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11. Appeals

The Senate Committee on Student Appeals on Academic Discipline approved revisions to its rules in July 2019. The version of the rules applicable to an appeal depend on the date on which the alleged act of misconduct took place. Any appeal involving allegations of misconduct occurring prior to August 1, 2019 will be governed by the rules as they existed prior to the approval of the revisions. Any appeal involving only allegations of misconduct occurring on or after August 1, 2019 will be governed by the revised rules.

Rules governing all appeals involving allegations of misconduct occurring prior to August 1, 2019:

11.1 A student has the right to appeal any disciplinary decision of the President to the Senate Committee (the Senate Committee on Student Appeals on Academic Discipline) as established under section 37(1)(v) of the University Act.

11.2 A student who wishes to appeal a decision of the President under paragraph 11.1 must so notify the Registrar in writing and give a full explanation of the grounds for the appeal. The Registrar must receive this notification within 45 calendar days of the date of the President's letter to the student informing the student of the disciplinary decision. The Registrar may extend this time limit if, in the Registrar's opinion, circumstances warrant.

11.3 Appeals are considered by at least 5 members of the Senate Committee, unless the student consents to fewer members. The student and the Initiator may make written submissions to the Senate Committee for consideration at the appeal. The student may be represented or assisted at the appeal by any person, including legal counsel. The University Counsel may designate legal counsel to assist the Initiator through the appeal process.

11.4 The Senate Committee is an appellate tribunal and does not re-hear matters. A student may, under paragraph 11.1, appeal a decision on one or more of the following grounds.

  1. The President incorrectly determined that the conduct of the student, either admitted or as found by the President, constitutes misconduct or the President incorrectly applied a University policy or procedure.
  2. The student has material evidence that was not reasonably available at the time of the President's Committee hearing.
  3. There was a breach or unfair application of the University's procedure prior to the President's Committee hearing that was raised before the President's Committee but not adequately remedied through the President's Committee.
  4. The procedure of the President's Committee was unfair or operated unfairly, in that there was bias or a lack of independence in the President's Committee, or the President's Committee's procedures were unfairly applied or breached, or that the President gave insufficient reasons for his or her decision.
  5. The President erred in the President's assessment of the evidence in the President's Committee's report, including any factual inferences made by the President, or the credibility of the student or other witnesses.
  6. The discipline imposed by the President was excessive.

11.5 The Senate Committee reviews the President's decision on one of the grounds enumerated in paragraph 11.4 using the appropriate standard as follows.

  1. Where the appeal is under paragraph 11.4(1), the appropriate standard of review is correctness. The Senate Committee may reverse or vary the President's decision or substitute its own decision if it disagrees with the President's determination or application of a University policy or procedure.
  2. Where the appeal is under paragraph 11.4(2) and the Senate Committee is satisfied that the material evidence was not reasonably available at the time of the President's Committee hearing and there is substantial likelihood that it would affect the outcome, the Senate Committee will send the matter back to the President's Committee for re-hearing.
  3. Where the appeal is under paragraph 11.4(3) or paragraph 11.4(4), the appropriate standard of review is whether a reasonable person, knowledgeable about the facts, would perceive the process at or before the President's Committee to be unfair. If the Senate Committee finds this to be the case, it will refer the matter back to the President's Committee for a re-hearing, or with the consent of the student and the Initiator, reverse or vary the President's decision or substitute its own decision.
  4. Where the appeal is under paragraph 11.4(5), the appropriate standard of review is reasonableness. The Senate Committee may reverse or vary the President's decision or substitute its own decision only if the President's assessment of the evidence in the President's Committee's report, including any factual inferences made by the President or the credibility of the student or other witnesses, is unreasonable.
  5. Where the appeal is under paragraph 11.4(6), the appropriate standard of review is reasonableness. The Senate Committee may reverse or vary the President's decision or substitute its own decision only if the exercise of the President's discretion with respect to the academic discipline imposed is unreasonable.

11.6 For information regarding the Senate's disciplinary appeal procedures, please see Senate Committee on Student Appeals on Academic Discipline.

Rules governing all appeals involving allegations of misconduct occurring on or after August 1, 2019:

11.1 The Senate has established the Senate Committee on Student Appeals on Academic Discipline (the “Senate Committee”) to decide student appeals of disciplinary decisions made by the President.

