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Preparing Appeals

An appeal hearing is initiated by the student and is convened to hear the student's reasons why a finding of academic misconduct and/or a penalty ought to be overturned or altered.  A penalty hearing is not initiated by the student, but can arise due to a recommendation of a penalty, or in accord with various aspects of progressive discipline (see Policy 60, Section 5).  

Process

Once a student has initiated an appeal or a penalty hearing is to take place, you will be forwarded a copy of their appeal letter including their submitted evidence. You will be asked to respond to the student’s letter and to supply any evidence you used to determine the finding of academic misconduct or penalty. If you find that new evidence becomes available that you wish to include, please send it to the Academic Integrity Office as soon as possible.  If you do not submit it in advance, bring it to the hearing. You must supply 5 copies.  However, the panel will decide whether this new evidence will be considered.

Your response should be in the form of a letter addressed to the Academic Integrity Council. All of this information will then be organized into a package and supplied to all relevant parties including you, the student and the panel members of the Academic Integrity Council in preparation for the hearing.

If you require any assistance with your response, the Faculty Support for Academic Misconduct Appeals is Professor Hitesh Doshi. Phone number: 416-979-5000 ext. 6502. Email: hdoshi@ryerson.ca.

The hearing has a very set process which must be adhered to. This process is outlined below (for more information please see Policy 60: Academic Integrity).

Order Within a Hearing

  1. The hearing Panel Chair opens the proceedings and all of the persons at the table introduce themselves. These will normally be: the panel members; the person who assigned the original penalty (Respondent); the student (Appellant); the student’s advocate (if any); the student’s or respondent’s support persons (who remain silent during the hearing and who do not sit at the table nor take notes); a representative from the Academic Integrity Office; resource people (if any); and any witnesses who are declared in advance. Witnesses must remain outside the hearing room until they are called upon to make their statements.
  2. The Chair outlines the hearing procedures, explaining to the Appellant and the Respondent that the documents have been read and that the presentation should be brief, outlining the highlights of the case.  The Panel Chair will explain that this is a non-adversarial process, and all parties will have a chance to speak.
  3. The Respondent is asked to present briefly the evidence that was the basis for the finding of misconduct and/or penalty decision.
  4. Any witnesses for the Respondent are called in turn and are asked to make a statement as to what they know of the matters in question.  Witnesses are to be called one by one and are not to be in a position of hearing each other’s remarks.
  5. The student and/or advocate are given the opportunity to ask relevant or clarifying questions of the Respondent and their witnesses in turn (witnesses questioned first). The Chair may limit such questioning on the basis of relevance.
  6. Once witnesses for the Respondent are questioned by the panel, they are asked to leave the room but may be asked to remain outside the room if further questions are anticipated.
  7. The student is asked to briefly present a summary of their case.
  8. Any witnesses for the student are called in turn and are asked to make a statement as to what they know of the matters in question. Witnesses are to be called one by one and are not to be in a position of hearing each other’s remarks.
  9. The Respondent is given the opportunity to ask relevant or clarifying questions of the statements presented by the student and the witnesses (witnesses questioned first). The Chair may limit such questioning on the basis of relevance.
  10. Once witnesses for the student are questioned by the panel, they are asked to leave the room but may be asked to remain outside the room if further questions are anticipated.
  11. Members of the hearing panel may ask questions of all parties.
  12. The student (Appellant) is asked to present a final summary of their case (the advocate may speak on the Appellant’s behalf).
  13. The Respondent is asked to present a final summary of their case.
  14. Anyone who is not a member of the hearing panel is asked to leave before the panel begins to deliberate. The deliberations are done in private. The Chair will facilitate the discussion amongst the panel members in order to arrive at a decision.  In the event that an unanimous decision cannot be reached and the faculty member and student member differ on the decision, the Chair will vote to determine the decision.
  15. The decision(s)/finding(s) of a Panel will be communicated to all relevant parties via a decision letter sent by the AIO within ten (10) business days of the hearing.