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Policy 60 Procedures

 

1.    Investigating a Suspicion of Academic Misconduct 

1.1.            An eligible investigator who has a suspicion of academic misconduct by a student or students should proceed with their inquiry/investigating unless informing another person is more appropriate.

1.2.            The purpose of the investigation is to see whether there is a sufficient basis to support a reasonable belief that misconduct may have occurred. This involves collecting information regarding the suspected misconduct by means such as examining work submitted or checking work for originality by various means (e.g. Internet searches, text comparison, use of originality detection tools, websites, clarifying what an invigilator may have observed or discovered, etc.). In unusual cases, or where investigators have questions or concerns regarding how to proceed, they should consult with the AIO.

1.3.            Along with any collection or verification of evidence, the eligible investigator may consult, in confidence, with various parties, including their Chair/Director, Program Director (required in the case of supervised research activities), or the AIO. Throughout all such consultations, confidentiality and the privacy of those involved are to be fully respected and protected.

1.4.            Suspicions of academic misconduct occurring in courses, where there is a graded component, are covered by Policy 60, Section 6.

1.5.            Academic misconduct in supervised research/non-course program requirements

The following process applies to all suspicions of misconduct in academic work done towards the completion of supervised research for credit, which includes academic “milestones” such as Comprehensive Examinations, Major Research Papers, Research or Thesis Proposals, Theses and Dissertations, as well as the research and associated writing carried out towards any of these at the undergraduate or graduate level.

1.5.1.          Before registering a suspicion of misconduct involving the supervised research activities of a student, the person raising a concern must consult with the relevant Program Director (PD) (or designate), who will determine who should act as the eligible investigator/decision maker.

1.5.2.          In cases where the person (or persons) raising the suspicion is an eligible investigator (and in a case involving a graduate student, is also a member of the Yeates School of Graduate Studies) they may continue as the decision maker provided the PD is in agreement. The PD or their faculty designate may act as a co-respondent.

1.5.3.          In cases where the person (or persons) raising the suspicion does not wish to proceed, or is in a conflict of interest, or is not an eligible investigator, the PD may choose to pursue the case themselves (with or without a co-respondent), or to assign a faculty designate. If there is disagreement between the Program Director and the person raising the suspicion regarding how to proceed, the matter will be referred to the relevant Dean. The Dean shall, in consultation with the AIO, decide who shall be the decision maker(s).

1.5.4.          In the case of an externally funded student suspected of misconduct in supervised research activities, an additional decision maker, external to the University and with disciplinary expertise, will also be present (see Policy 118: Scholarly, Research and Creative Activity and these Procedures 1.5.10). The Office of the Vice President Research and Innovation (OVPRI) will arrange for this individual to attend the FD. In some cases, the Graduate Program Director (GPD) may also be present as a co-decision maker. While the GPD will normally be able to confirm whether the student is externally funded, the AIO may also consult with the OVPRI, the Dean and/or the Vice-Provost and Dean YSGS to make this determination.

1.5.5.          This decision maker will investigate the basis of the suspicion. Prior to requesting a discussion (FD/NFD) and, therefore, prior to contacting the student, the decision maker may ask one or more faculty members with subject matter expertise to review the evidence in order to clarify the import of the evidence and identify areas where further evidence or clarification should be sought. This must be done making all reasonable efforts to protect confidentiality, including the identity of the student(s) whose academic work is in question. The decision maker must also determine whether the student receives tri-agency funding in support of their supervised research activities.

1.5.6.          If the decision maker(s) determines there is reasonable belief that misconduct has occurred, they must formally register a suspicion with the AIO and a discussion must be scheduled as per Policy 60, Section 6.2.

1.5.7.          In recognition of the severity of the potential impact of even a formal suspicion upon students at the graduate level, there is no option of a non-facilitated discussion (NFD) with these students.

1.5.8.          Where a group discussion is held it must be an FD. If students have been to a group discussion, they may request an individual meeting; however, they may also still be required to attend a group meeting.

1.5.9.          In all cases of suspected misconduct in non-course program requirements, the Vice President Research and Innovation (VPRI) must be notified by the AIO. In the case of graduate student misconduct, the Dean and/or the Vice-Provost and Dean YSGS must also be notified of the suspicion.

1.5.10.       In the case of a student in receipt of tri-agency funding, the VPRI will assign an additional investigator, external (i.e. arms-length) to the university, who will also attend and participate in the FD as an investigator and decision maker and will sign a confidentiality agreement registered with the OVPRI.

1.5.11.       This entire process should be conducted in a timely manner and concluded, as per Policy 118: SRC Integrity Policy, within six (6) months. If circumstances warrant and appropriate justification is provided, this timeline may be extended.

