written decision must be framed within the language and context of the Academic Regulations and include:

  1. A statement of the issues under review;
  2. A summary of the arguments and evidence presented;
  3. The status of the finding and sanction (whether they remain as in the previous decision or are altered);
  4. The reasons for the decision; and
  5. A statement of the right to proceed to the Academic Integrity and Conduct Panel.

The Associate Dean (Academic) will inform the student in writing of the decision, normally within 21 calendar days after the date at which the appeal is considered complete.

2.2.6 – Appealing the Decision of the Associate Dean (Academic)

If the student is not satisfied with the decision reached by the Associate Dean (Academic), the student can choose to proceed to the next stage of review by appealing to the Academic Integrity and Conduct Panel.

2.3 – Appeal to the Academic Integrity and Conduct Panel of the Decision of the Associate Dean (Academic) Related to Departures from Academic Integrity

Students may appeal the decision of the Associate Dean (Academic) regarding the finding or the sanction or both to the Academic Integrity and Conduct Panel after receiving the decision of the Associate Dean (Academic).

2.3.1 – Types of Hearings

The Academic Integrity and Conduct Panel shall hold one of either of two types of hearings, depending on the circumstances leading to the appeal.

  1. A full (i.e. de novo) hearing shall be held only in cases where a finding of a departure from academic integrity was originally made by the Associate Dean (Academic).
  2. An appeal hearing shall be held in all other cases, specifically in cases where a finding of a departure from academic integrity was originally made by the instructor and then subsequently appealed to the Associate Dean (Academic).
2.3.1.1 – Full Hearing

In a full hearing, the Academic Integrity and Conduct Panel shall review and consider all evidence pertaining to the case, including new evidence that may be introduced prior to the hearing.

2.3.1.2 – Appeal Hearing

In an appeal hearing, the Academic Integrity and Conduct Panel shall review the decision of the Associate Dean (Academic) based on the same information that was available to the Associate Dean (Academic) at the time that the decision was made.

2.3.2 – Submission of the Appeal

Appeals must be received in the Faculty Office within 21 calendar days of the decision by the Associate Dean (Academic) that is being appealed.

No appeal fee is required for the submission of an appeal of the decision by the Associate Dean (Academic).

Students must complete the Academic Integrity Appeal form, stating whether they are challenging the finding, the sanction or both aspects of the departure.
 
All documents used by the Associate Dean (Academic) and student in the previous decision must be included as part of the submission. The student may include a letter, responding to the decision of the Associate Dean (Academic) and outlining the specific concerns he or she has with the decision. No additional documentation should be added at this time. If, however, new material is included, the appeal will be redirected to the Associate Dean (Academic) for reconsideration. After assessing the new information, the Associate Dean (Academic) may decide to modify or overturn the previous decision or to redirect the appeal to the Academic Integrity and Conduct Panel for consideration.

2.3.3 – Review of Appeal Documentation

If material in addition to that supplied by the student will be considered, the student must have at least 7 calendar days to review and respond to that material.

2.3.4 – Convening a Meeting

In most instances, the Academic Integrity and Conduct Panel will convene a meeting with the student (and his or her representative), the instructor (and his or her representative), and witnesses where appropriate, to conduct a thorough review of the evidence as it relates to the departure.

If, for any reason, the student does not wish to meet in person, he or she may indicate in writing that the written materials constitute sufficient material for the Academic Integrity and Conduct Panel to review.

Where it is decided a meeting will occur, the Secretary to the Academic Integrity and Conduct Panel will notify the student and the instructor of the time and location of the meeting. The student will also be informed of the right to bring a representative and the names of those who will be present.

2.3.5 – Students’ Right to Representation

Students have the right to be accompanied by a Dispute Resolution Advisor to meet with the Academic Integrity and Conduct Panel. If a student seeks formal legal representation, he or she should notify the Associate Dean (Academic) in advance. It will be expected that the student will normally be able to speak for him or herself at the meeting.

2.3.6 – The Decision of the Academic Integrity and Conduct Panel

The Academic Integrity and Conduct Panel will make a decision according to the guidelines set out in Academic Regulation 1. The written decision must be framed within the language and context of the Academic Regulations and include:

  1. A statement of the issues under review;
  2. A summary of the arguments and evidence presented;
  3. The status of the finding and sanction (whether they remain as in the previous decision or are altered);
  4. The reasons for the decision;
  5. If necessary, direction on how the decision is to be implemented; and
  6. A statement of the right of the student to proceed to USAB.