11.2 A student who wishes to appeal a disciplinary decision made by the President must do so within 45 calendar days from the date the student receives the President’s letter informing the student of the President’s decision by submitting a written appeal to the Registrar that gives a full explanation of the grounds for the appeal and that contains all documents the student intends to rely upon. The Registrar may extend the appeal time limit if the Registrar determines an extension is appropriate.

11.3 The parties entitled to defend the appeal will depend on the grounds for appeal and the fact finding process that informed the President’s disciplinary decision as follows:

  1. Where the President relies on a finding of fact made by the President’s Advisory Committee on Student Discipline or the President’s UBC Vancouver Non-Academic Misconduct Committee (each the “President’s Committee”) the defending party will be the party who referred the allegation of student misconduct to the President’s Committee;
  2. Where the President relies on a finding of fact made in an Investigation Report under Board of Governors Policy SC17 Sexual Assault and Other Sexual Misconduct;

    • if the grounds for appeal related to any matter related to the investigation or any process under Policy SC17 the defending parties will include the Director of Investigations;
    • if the grounds of appeal relate to the decision of the President, and in any case in which no other party defends the appeal, the defending parties will include a delegate appointed by the Office of University Counsel; and
  3. In any other circumstance the defending party will be the party who refers the allegations of student misconduct to the President.

Any party entitled to defend an appeal may address any issue raised by the student and is not limited to those issues on which their entitlement to defend the appeal is based.

11.4 Appeals are considered by at least five members of the Senate Committee, unless the student consents to fewer members.

11.5 The student and the defending party or parties may make written and oral submissions to the Senate Committee for consideration at the appeal. The parties may be represented by legal counsel. The student may be assisted through the appeal process by a support person.

11.6 The Senate Committee is an appellate tribunal and does not re-hear matters.

11.7 The grounds of appeal and standards of review applicable to any appeal to the Senate Committee will depend on the process resulting in the disciplinary decision:

  • Appeals of disciplinary decisions arising from hearings before the President’s Advisory Committee on Student Discipline or the President’s UBC Vancouver Non-Academic Misconduct Committee are governed by sections 11.8 and 11.9 of these rules;
  • Appeals of disciplinary decisions arising from investigations conducted under UBC Board of Governors Policy SC17 Sexual Assault and Other Sexual Misconduct are governed by sections 11.10 and 11.11 of these rules; and
  • Appeals of disciplinary decisions arising from any other process are governed by sections 11.12 and 11.13 of these rules.

President’s Committee Process Appeals

11.8 A student may appeal a disciplinary decision made by the President following receipt of a report from the President’s Committee on one or more of the following grounds.

  1. The President incorrectly determined that the conduct of the student, either admitted or as found by the President, constitutes misconduct or the President incorrectly applied a University policy or procedure.
  2. The student has material evidence that was not reasonably available at the time of the President's Committee hearing.
  3. There was a breach or unfair application of the University’s procedure prior to the President’s Committee hearing that was raised at or before the President's Committee but not adequately remedied through the President's Committee.
  4. The procedure of the President's Committee was unfair or operated unfairly, in that there was bias or a lack of independence in the President's Committee, or the President's Committee's procedures were unfairly applied or breached.
  5. The reasons for decision of the President, including findings of fact made by the President’s Committee that are accepted by the President, were insufficient.
  6. The President’s assessment of the evidence, including any findings of fact made by the President’s Committee that are accepted by the President, is unreasonable in that there was no evidence which, if believed, was capable of supporting the President’s assessment of the evidence.
  7. The discipline imposed by the President was excessive.

11.9 The Senate Committee reviews the President's decision on the grounds enumerated in paragraph 11.8 using the appropriate standard as follows.