2.    Designated Decision Makers' Council (DDMC)

2.1.            To ensure that there is an available, trained group of faculty Designated Decision Makers (DDMs) to pursue referred suspicions of academic misconduct, there shall be a Designated Decision Makers’ Council (DDMC). A list of current DDMs shall be maintained by the AIO and forwarded annually to Senate as information.

2.2.            Faculty members wishing to serve as DDMs may apply through the AIO.

2.3.            DDMs will receive training in Policy 60: Academic Integrity, the related Procedures, and the principles of natural justice.

2.4.            There shall be a Chair of the DDMC who shall be elected by and from the DDMs and approved by Senate for a two-year term (renewable). The Chair will work collaboratively with the AIO to oversee the functioning of the DDM process, including:

2.4.1.          Recruiting, selecting and training (both initial and ongoing) of DDMs

2.4.2.          monitoring DDM workload and appropriate assignment of cases

2.4.3.          identifying issues emerging from cases that need to be addressed

2.4.4.          reviewing cases together with the Director of AIO (or designate) involving:

2.4.4.1.        a second DN with respect to calling a penalty hearing regarding Progressive Discipline

2.4.4.2.     further information of a serious nature becoming available after a finding of no academic misconduct which requires a determination of whether a re-opening of proceedings is warranted

2.4.4.3.     assigning a DDM as decision maker where the eligible investigator, who is not a CUPE 1 or CUPE 2 member, and who does not wish, or is unable to pursue the suspicion of academic misconduct or in other appropriate circumstances (e.g. see Policy 60, Section 20)

3.    Designated Decision Makers  (DDMs)

3.1.            The Chair of the Designated Decision Makers’ Council (DDMC) (or designate) in consultation with the Director of the AIO (or designate) will assign a trained DDM from those available when OPTION B of Policy 60, Section 6.1.5 is applicable.

3.2.            Cases where group misconduct (two or more students) is suspected should always be discussed with the AIO in order to determine a fair and appropriate process. In some cases, it may not be advisable to refer such cases to a DDM.

3.3.            Once a DDM is assigned, the DDM assumes the role of decision maker in its entirety. The DDM will pursue the matter and be the decision maker with respect to any finding regarding academic misconduct.

3.4.            The referring faculty member can expect to be contacted by the DDM within 3-5 business days of the request for a DDM to be assigned. When contacted, the referring faculty member must be prepared to provide the DDM with all available evidence/information related to the suspicion.

3.5.            The referring faculty member will also be asked to submit a recommendation regarding an appropriate penalty should the DDM make a finding of academic misconduct.

3.6.            The referring faculty member shall direct any inquiries from the student to the AIO.

3.7.            The DDM will notify the AIO and the faculty member within five (5) business days as to whether or not they are proceeding with the case. If the DDM opts to proceed, they will register the suspicion via the AIO, and the student will be notified by University email.

 

3.8.            When a DDM has assigned a penalty, the referring faculty member will be notified by the DDM of the decision. It is then the responsibility of the referring faculty member to apply the penalty as per the decision of the DDM. The referring faculty member must not modify or in any way alter the decision or penalty assigned by the DDM. The decision maker or referring faculty member must ensure that any grade updates or grade change forms are submitted in a timely manner.

NOTE: Once a faculty member refers the matter to a DDM, they have given all decision-making authority with respect to whether academic misconduct has occurred to the DDM. The referring faculty member may not appeal either the decision of the DDM or any penalty or consequences assigned or recommended. The referring faculty member may, however, still be called as a witness in the event of an appeal.

4.    Discussions

4.1.            The notice regarding a discussion will inform the student as to whether they will be meeting with their instructor, a DDM, or other decision maker; the name of the person who is the decision maker must be provided.

4.2.            Any requests by students or faculty for accommodation in a discussion, or to advise of a scheduling conflict, should be communicated to the AIO upon receipt of the notice.

4.3.            The discussion (FD/NFD) should normally be held within five (5) business days of the date of notice. In cases where an external decision maker is required to attend the FD, as in the case of suspected misconduct in supervised research activities, this timeline may be extended.

4.4.            If the student cannot attend at the scheduled time, it is their obligation to contact the decision maker or AIO (whoever sent the notice), in a timely manner, to make arrangements for a new mutually agreed-upon time. In cases where a new time/date is arranged, the decision maker or AIO (whoever sent the initial notice) will re-issue the notice. Normally, a discussion will not be rescheduled more than once.

4.5.            If the decision maker wishes to schedule subsequent discussions to bring forth other information related to the matter, this should occur as soon as possible and before a finding is made as a result of the initial discussion. In such cases, the student must be notified, within the timelines for registering a decision, that there will be further discussions and the reasons for this delay.