In a case where the Academic Integrity and Conduct Panel determines that withdrawal from the Faculty on grounds of a departure from academic integrity is the appropriate sanction, the Academic Integrity and Conduct Panel must direct the Associate Dean (Academic) to make such a recommendation to Senate.

The Chair of the Academic Integrity and Conduct Panel will inform the student in writing of the decision, normally within 21 calendar days after the date at which the appeal is considered complete.

2.3.7 – Appealing the Decision of the Academic Integrity and Conduct Panel

If the student is not satisfied with the decision reached by the Academic Integrity and Conduct Panel, the student can choose to proceed to next stage of review by appealing to the Senate University Student Appeal Board.

2.4 – Appeal to the University Student Appeal Board (USAB)

2.4.1 – Submission of the Appeal

Appeals to USAB must be received in writing within two weeks of having received a decision from the Academic Integrity and Conduct Panel. Students should contact the University Ombudsman to be informed of the appeal process.

2.4.2 – Matters that may be Appealed to USAB

If a student believes that there are reasons for an appeal on other than academic grounds, the student may set in motion the system for handling appeals as recorded in the Senate Policy on Student Appeals, Rights and Discipline, by appealing to the University Student Appeal Board.

Section 3: Appeals on Matters Other than Those Related to Academic Integrity

3.1 – Levels of Appeal

There are three levels of appeal within the Faculty of Arts and Science:

  1. The instructor;
  2. The Office of the Associate Dean (Academic); and
  3. The Board of Studies.

These levels of appeal deliver a decision addressing the academic issues raised in the case. Information on these appeals is available from the Arts and Science website, as well as the Arts and Science Faculty Office.

3.1.1 – Appeals to the Instructor

3.1.1.1 – Submission of the Appeal

If an academic decision is questioned by a student, the student will first take up the matter informally with the instructor who made the decision, in order to ensure that the instructor is aware of all the facts which the student believes are pertinent to the decision. This should be done as early as possible and must be done within 21 calendar days of communication of the decision to the student.

3.1.1.2 – The Decision of the Instructor

The instructor will normally give a reconsidered decision within 21 calendar days of receiving the additional information that the student has presented.

3.1.1.3 – Appealing the Decision of the Instructor

If a student is not satisfied with the decision of an instructor or a Department, an appeal may be made to the Office of the Associate Dean (Academic).

3.1.1.4 – Matters that may be Appealed to the Instructor

The following matters may be appealed to the instructor:

  1. Instructors’ decisions on grading of term work or final examinations (see Appeal of Academic Decisions, section 3); and
  2. To request to write the final examination for a class at a later time than formally scheduled (see Academic Regulation 8).

3.1.2 – Appeals to the Office of the Associate Dean (Academic)

3.1.2.1 – Submission of the Appeal

Appeals must be received in the Faculty Office as soon as possible after receipt of the decision that is being appealed, and no later than the relevant deadline specified in Appeal Regulation 3.2.2, Timeline of Appeals. Students must complete the Associate Dean (Academic) online appeal form and include a letter outlining the nature of their concerns. The student must clearly explain the extenuating circumstances and their impact upon the student. The appropriate supporting documentation must be appended to the appeal.

3.1.2.2 – Review of Appeal Documentation

As part of the appeal review process, instructors, department administrators or other persons who have provided information contained in the appeal may be contacted to confirm or respond to statements presented in the appeal. If material in addition to that supplied by the student will be considered, the student will be advised of this material and will be given an opportunity to review and respond to that material.

In cases where facts are in dispute or there are issues of credibility, the student or the Associate Dean (Academic) may request a meeting in addition to the written appeal. Students have the right to be accompanied by a Dispute Resolution Advisor to meet with the Associate Dean (Academic). If a student seeks formal legal representation, he or she should notify the Associate Dean (Academic) in advance.

3.1.2.3 – The Decision of the Associate Dean (Academic)

In general, with the exception of appeals related to grading of term work or final examinations where other criteria will apply, appeals to the Associate Dean (Academic) are only granted where there are significantly extenuating circumstances, beyond the student’s control, that would merit the waiving of a particular Faculty regulation or decision.

The Office of the Associate Dean (Academic) will inform the student in writing of the decision, normally within 21 calendar days after the date at which the appeal is considered complete.