  1. Where the appeal is under paragraph 11.8(1), the appropriate standard of review is correctness. The Senate Committee may substitute its own decision if it disagrees with the President's determination or application of a University policy or procedure.
  2. Where the appeal is under paragraph 11.8(2), and the Senate Committee is satisfied that the material evidence was not reasonably available at the time of the President's Committee hearing and there is substantial likelihood that it would affect the outcome, the Senate Committee will send the matter back to the President's Committee for re-hearing.
  3. Where the appeal is under paragraph 11.8(3) the appropriate standard of review is whether a reasonable person, knowledgeable about the facts, would perceive the breach of the University’s procedures or the manner in which the University’s procedures were applied to have rendered the disciplinary process at or before the President’s Committee to be unfair, and that unfairness was not cured by the President’s Committee or the President. If the Senate Committee finds this to be the case, it will refer the matter back to the President's Committee for a re-hearing, or with the consent of the student and the party defending the appeal, the Senate Committee may substitute its own decision.
  4. Where the appeal is under paragraph 11.8(4), the appropriate standard of review is whether a reasonable person, knowledgeable about the facts, would perceive the breach of the University’s procedures or the manner in which the University’s procedures were applied to have rendered the disciplinary process at or before the President’s Committee to be unfair, and that unfairness was not cured by the President’s Committee or the President. If the Senate Committee finds this to be the case, it will refer the matter back to the President's Committee for a re-hearing, or with the consent of the student and the party defending the appeal, the Senate Committee may substitute its own decision.
  5. Where the appeal is under paragraph 11.8(5), the appropriate standard of review is whether a reasonable person, knowledgeable about the facts, would conclude that the President’s reasons, including the President’s Committee’s Report as accepted by the President, do not contain all material evidence, reasoned findings of fact and assessments of credibility, and a conclusion supported by the evidence as to whether misconduct was committed. If the Senate Committee finds this to be the case, it will refer the matter back to the President’s Committee for a re-hearing, or with the consent of the student and the party defending the appeal, the Senate Committee may substitute its own decision.
  6. Where the appeal is under paragraph 11.8(6), the appropriate standard of review is reasonableness. The Senate Committee may substitute its own decision only if the assessment of the evidence, factual inferences or assessment of credibility of the student or other witnesses made by the President, or the assessment of the evidence, factual inferences or assessment of credibility of the student or other witnesses made in the President’s Committee’s report and accepted by the President, is unreasonable.
  7. Where the appeal is under paragraph 11.8(7), the appropriate standard of review is reasonableness. The Senate Committee may substitute its own decision only if the exercise of the President's discretion with respect to the academic discipline imposed is unreasonable.

UBC Board of Governors Policy SC17 Sexual Assault and Other Sexual Misconduct Process Appeals

11.10 A student may appeal a disciplinary decision made by the President following receipt of an Investigation Report pursuant to UBC Board of Governors Policy SC17 Sexual Assault and Other Sexual Misconduct 131, on one or more of the following grounds.

  1. The President incorrectly determined that the conduct of the student, either admitted or as found by the President, constitutes misconduct or the President incorrectly applied a University policy or procedure.
  2. The student has material evidence that was not reasonably available during the investigation.
  3. There was a breach or unfair application of the University’s procedure prior to the investigation.
  4. The procedure employed by the investigator when carrying out the investigation was unfair or operated unfairly, in that the investigator was biased or lacked independence, or the procedure set out in Policy SC17 was unfairly applied or breached.
  5. The reasons for decision of the President, including findings of fact made by the investigator that are accepted by the President, were insufficient.
  6. The President’s assessment of the evidence, including any findings of fact made by the investigator that are accepted by the President, is unreasonable in that there was no evidence which, if believed, was capable of supporting the President’s assessment of the evidence.
  7. The discipline imposed by the President was excessive.

11.11The Senate Committee reviews the President's decision on the grounds enumerated in paragraph 11.10 using the appropriate standard as follows.

  1. Where the appeal is under paragraph 11.10(1), the appropriate standard of review is correctness. The Senate Committee may substitute its own decision if it disagrees with the President's determination or application of a University policy or procedure.
  2. Where the appeal is under paragraph 11.10(2) and the Senate Committee is satisfied that the material evidence was not reasonably available at the time of the investigation and there is substantial likelihood that it would affect the outcome, the Senate Committee will send the matter back to the Director of Investigations who will determine the process for considering the evidence.
  3. Where the appeal is under paragraph 11.10(3) the appropriate standard of review is whether a reasonable person, knowledgeable about the facts, would perceive the breach of the University’s procedures or the manner in which the University’s procedures were applied to have rendered the process prior to or during the investigation unfair, and that unfairness was not cured. If the Senate Committee finds this to be the case, it will refer the matter back to the Director of Investigations for a new investigation, or with the consent of the student and the defending party or parties, the Senate Committee may substitute its own decision.
  4. Where the appeal is under paragraph 11.10(4), the appropriate standard of review is whether a reasonable person, knowledgeable about the facts, would perceive the breach of the University’s procedures or the manner in which the University’s procedures were applied to have rendered the process prior to or during the investigation unfair, and that unfairness was not cured. If the Senate Committee finds this to be the case, it will refer the matter back to the Director of Investigations for a new investigation, or with the consent of the student and the defending party or parties, the Senate Committee may substitute its own decision.
  5. Where the appeal is under paragraph 11.10(5), the appropriate standard of review is whether a reasonable person, knowledgeable about the facts would conclude that the President’s reasons, including the Investigation Report as accepted by the President, do not contain all material evidence, reasoned findings of fact and assessments of credibility, and a conclusion supported by the evidence as to whether misconduct was committed. If the Senate Committee finds this to be the case, it will refer the matter back to the Director of Investigations who will determine the appropriate process for obtaining another Investigation Report, or with the consent of the student and the defending party or parties, the Senate Committee may substitute its own decision.
  6. Where the appeal is under paragraph 11.10(6), the appropriate standard of review is reasonableness. The Senate Committee may substitute its own decision only if the assessment of the evidence, factual inferences or assessment of credibility of the student or other witnesses made by the President, or made in the Investigation report and accepted by the President, is unreasonable.
  7. Where the appeal is under paragraph 11.10(7), the appropriate standard of review is reasonableness. The Senate Committee may reverse or vary the President's decision or substitute its own decision only if the exercise of the President's discretion with respect to the academic discipline imposed is unreasonable.