4.6.            Students wishing to request an FD instead of a scheduled NFD should contact the AIO directly at aio@ryerson.ca once they receive notice of an NFD, and before the time/date when the NFD is scheduled to be held. The NFD will be cancelled and the AIO will then communicate the scheduled time and date of the FD to the student and the decision maker (and other relevant parties).

4.7.            In the case of suspected group (i.e. two or more students) academic misconduct, the decision maker may first contact the AIO to assist in determining a fair process. In most instances students will be asked to attend individual discussions. However, a decision maker may request the AIO to schedule a group discussion.

4.7.1.          Where a group discussion is held it must be an FD. If students have been assigned to a group discussion, they may request an individual meeting; however, they may also still be required to attend a group meeting.

4.7.2.          The decision maker will determine an appropriate means of evaluating the work of students who may have been involved in group work but are deemed not to be involved in the academic misconduct.

4.8.            What should each party bring to a discussion?

4.8.1.          Decision makers must be prepared to present the evidence in support of their suspicion before and/or at the discussion (e.g. course outlines, assignment guidelines, plagiarism detection reports).

4.8.2.          If applicable, students should bring rough notes, drafts, or other supporting materials to the discussion as they desire or as requested by the decision maker.

4.9.            Who may be present at a discussion?

4.9.1.          The decision maker, the student(s) suspected of academic misconduct and the facilitator (for an FD) will be present.

4.9.2.          When appropriate, a third party such as an exam invigilator or Teaching Assistant/Graduate Assistant (TA/GA) who brought the complaint to the eligible investigator/decision maker may also be present.

4.9.3.          The student, if they so elect, may also have a support person and/or advocate from RSU or CESAR present. Note, that in most cases, all parties are expected to be physically present. However, when necessary, virtual attendance (e.g. via video conference, telephone conference, etc.) can be arranged. Note: The support person is an individual who attends a discussion or hearing for the purpose of support; they play no official role in any aspect of the academic integrity process. The advocate from RSU or CESAR, if requested to do so by the student, can prepare students for and/or accompany them to discussions (FD/NFD). The advocate may raise questions of the decision maker and speak during the discussions, but students are expected to be present, and speak for themselves especially with respect to matters of fact. It is the student’s responsibility to inform the AIO if a support person will be present.

4.10.        How is the discussion recorded?

4.10.1.       Discussions are not to be audio or video recorded. The facilitator (in an FD) or decision maker (in an NFD) will complete a summary of discussion form, which is intended to be an official, though not verbatim, record of what was said.

4.10.2.       The decision maker and student (as well as the facilitator in an FD) will sign the summary of discussion form. In cases where the FD is conducted virtually, the facilitator will request verbal agreement.

4.10.3.       The decision maker, in an NFD, will provide a copy of the summary of discussion form to the student. In an FD, the AIO will provide the decision maker and student with a copy of the summary of discussion form.

4.11.        What happens after a discussion?

4.11.1.       After the discussion the decision maker will consider the information presented by all parties and only then will make a decision regarding whether misconduct has occurred.

4.11.2.       Following an FD, the decision maker will have three (3) business days from the discussion to register a decision regarding the suspected misconduct. The AIO will issue the decision letter, within five (5) business days of the discussion, via University email, to the student and other relevant parties

4.11.3.       Following an NFD, the decision maker will send out the decision letter within five (5) business days of the discussion, via the AIO automated system to the University email of the student and other relevant parties.

4.11.4.       Should decision makers require an extension of these deadlines, they must contact the AIO, who will notify the student of the extended time.  

4.11.5.       Students who wish to drop a course after a finding regarding misconduct has been made, should see Procedures 5 for eligibility. Students eligible to drop a course who are prevented from doing so on RAMSS (during the 3-day period prior to drop date) must inform the Registrar’s Office at sr.misconduct@ryerson.ca within the stated time periods to request to drop the course.

5.    Dropping a Course During the Academic Misconduct Process

Students may not drop a course in which there is a suspicion of academic misconduct. The Registrar’s Office, at the start of this process, will place a DEF on the student’s academic record for the course under review.

 

5.1.            If the student drops the course before the matter is resolved, the Registrar’s Office will re-enroll the student in that course and will notify the student and the AIO of the re-enrollment.

5.2.            If there is no finding of academic misconduct, and the decision is sent on or prior to the published deadline to drop a course, the student may drop the course. See Academic Integrity Guidelines regarding how to proceed, particularly when the decision is sent less than three (3) days prior to the published drop date.

5.3.            If there is no finding of academic misconduct and the decision is sent after the published deadline to drop a course has passed, but prior to the official last day of the term, the student has up to two (2) days from the date/time of the decision being sent to request to drop the course. See Academic Integrity Guidelines regarding how to proceed with such a request.