3.1.2.4 – Appealing the Decision of the Associate Dean (Academic)

The decisions of the Associate Dean (Academic) on matters related to appeals of grading of term work or final examinations are final.

In all other cases, if the student is not satisfied with the decision reached by the Associate Dean (Academic), the student can choose to proceed to the next stage of review by appealing to the Board of Studies.

3.1.2.5 – Matters that may be Appealed to the Office of the Associate Dean (Academic)

The Faculty of Arts and Science permits students to appeal the following matters to the Office of the Associate Dean (Academic):

  1. To add a course after the last official date for adding classes (see Academic Dates);
  2. To drop a course after the last official date for dropping classes (see Academic Dates);
  3. To request Aegrotat standing in a class (see Academic Regulation 10);
  4. To request Credit (CR) standing in a class (see Academic Regulation 10);
  5. To request an extension of the deadline to submit incomplete work in a class, or to complete a deferred exam in a class (see Academic Regulation 10);
  6. Instructors’ decisions on grading of term work or final examinations (see Academic Regulation 11);
  7. To request to write the final examination for a class at an earlier time than formally scheduled (see Academic Regulation 8);
  8.  To request to complete any part of the third or fourth year of an honours degree program at another university (Fall and/or Winter Terms) (see Academic Regulation 14);
  9. A requirement to withdraw (see Academic Regulation 13).

3.1.3 – Appeals to the Board of Studies

3.1.3.1 – Submission of the Appeal

Appeals must be received in the Faculty Office as soon as possible, but no later than 21 calendar days after receipt of the decision of the Associate Dean (Academic). There is no fee for the appeal to the Board of Studies. Students must complete the Board of Studies appeal form and include a letter that addresses the written statements made by the Associate Dean (Academic) in denying the appeal.

3.1.3.2 – Documentation to be Considered by the Board of Studies

All letters and documentation considered by the Associate Dean (Academic) in reaching a decision will be forwarded to the Board of Studies.
 
No additional information should be supplied, as the role of the Board of Studies is to review the decision of the Associate Dean (Academic) based on the same information available to the Associate Dean (Academic) at the time the decision was made. If new material is included, the appeal will be redirected to the Associate Dean (Academic) for reconsideration. After assessing new information, the Associate Dean (Academic) may decide to overturn the previous decision or to redirect the appeal to the Board of Studies for consideration.

3.1.3.3 – Review of Documentation

Students must have at least 7 calendar days to review and respond to the materials under consideration by the Board of Studies.

In cases where facts are in dispute or there are issues of credibility, the student or the Board of Studies may request an oral presentation, in addition to the written appeal. Students have the right to be accompanied by a Dispute Resolution Advisor to meet with the Board of Studies. If a student seeks formal legal representation, he or she should notify the Board of Studies in advance.

3.1.3.4 – Decision of the Board of Studies

In general, appeals to the Board of Studies are only granted where there are significantly extenuating circumstances, beyond the student’s control, that would merit the waiving of a particular Faculty regulation or decision.

The Board of Studies will inform the student in writing of the decision, normally within 21 calendar days after the date of the meeting of the Board of Studies to decide the appeal.

The decisions of the Board of Studies on academic matters are final (see the Senate Policy on Student Appeals, Rights and Discipline).

3.1.3.5 – Appealing the Decision of the Board of Studies

If the student is not satisfied with the process undertaken by the Associate Dean (Academic) or the Board of Studies, the student can choose to proceed to next stage of review by appealing to the University Student Appeal Board.

3.1.3.6 – Matters that may be Appealed to the Board of Studies

The Faculty of Arts and Science permits students to appeal decisions on the following matters to the Board of Studies:

  1. To add a course after the last official date for adding classes (see Academic Dates);
  2. To drop a course after the last official date for dropping classes (see Academic Dates);
  3. To request Aegrotat standing in a course (see Academic Regulation 10);
  4. To request Credit (CR) standing in a course (see Academic Regulation 10);
  5. To request an extension of the deadline to submit incomplete work in a class, or to complete a deferred exam in a class (see Academic Regulation 10);
  6. To request to write the final examination for a class at an earlier time than formally scheduled (see Academic Regulation 8);
  7. To request to complete any part of the third or fourth year of an honours degree program at another university (Fall and/or Winter Terms) (see Academic Regulation 14);
  8. A requirement to withdraw (see Academic Regulation 13).