All Other Appeals

11.12 A student may appeal a disciplinary decision made by the President, other than a disciplinary decision referred to in paragraph 11.8 or 11.10, on one or more of the following grounds.

  1. The President incorrectly determined that the conduct of the student, either admitted or as found by the President, constitutes misconduct or the President incorrectly applied a University policy or procedure.
  2. The student has material evidence that was not reasonably available at a time of the fact-finding process which informed the President’s decision.
  3. There was a breach or unfair application of the University’s procedure prior to the President’s decision that was not cured by the President’s decision.
  4. The reasons for decision of the President, including findings of fact accepted by the President, were insufficient.
  5. The President’s assessment of the evidence, including any findings of fact made in a fact-finding report to the President that are accepted by the President, is unreasonable in that there was no evidence which, if believed, was capable of supporting the President’s assessment of the evidence.
  6. The discipline imposed by the President was excessive.

11.13 The Senate Committee reviews the President's decision on the grounds enumerated in paragraph 11.12 using the appropriate standard as follows.

  1. Where the appeal is under paragraph 11.12(1), the appropriate standard of review is correctness. The Senate Committee may substitute its own decision if it disagrees with the President's determination or application of a University policy or procedure.
  2. Where the appeal is under paragraph 11.12(2) and the Senate Committee is satisfied that the material evidence was not reasonably available at a time prior to the President’s decision when the student had an opportunity to provide the evidence and there is substantial likelihood that it would affect the outcome, the Senate Committee will refer the matter back to an appropriate individual or office that issued a fact-finding report to the President with directions.
  3. Where the appeal is under paragraph 11.12(3), the appropriate standard of review is whether a reasonable person, knowledgeable about the facts, would perceive the breach of the University’s procedures or the manner in which the University’s procedures were applied to have rendered the disciplinary process prior to the President’s decision to be unfair, and that unfairness was not cured. If the Senate Committee finds this to be the case, will refer the matter back to an appropriate individual or office that issued a fact-finding report to the President for a new fact finding process, or with the consent of the student and the party defending the appeal, the Senate Committee may substitute its own decision.
  4. Where the appeal is under paragraph 11.12(4), the appropriate standard of review is whether a reasonable person, knowledgeable about the facts, would conclude that the President’s reasons, including any report as accepted by the President, do not contain all material evidence, reasoned findings of fact and assessments of credibility, and a conclusion supported by the evidence as to whether misconduct was committed. If the Senate Committee finds this to be the case, it will refer the matter back to the individual or office that issued a fact-finding report to the President for a new fact finding process, or with the consent of the student and the party defending the appeal, the Senate Committee may substitute its own decision.
  5. Where the appeal is under paragraph 11.12(5), the appropriate standard of review is reasonableness. The Senate Committee may reverse or vary the President's decision or substitute its own decision only if the assessment of the evidence, factual inferences or assessment of credibility of the student or other witnesses made by the President or made in a fact finding report and accepted by the President, is unreasonable.
  6. Where the appeal is under paragraph 11.12(6), the appropriate standard of review is reasonableness. The Senate Committee may reverse or vary the President's decision or substitute its own decision only if the exercise of the President's discretion with respect to the academic discipline imposed is unreasonable.

11.14 For information regarding the Senate's disciplinary appeal procedures, please see Senate Committee on Student Appeals on Academic Discipline.

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