5.4.            If there is a finding of misconduct and the decision is sent on or prior to the published deadline to drop a course, and any penalty assigned is less than an “F” in the course, the student may drop the course. See Academic Integrity Guidelines regarding how to proceed, particularly when the decision is sent less than three (3) days prior to the published drop date. In such a case, a Disciplinary Notation (DN) will still be placed on the student's academic record.

5.5.            If there is a finding of misconduct and a grade of “F” is assigned for the course, whether before or after the published drop deadline, the student may not drop the course. That grade of “F” shall remain on the student’s transcript and a DN will be placed on the student’s academic record.

5.6.            If there is a finding of misconduct and the decision is sent after the published deadline to drop a course, and a penalty of less than an “F” is assigned, the student may normally not request a late course drop.

6.    Consequences

6.1.            A consequence of a student being found to have engaged in academic misconduct is the placing of a DN on the student’s academic record. The DN does not appear on the official transcript. A DN notation shall remain until a student graduates at which time it shall be removed. If a student does not graduate in the normal maximum time they may request, via their Chair/Dean, or for Chang School Students, via the Chair/Director of the Department/Program in which the misconduct took place, to have the DN removed from their academic record. Non-program/non-certificate students may request via their Chair/Director the removal of the DN from their academic record after 5 years.

6.2.            Whether or not there is a finding of academic misconduct, a decision maker may assign educational requirements such as educational workshops and/or online quizzes. The AIO should receive confirmation when any workshop or quiz is completed.

6.3.            There may be other consequences as a result of a suspicion or finding of misconduct, including but not limited to the following:

6.3.1.       A decision maker may require a student who has engaged in academic misconduct to replace any damaged or destroyed material.

6.3.2.       Students in receipt of scholarships, bursaries, etc., may, where external funders require the University to report to them any cases of academic misconduct, face consequences related to funding.

6.3.3.       Previously assigned grades may be adjusted.

6.3.4.       A student’s graduation may be delayed until all relevant academic misconduct matters have concluded.

6.3.5.       The University may be required to inform outside parties whose interests may have been adversely affected by the academic misconduct.

6.3.6.       In the case of forged documents, official or otherwise, the Registrar’s Office, Director of Admissions, or Manager of Admissions may share the information with counterparts who are members of the Association of Registrars of the Universities and Colleges of Canada (ARUCC) and/or Government officials (e.g. Canada Border Services Agency, CBSA).

6.3.7.       In cases where falsified documents are submitted or pertinent information/documents are omitted/withheld in the Admissions Process, the offers of admission can be revoked regardless of the student’s current level of study.

6.3.8.       In some instances, criminal charges may be sought.

6.3.9.       Where warranted, the issue may be pursued under Policy 61: Non-Academic Conduct.

 

NOTE: See Policy 60, Section 7, for a complete list of penalties that can be assigned or recommended under Policy 60 as a result of a finding of academic misconduct.

 

 

7.    Progressive Discipline 

7.1.            The DN placed on a student’s academic record after a finding of academic misconduct is not a penalty and does not appear on official transcripts. It will be removed by the Registrar’s Office at the request of the AIO if an appeal of academic misconduct is successful.

7.2.            In the case of undergraduate or continuing education students who receive a second DN, the Chair of the DDMC (or designate), Director of the AIO (or designate), and the relevant Program Director (or designate) will jointly decide whether a penalty hearing is warranted given the nature of the violations. Their decision will be based on a full review of the nature of the prior offences including the penalties and consequences assigned. In such cases, the Program Director (or designate) shall recommend a penalty of a Disciplinary Suspension (DS) ranging from one (1) term to two (2) years.

7.3.            If the decision is that the nature of the violations leading to these two DNs does not warrant a penalty hearing, (i.e. based on a review of the severity and circumstances of the two prior DNs), the student will be notified by the AIO that their case has been reviewed, that their DNs will remain on their academic record, and that any further finding of academic misconduct will automatically result in a penalty hearing, recommending a penalty ranging from a DS of one (1) term up to Expulsion.

7.4.            With respect to graduate students, a second finding of academic misconduct shall automatically require a penalty hearing regarding DA-S, DW, or Expulsion.

7.5.            A student with a previous DS, DA, or DA-S who has a further finding of academic misconduct will have a penalty hearing regarding the appropriateness of the recommended penalty, normally a DW. 

7.6.            A student with a previous DW who has a further finding of academic misconduct will have a penalty hearing regarding the appropriateness of the recommended penalty, normally an Expulsion.

7.7.            Students who received a DN on their transcript prior to September 1, 2015, in the first half of their program or certificate, are now in the final year of their program, and who have no subsequent misconducts, may request, via their Chair/Director to have the DN removed from their transcript. Part-time undergraduate program students who received a DN on their transcript prior to September 1, 2015, may request the removal of the DN from their transcript one calendar year after completing the first half of their program. The removal of the DN is at the discretion of the Chair/Director and this decision may not be appealed. If the student is found to have engaged in subsequent academic misconduct, the DN will be reinstated.