3.1.4 – Appeals to the University Student Appeal Board (USAB)

3.1.4.1 – Submission of the Appeal

Appeals to USAB must be received in writing within 2 weeks of having received a decision from the Board of Studies. Students should contact the University Ombudsman to be informed of the appeal process.

3.1.4.2 – Matters that may be Appealed to USAB

If a student believes that there are reasons for an appeal on other than academic grounds, the student may set in motion the system for handling appeals as recorded in the Senate Policy on Student Appeals, Rights and Discipline, by appealing to the University Student Appeal Board

3.2 – Limitations on Appeals

3.2.1 – Who may Appeal

Only students registered in the Faculty of Arts and Science are eligible to initiate an appeal using the Faculty’s appeal procedure (see the Senate Policy on Faculty Jurisdiction with Respect to Student Appeals of Academic Decisions).

Students who have graduated from the Faculty of Arts and Science are not eligible to submit an appeal of any kind after 21 days of their graduation.

3.2.2 – Timeline of Appeals

3.2.2.1 – 21-Day Appeal Timeline

There is a 21-day deadline to submit an appeal related to any of the following matters:

  1. To add a course after the last official date for adding classes (see Academic Dates);
  2. Instructors’ decisions on grading of term work or final examinations (see Academic Regulation 11);
  3. A requirement to withdraw (see Academic Regulation 13).
3.2.2.2 – Explanation of 21-Day Appeal Timeline

Any appeal of the academic matters listed above must be made within 21 calendar days of the decision under review. This timeline is in place for several reasons. First, the 21-day timeline offers students time to seek academic counselling, to write and submit an appeal, and to collect the supporting documents necessary to the appeal.

Second, the appeal timeline is in place to ensure that decision making takes place in a timely manner and that students are not left at a disadvantage in terms of enrolment in classes or assessment of academic standing. Timely decision making also allows students to continue in their academic programs without ongoing concern for unresolved matters.

Third, the appeal timeline is in place to ensure fair decision making. The interested parties and the original contexts within which the matter originated may not be available after this time period. Over time, instructors, class content, the norms of evaluating class materials, and Degree Plan structures may and generally do change. Furthermore, the supporting documents necessary to any appeal may no longer be available or their credibility may more easily come into question. Therefore, the inability to reconstruct accurately the circumstances leading to the original matter under appeal can compromise the decision-making process.

The principle of a limitation on timelines for review of academic matters conforms to precedents throughout the University. Most notably, Senate regulations on examinations require that final examinations be retained for up to one year from the date of writing. This policy assumes that students should be allowed sufficient time to query examination marks but also that the timeline for reconsideration is limited.

3.2.2.3 – One-Term Appeal Timeline

There is a one-term deadline to submit an appeal related to any of the following matters:

  1. To drop a course after the last official date for dropping classes (see Academic Dates);
  2. To request Aegrotat standing in a course (see Academic Regulation 10);
  3. To request Credit (CR) standing in a course (see Academic Regulation 10);
  4. To request an extension of the deadline to submit incomplete work in a class, or to complete a deferred exam (see Academic Regulation 10).
3.2.2.4 – Explanation of One-Term Appeal Timeline

Any appeal of the academic matters listed above must be made by the end of the subsequent term of that in which the course being appealed was taken.

Term of Course being Appealed One-Term Appeal Deadline
Fall Term 30 April
Winter Term 15 September
Summer Term 31 December

This timeline is in place for several reasons. First, the one-term timeline offers students time to seek academic counselling, to write and submit an appeal, and to collect the supporting documents necessary to the appeal. It also recognizes that the extenuating circumstances that led to the difficulty in completing the class(es) are usually not resolved within 21 days and that students require additional time to initiate the appeal process.

Second, the appeal timeline is in place to ensure that decision making takes place in a timely manner, allowing students to continue in their academic programs without ongoing concern for unresolved matters.

Third, the appeal timeline is in place to ensure fair decision making. The interested parties and the original contexts within which the matter originated may not be available after this time period. Over time, instructors, class content, the norms of evaluating class materials, and Degree Plan structures may and generally do change. Furthermore, the supporting documents necessary to any appeal may no longer be available or their credibility may more easily come into question. Therefore, the inability to reconstruct accurately the circumstances leading to the original matter under appeal can compromise the decision-making process.