7.8.            The Registrar’s Office will place a graduation hold on the student’s record. Students will not be approved to graduate until the matter is resolved.

8.    PENALTIES (ramifications of DS, DA, DA-S, DW, Expulsion, Revocation of Degree, Diploma, or Certificate)

8.1.    Disciplinary Suspension (DS)        

8.1.1.          The DS designation shall be placed on both the student’s academic record and official transcript and remain there until a student graduates. In cases where a student does not graduate in the normal period during which a program is to be completed, or the student has not enrolled in a course at Ryerson University for at least five (5) years, a written request to the Chair/Director of the program can be made to remove the DS from the transcript. If there is a subsequent finding of misconduct prior to graduation the DS will be re-instated on the transcript.

8.1.2.          While on a DS a student may not take courses at Ryerson University, including at The Chang School, nor do a placement, work experience hours, internship, or any other program requirements.

8.1.3.          Course work taken elsewhere during the period of Disciplinary Suspension will not be credited towards GPA calculations, Academic Standing, or graduation requirements within the student’s program.

8.1.4.          The DS will normally begin in the term following the one in which the misconduct that led to the DS recommendation occurred. For students in undergraduate full-time programs, this will normally be a fall or winter term or terms, as the spring/summer is not normally considered an academic term for undergraduate full-time students.

8.1.5.          A student who is assigned a DS is automatically reinstated into their program or may apply to any other program or certificate after serving the specified period of suspension and after meeting any specified conditions established by the AIC, RAC, GAAC, or SAC.

8.2.   Disciplinary Action (DA), Disciplinary Action, with Suspension (DA-S)

8.2.1.          A DA or DA-S shall be placed on both the graduate student’s academic record and official transcript.

8.2.2.          A DA will remain on both the student’s academic record and official transcript and cannot be removed.

8.2.3.          A DA-S will remain on both the student’s academic record and official transcript and cannot be removed.

8.2.4.          While on a DA-S, a graduate student may not apply to any other Ryerson University program, or take courses, including at The Chang School, do a placement, work experience hours, internship, or any other program requirements including research.

8.2.5.          Courses taken elsewhere and research progress completed during the DA-S will not be credited towards GPA calculations, Academic Standing, or graduation requirements within any Ryerson University program.

8.2.6.          The DA-S will normally begin in the term following the one in which the misconduct that led to the DA-S occurred.

8.2.7.          A graduate student who is assigned a DA-S may request to re-enroll after the period of suspension. The Graduate Program Director (or designate) and Vice-Provost and Dean YSGS (or designate) will decide whether the graduate student can re-enroll in the program. If a graduate student is not allowed to re-enroll, they may apply to other programs/certificates at Ryerson University.

 

8.3.   Disciplinary Withdrawal (DW)

8.3.1.          A DW shall be permanently noted on a student’s academic record and official transcript.

8.3.2.          While on a DW a student may not re-apply to any other Ryerson University program, or take courses, including at The Chang School, or do a placement, work experience hours, internship, or any other program requirements during the period of Disciplinary Withdrawal.

8.3.3.          Course work taken elsewhere during this period will not be credited towards GPA calculations, Academic Standing, or graduation requirements within any Ryerson  University program.

8.3.4.          The DW will normally begin on the date of the SAC decision letter, or as required to support the decision outcome.

8.3.5.          After serving the specified period, a student assigned a DW may apply to other programs/certificates at Ryerson University.

8.4.   Expulsion

8.4.1.          Students who are expelled from the University shall not be allowed to register or enroll in any course, program, or certificate offered by Ryerson University, including through The Chang School.

8.4.2.          Expulsion will take effect on the date of the SAC decision letter.

8.4.3.          Expulsion shall be permanently noted on a student’s academic record and official transcript.

8.5.   Revocation of a Degree, Diploma, or Certificate

8.5.1.          Revocation of a Degree, Diploma, or Certificate shall be permanently noted on a student’s academic record and official transcript.

9.    Representation, Support Persons and Witnesses

9.1.            The advocate from the RSU or CESAR, if requested to do so by the student, can prepare students for, and/or accompany them to discussions (FD/NFD), as well as to appeal and penalty hearings. Students are strongly encouraged to contact an advocate for assistance/advice regarding appeal and penalty hearing submissions. It is the student’s responsibility to notify the AIO before the discussion/hearing if an advocate will be present.

9.2.            The advocate may raise questions of the decision maker and speak during the discussions or hearing, but students are expected to be present, and speak for themselves especially with respect to matters of fact.

9.3.            At an SAC hearing students may be accompanied and represented by an advocate from the RSU or CESAR or by legal counsel. The advocate or legal counsel may speak on behalf of the student, may confer with the student as necessary, and may ask questions as appropriate. Students are expected to be present and speak for themselves especially with respect to matters of fact.

9.4.            At an SAC hearing, the University may retain legal counsel to represent the respondent. Legal counsel may speak on behalf of the respondent and may confer with the respondent as necessary and ask questions as appropriate. The respondent is expected to be present and answer questions, especially with respect to matters of fact.

9.5.            The Panel Chair, in unusual circumstances, may request advice from, or the presence of, legal counsel prior to or during the hearing with respect to matters of process.

9.6.            The Senate Office must be given three (3) business days’ notice if legal counsel will be present at a hearing.

9.7.            The Panel Chair has the authority to postpone, delay, or proceed with the hearing, should the advocate or legal counsel fail to attend. The Panel Chair’s rationale shall be included in the preamble to the decision.

9.8.            A support person (for the student) may be present at a discussion or hearing. A support person (for the respondent) may be present at a hearing. The support person may not participate in the discussion or hearing. They remain silent and do not sit at the table or take notes. They may confer with the student or respondent only outside the discussion/hearing. It is the student’s responsibility to notify the AIO before the discussion/hearing if a support person will be present.

9.9.            It is the responsibility of the appellant and respondent to notify the AIO or Senate Office, in advance of the hearing (before the notice of hearing is distributed) of any witnesses they intend to call, and also their responsibility to ensure the presence of those witnesses. The decision whether to proceed in the absence of invited witnesses or to adjourn and re-schedule will be made by the Panel Chair.

10.  Decision-Making Bodies: Terms of Reference

For a description of the various appeals committees, see Policy 60, Section 12. Additional information regarding decision-making panels appears below.

10.1.        All members of each of the decision-making University panels must ensure that they are acting in an unbiased and fair manner at all times; they are expected to exemplify commitment to fair decision-making and academic integrity.

10.2.        Any person participating in an appeal or other hearing must disclose any potential conflict of interest, if known, no fewer than five (5) business days before the hearing. If the perceived conflict is with a panel member, unless the conflict of interest is resolved, the panel member shall be replaced.

10.3.        If either party raises a conflict of interest concern regarding any panel member(s) once the hearing has begun, the hearing panel will, in camera, judge the extent and validity of the conflict, and the Panel Chair will make a decision as to whether the panel member may sit on the appeal. The panel member(s) who is/are challenged may offer a statement but may not take part in the panel’s decision on the conflict. If the panel member is excused, the hearing may be adjourned and a new hearing scheduled or may be held without that panel member if the student, responding faculty member(s) and remaining panel members agree.

10.4.        The AIC and SAC, whenever possible, should be representative of all teaching Faculties (including the Yeates School of Graduate Studies). For graduate student hearings, the student panel member shall be a graduate student and normally, for an undergraduate student hearing, the student panel member shall be an undergraduate student.       

10.5.        The AIO or Secretary of Senate shall name in advance which faculty member will chair the hearing and write the decision letter.

10.6.        Faculty members of AIC and SAC shall be appointed for a two-year term (renewable). Students shall be appointed for a one-year term (renewable).

10.7.        Faculty members and students wishing to serve on the SAC and AIC may apply through the AIO (for AIC) and the Senate Office (for SAC). Members shall be selected through a recruitment process that aims for a high level of diversity with respect to subject expertise, social demographics, and academic discipline.

10.8.        The role of a decision-making panel is to inquire and investigate, making all reasonable efforts to ensure that it has received all available relevant information regarding the facts of the case prior to making a finding.

10.9.        Members of decision-making panels shall receive training in Policy 60: Academic Integrity, the related Procedures, and the principles of natural justice.

10.10.     Each appeals committee should convene as a whole at least once each academic year to discuss relevant issues that have arisen in cases, to receive ongoing in-service training, and to make any recommendations for changes to Policy 60 and the related Procedures.

10.11.     Decision makers and Panel Chairs are responsible for communicating the basis for their findings in a timely way and as clearly as possible, in accordance with the educational emphasis of Policy 60: Academic Integrity and the related Procedures.