3.2.2.5 – Appealing the 21-Day or One-Term Appeal Timeline

Exceptions to this regulation can only be granted in cases where extenuating circumstances beyond a student’s control render the student unable to appeal within the specified timeline. The student must be able to show that the extenuating circumstances were ongoing. The student must also be able to demonstrate that these circumstances prevented the student from acting between the time the original decision was received and the time at which the appeal was eventually initiated. Appeals of the regulation governing the timeline for appeals must be submitted in writing. An appeal of this type should include a presentation of the specific reasons for the delay and must include documents that support the reasons for this delay.

Note that students are not able to revisit the same time period in submitting subsequent appeals. For example if a student has appealed to drop one or more classes without academic penalty in the Fall Term he or she is not able to make a subsequent different appeal in relation to that same time period.

3.2.2.6 – Appealing after Graduation

No appeal may be submitted by a student after 21 days following graduation.

3.2.3 – Appealing the Same Matter

Once an appeal has been decided by the Board of Studies, students may not appeal the same matter to the Associate Dean (Academic).

3.3 – Matters that May be Appealed

3.3.1 – To Add a Class after the Last Official Date for Adding Classes

Students must be enrolled in a class to be eligible to attend or otherwise participate in lectures, laboratories, tutorials, tests, and examinations associated with the class (see Academic Regulation 6).

Appeals to add a class late must clearly demonstrate the significant extenuating circumstances, beyond the student’s control, which prevented him or her from making the addition by the published deadline. A medical certificate or other documentation that outlines how the personal extenuating circumstances hindered the student’s ability to add the class during the published deadlines should be provided with the letter of appeal. The student must also have support from the Undergraduate Chair of the relevant department and from the class instructor. If the class was full prior to the deadline and a wait list existed for the class, the student must have been at or near the top of the wait list for the class in order for the appeal to be considered.
 
An appeal to add a class late must be must be submitted within 21 calendar days of the deadline to add a class for the specified term.

3.3.2 – To Drop a Class after the Last Official Date for Dropping Classes

Appeals to drop a class late must clearly demonstrate the significant extenuating circumstances, beyond the student’s control, which prevented him or her from dropping the class by the published deadline, as indicated in the Faculty’s Academic Dates. A medical certificate or other documentation that outlines how the personal extenuating circumstances hindered the student’s ability to drop the class during the published deadlines must be provided with the letter of appeal. If the appeal is successful, a grade of DR will be placed on the transcript. If the appeal is unsuccessful, the final grade earned will remain on the transcript. A student may not appeal to remove a DR grade from the transcript.

Students should be aware that if there are extenuating circumstances, other options are available in place of a DR grade, particularly when some or all of the coursework has been completed. These include Incomplete status (IN), Credit status (CR) or an Aegrotat grade in the class. Note that classes in which a student has received a passing grade may not be dropped. Instead, students with extenuating circumstances should consider an appeal for credit (CR) standing (see Academic Regulation 10).

Students may not appeal to drop a class in which there is a pending investigation of a departure from academic integrity, or a finding of a departure from academic integrity that has resulted in a failure in the class.

An appeal to drop a class must be submitted by the end of the subsequent term to the term in which the class was offered.

3.3.3 – To Request Aegrotat Standing in a Course

Aegrotat standing is reserved for a student who, because of illness or other extenuating circumstances beyond their control, is unable to complete all the work of the class. At least 60 per cent of the work to be evaluated in the class (assignments, midterms, laboratories, final examination, as specified in the class syllabus) must be completed. A medical certificate or other documentation that outlines how the personal extenuating circumstances affected the student’s academic performance must be provided with the letter of appeal. As part of the appeal the instructor(s) involved must indicate whether the student has demonstrated an understanding of the course material. If this request is granted, the instructor(s) will be asked to provide an estimated final grade (see Academic Regulation 10).

An appeal for aegrotat standing must be submitted by the end of the subsequent term to the term in which the class was offered.

A student may be granted aegrotat or credit standing for a maximum of 36.0 units over the course of an entire degree program (see Academic Regulation 10).

3.3.4 – To Request Credit (CR) Standing in a Course

Credit standing is reserved for a student who has completed all of the work of the class, including the final examination, and achieved a passing grade in the class, but due to illness or other extenuating circumstances beyond his or her control, earned a substantially lower grade than might have been expected. Normally CR standing is only awarded for a grade of C or lower. A medical certificate or other documentation outlining how the personal extenuating circumstances affected the student’s academic performance must be provided with the letter of appeal (see Academic Regulation 10).

An appeal for credit standing must be submitted by the end of the subsequent term to the term in which the class was offered.

A student may be granted aegrotat or credit standing for a maximum of 36.0 units over the course of an entire degree program (see Academic Regulation 10).

3.3.5 – To Request an Extension of the Deadline to Submit Incomplete Work or to Complete a Deferred Examination in a Class

As outlined in Academic Regulation 10, a student affected by extenuating circumstances may ask the course instructor for incomplete standing (IN), or that the final examination be delayed, for up to one full term after the completion of a class. If this request is granted, any further request to submit incomplete work or to write a final examination after that term has elapsed must be made through a formal appeal to the Associate Dean (Academic). A medical certificate or other documentation outlining how the personal extenuating circumstances prevented the student from completing the outstanding work or writing the examination by the end of the next term must be provided with the letter of appeal. A note from the instructor agreeing to a further extension and stating a revised final date for completion of the course work in question or the final examination must also be included.

Normally such requests are considered if the student has participated actively in the class and only one or two elements of the class have not been completed due to extenuating circumstances beyond the student’s control. Students with extenuating circumstances who have been unable to complete the majority of the work in a class should consider an appeal to drop a class after the deadline rather than an extension of the deadline to submit incomplete work.

An appeal for the extension of the deadline to submit incomplete work or to complete a deferred examination beyond one term must be made by the end of the term following that in which the incomplete work was to be submitted or the deferred examination was to be written.

3.3.6 – To Request a Review of Instructors’ Decisions on Grading of Term Work and/or Final Examinations

A student may request a review of any grade assigned in a course subject to the marking scheme set out by the course instructor(s). As a first step, the student must request an informal review with the instructor concerned, and instructors are strongly encouraged to consent. If the informal review process is unsuccessful, the student may ask for the assistance of the Office of the Associate Dean (Academic) in order to facilitate a review through an appeal to the Associate Dean (Academic). This request must be made within 21 calendar days of the grade being received.

As part of the appeal request, the student should:

  1. clearly articulate grounds for reconsideration and identify specifically the substance of an answer where the student feels the mark given was not evaluated fully, for example:
    • show, in an objective answer, that a correct answer has been counted as incorrect;
    • show, in a subjective or essay answer, that the response has been under evaluated substantially; and
  2. provide relevant documentation to support the appeal (i.e. class notes, etc.).

It is the responsibility of the student to preserve all exercises, papers, reports and other graded material for the course and to submit these materials with the appeal. In any formal appeal of term work, the student must accept the responsibility for ensuring that the work presented for reassessment is in fact the original term work submitted for evaluation (see Academic Regulation 11).

The term work or examination in question will be forwarded to the Head of the relevant academic unit with a request to facilitate the review by appointing two reviewers on behalf of the Office of the Associate Dean (Academic). One of the two reviewers is normally the original instructor; however if the instructor is not available, or if the student can demonstrate bias or other conflict on the part of the original instructor, the Department Head/Director may appoint any two reviewers with good knowledge of the course material. In such cases the original instructor may be asked to provide any documentation relevant to the review. Each reviewer will independently reread the term work or examination. Where possible, the student’s identity will remain confidential from the reviewers (names and student numbers will be removed from the term work or examination). In matters where there is a discrepancy in grades between the reviewers, the Department Head/Director will arbitrate the final grade, and will report the grade to the Office of the Associate Dean (Academic), usually within 21 calendar days of receiving the request.
 
The reconsidered grade, which may be higher than or unchanged from the original grade, may not be further appealed to the Board of Studies, as the Board has no academic jurisdiction.

3.3.7 – To Request to Complete Any Part of the Third or Fourth Year of an Honours Degree Program at another University (Fall/Winter Session)

Normally the last two years of the honours degree are taken in the Faculty of Arts and Science at Queen’s. Students in good academic standing (i.e. on a degree program with a minimum cumulative GPA of 1.60) may spend the third or fourth year of an honours program at another university with the written permission of the department(s) of concentration and the Associate Dean (Academic). The student’s appeal should directly address how courses taken at another university will fulfill the concentration requirements. If approved, these students must obtain a Letter of Permission from the Arts and Science Faculty Office prior to enrolling in courses at another university (see Academic Regulation 14).

Students should be aware that the appeal process can take up to 21 calendar days and the application process for the Letter of Permission can take two to three weeks. In addition, should the appeal be approved and the Letter of Permission granted, students must then meet the host university’s admission deadlines.