11.   Appeals

11.1.  Information

For information relating to Appeals, please contact:

·       AIO for appeals to AIC, RAC, or GAAC aio@ryerson.ca

·       Senate Office for appeals to SAC https://www.ryerson.ca/senate/appeals/

11.2.   General Appeals Information

11.2.1.       Students are encouraged to seek assistance in preparing appeals from an advocate from RSU or CESAR.

11.2.2.       Students may remain in class and may enroll for courses while their case is under appeal. If a suspicion is registered at a time such that an appeal hearing cannot be scheduled until the next semester, students may enroll for courses and continue in their program until a final decision is made. A student will not, however, be able to register in a course where a pre-requisite is the course that is under appeal. If the decision results in a DS, DA-S, DW, or Expulsion being imposed, the student will be dropped from all courses and the fees refunded. However, the appeal panel will have the responsibility and authority to determine whether a DS, DA-S, or DW will come into effect at the end of the previous term or at the end of the term in which the student is currently enrolled.

11.2.3.       Appeal hearings must be scheduled as soon as possible based upon the availability of the student, the decision maker, and the panel members. All parties must make all reasonable efforts to facilitate scheduling. Reasonable effort should be made to accommodate the availability of the advocate from RSU or CESAR, or legal counsel.

11.2.4.       Students and Respondents must receive at least ten (10) business days’ notice of the date, time, and place of the hearing. This notice will include the names of all parties who will be in attendance, including the panel members, the appellant, the respondent, any witnesses, and the advocate from the RSU or CESAR, if any.  Copies of the appellant’s and respondent’s submissions will be distributed to all parties (students, respondents, advocates, and panel members) and to relevant University administration at least five (5) business days in advance of the hearing.

11.2.5.       A hearing may be scheduled with fewer than ten (10) business days’ notice with the written agreement of the student and the initial decision maker/respondent (or designate).

11.2.6.       NOTE: It is the responsibility of the appellant and respondent to notify legal counsel (if applicable) and any witnesses they wish to have at the hearing, of the date and details of the hearing.

11.2.7.       The responsible office may determine that a resource person familiar with some area of procedure or practice relevant to the case should be present at the hearing to answer questions.   A resource person may answer questions but may not ask questions of the appellant or respondent. A resource person cannot speak to whether misconduct took place. If a resource person has knowledge relevant to the specific actions of either the appellant or respondent, they should be called only as an witness.

11.2.8.       The decision(s)/finding(s) of a panel will be communicated to the appropriate office, within five (5) business days of the hearing.

11.2.9.       The appropriate office will send by University email the decision letter written by the Panel Chair to the student within ten (10) business days of the hearing. If the student does not receive the decision within this time, they should contact the AIO or Senate Office. The decision letter must state the decision and the reasons for the decision based on the facts of the case.

11.3.    Student responsibility in submitting an appeal to the AIC, RAC or GAAC

11.3.1.       Forms and instructions for the filing of an appeal to the AIC, RAC, or GAAC can be found on the AIO websitehttps://www.ryerson.ca/academicintegrity/ and are also available from the AIO.

11.3.2.       An AIC, RAC, or GAAC appeal form must be filed with the AIO by the student, in person, within ten (10) business days from the date of issue of the discussion decision letter. The student appellant must submit all documentation listed on the checklist provided on the AIC, RAC, or GAAC form. Students must ensure that all parts of the form are completed. Incomplete submissions will not be accepted.

11.3.3.       In appealing to the AIC, RAC, or GAAC, students are asked to address in their submission (and subsequently at the hearing) the facts surrounding the initial suspicion and finding, as well as whether those facts support the finding and/or penalty.

11.3.4.       If, after the student has submitted an appeal, new evidence becomes available that the student wishes to include, the student must contact the AIO as soon as possible. If the student does not have a reasonable opportunity to submit this evidence in advance of the hearing (e.g. this evidence only came to light less than 24 hours before the hearing was scheduled), they may bring it to the hearing, along with seven (7) copies to be distributed as appropriate. The person submitting the new evidence should provide an explanation of why this information was not provided in advance of the hearing. The Panel will decide whether the evidence will be accepted. The most important criteria for the admission of new evidence are: its relevance to whether misconduct occurred; its relevance to the appropriateness of the penalty assigned/recommended; and/or its authenticity, which may need to be verified.

11.4.   AIO responsibility in receipt of an appeal to the AIC, RAC, or GAAC

11.4.1.       The AIO will forward a student’s complete appeal to the decision maker (now referred to as the “respondent”) for their written response. Once all documents are received, the AIO will schedule a hearing and send a complete appeals package to all relevant parties no fewer than five (5) business days prior to the hearing to allow all parties to prepare.

 

11.5.        Decision maker responsibility in responding to an appeal to the AIC, RAC, or GAAC

11.5.1.       The decision maker (now “the respondent”) must respond within ten (10) business days to the student’s appeal in writing to the AIO and submit all relevant documentation and evidence that will be given to the student and the AIC, RAC, or GAAC panel. If, after the decision maker has submitted their response, new evidence becomes available, they must contact the AIO regarding the evidence as soon as possible. If the decision maker does not have the opportunity to submit such evidence in advance, they may bring it to the hearing, along with seven (7) copies for distribution as appropriate. The Panel will decide whether the evidence will be accepted.