3.3.8 – To Request to Waive a Requirement to Withdraw for One Year

Appeals requesting that a requirement to withdraw be waived must clearly demonstrate how significantly extenuating circumstances, beyond the student’s control, affected his or her academic performance. In cases where the extenuating circumstances have been temporary, the student should indicate and document how the circumstances have been overcome and why the student is confident that they will not continue to be a factor in academic performance. In cases where the extenuating circumstances are ongoing rather than temporary, the student should also indicate and document how these personal challenges will be managed if the requirement to withdraw is waived. A medical certificate or other official documentation that demonstrates the impact of the extenuating circumstances must be provided with the letter of appeal.

If the requirement to withdraw is waived, the Associate Dean (Academic) may impose conditions governing the student’s subsequent registration. In these cases, at the discretion of the Associate Dean (Academic), the student’s registration status may be changed from full-time to part-time, or the student may be required to seek the permission of the Associate Dean (Academic) in order to enrol in classes.

An appeal of the requirement to withdraw must be submitted within 21 calendar days of the receipt of the letter from the Associate Dean (Academic) informing the student of the decision that the student must withdraw.

In all cases a notation indicating the requirement to withdraw will remain on the transcript, in accordance with the Senate’s Policy on Transcript Terminology for Students Withdrawing from Queen’s University. If the requirement to withdraw is waived, then a notation to that effect shall be added to the transcript.

3.3.9 – To Request to Waive a Requirement to Withdraw for a Minimum of Three Years

3.3.9.1 – Appeals Submitted Within 21 Days of Notification of RTW3 Standing

Appeals requesting that a requirement to withdraw be waived must clearly demonstrate how significantly extenuating circumstances, beyond the student’s control, affected his or her academic performance. In cases where the extenuating circumstances have been temporary, the student should indicate and document how the circumstances have been overcome and why the student is confident that they will not continue to be a factor in academic performance. In cases where the extenuating circumstances are ongoing rather than temporary, the student should also indicate and document how these personal challenges will be managed if the requirement to withdraw is waived. A medical certificate or other official documentation that demonstrates the impact of the extenuating circumstances must be provided with the letter of appeal. If a lesser sanction is imposed, the requirement to withdraw notation will be removed from the transcript.

If a student is within 12.0 units of completion of a degree, that student’s case will be reviewed by the Associate Dean (Academic),  who  may  impose  a  lesser  sanction.  In  exceptional  circumstances,  the  continuation  of  academic probation may be imposed by the Associate Dean (Academic) as an alternative to requiring a student to withdraw. The special conditions which the student must meet in such instances will be determined by the Associate Dean (Academic) on an individual basis (see Academic Regulation 13). If a lesser sanction is imposed, the requirement to withdraw notation will be removed from the transcript.

If the requirement to withdraw is waived, the Associate Dean (Academic) may impose conditions governing the student’s subsequent registration. In these cases, at the discretion of the Associate Dean (Academic), the student’s registration status may be changed from full-time to part-time, or the student may be required to seek the permission of the Associate Dean (Academic) in order to enrol in classes.

An appeal of the requirement to withdraw must be submitted within 21 calendar days of the receipt of the letter from the Associate Dean (Academic) informing the student of the decision that the student must withdraw. Further appeals to the Office of the Associate Dean (Academic) for a requirement to withdraw for a minimum of three years will not be entertained until the full three years have elapsed.

In all cases a notation indicating the requirement to withdraw will remain on the transcript, in accordance with the Senate’s Policy on Transcript Terminology for Students Withdrawing from Queen’s University. If the requirement to withdraw is waived, then a notation to that effect shall be added to the transcript.

3.3.9.2 – Appeals Submitted After the Three Year Withdrawal Period

After the minimum withdrawal period of three years, a student who wishes to return to the Faculty of Arts and Science must appeal to the Associate Dean (Academic). The appeal must include a completed Return to Studies form, an outline of what the student has done during the period of withdrawal and a viable academic plan for the completion of the degree program. The appeal should provide evidence of their capability to succeed in the proposed academic plan.

If the requirement to withdraw is waived, the Associate Dean (Academic) may impose conditions governing the student’s subsequent registration. In these cases, at the discretion of the Associate Dean (Academic), the student’s registration status may be changed from full-time to part-time, or the student may be required to seek the permission of the Associate Dean (Academic) in order to enrol in classes.

An appeal of the requirement to withdraw may be submitted at any time after the minimum withdrawal period of three years has elapsed.