 

11.6.    Student responsibility in submitting an appeal to the SAC

11.6.1.       Students must submit the appeal form and all supporting documentation to the Senate Office via email (senate@ryerson.ca) within ten (10) business days of the issuing of the AIC Appeal decision letter. Forms and instructions for the filing of appeals can be found at the Senate website (http://www.ryerson.ca/senate/appeals/) and are available from the Senate Office.

11.6.2.       The student must provide, in writing, a detailed explanation as to why the SAC should consider the case based on one or more of the four (4) grounds for appeals to SAC enumerated (see Policy 60, Section 15.1).

11.7.    Senate Office responsibility in receipt of an appeal

11.7.1.       The Secretary of Senate shall receive all appeals to the SAC.

11.7.2.       In the case of appeals from the AIC, RAC, or GAAC, the Secretary of Senate will determine whether the appeal submission meets the grounds outlined in Policy 60, Section 15.1. If the decision is to proceed to a hearing, the procedures for scheduling a hearing will be followed. If, after reviewing the appeal, the Secretary of Senate believes that the grounds have not been met (as per Policy 60, Section 15.1) to warrant an appeal submission, a Senate Appeals Review Panel (SARP) will be convened. The SARP, comprised of two faculty members and a student from SAC, plus the Secretary of Senate (or designate), and the Director of AIO (or designate), both acting as resource persons, will determine whether the student has satisfied the onus stipulated in Policy 60, Section 15.1. If the SARP decides that the appeal is to be heard, they will also determine whether to hear the entire hearing over from the beginning. The decision letter will be written by the SARP Chair and provided to the Secretary of Senate, for distribution to all relevant parties. This decision of the SARP is final and may not be appealed.

11.7.3.       The Secretary of Senate will inform the student within 10 business days of the SARP review as to whether the appeal to the SAC will proceed or not. If the appeal is to proceed, the Secretary of Senate will also advise whether or not the matter will be heard over from the beginning.

11.7.4.       While SAC hearings are not normally a full re-hearing of the evidence presented at AIC plus new evidence, if any, an appellant may explain in their appeal letter as to why their hearing should be considered to be heard over from the beginning.

11.7.5.       The Senate Office will forward the appeal to the AIC, RAC, or GAAC Panel Chair (if applicable) that upheld an original finding and/or penalty, and to the original decision maker(s) who made the finding of misconduct (or person who raised the suspicion of academic misconduct) for their response. The respondent(s) must reply to the appeal within ten (10) business days of receipt of the appeal.      

11.7.6.       The Secretary of Senate will convene an SAC panel to hear the case. In cases reviewed by SARP, where the decision is to proceed to a hearing, the same faculty and student panel members may make up the SAC panel.

11.7.7.       The Panel Chair, in consultation with the Secretary of Senate, shall also determine if further resource people should be required to attend the hearing.

11.7.8.       The Senate Office will schedule a hearing and send a complete appeal package to all relevant parties.

11.8.   SAC Hearings

11.8.1.       An appeal to SAC, if accepted as meeting one or more of the stated grounds, is limited to a discussion of the grounds relevant to the decision or processes of the previous decision-making panel unless the Secretary of Senate has decided that the matter will be heard over from the beginning.

12.  Penalty Hearings

At a penalty hearing, as opposed to an appeal, the finding that academic misconduct occurred is not in dispute. Rather, the issue is the appropriate penalty given the facts.

The general rules and procedures are the same for penalty hearings as in appeals, with exceptions noted below.

12.1.        The AIO or Senate Office will notify the student of the intent to schedule a penalty hearing. If appropriate, this notice will not be sent until after the ten (10) business days allowed for a student to submit an appeal. If the student submits an appeal, the penalty hearing will not be scheduled, and the penalty will be addressed as part of the appeal.

12.2.        The student should file a response to the notice of penalty hearing form with the AIO or Senate Office within ten (10) business days of the notice.

12.3.        If a student does not respond to the notice of penalty hearing, a hearing will still be scheduled. If a student is unable to attend due to extenuating circumstances, a hearing may be rescheduled once. If the student does not appear for the hearing, and has not requested a rescheduling, the panel will make its decision without input from the student.

12.4.        The respondent at an AIC penalty hearing will normally, in cases arising by way of Progressive Discipline, be the Program Director or, if unavailable, the Department Chair/the Director of the School or a designate familiar with the case. In cases arising from a penalty recommendation by the original decision maker that decision maker shall be the respondent.

12.5.        At SAC penalty hearings, the AIC, RAC, or GAAC Panel Chair forwarding the recommendation is the respondent, along with the recommending Program Director (if appropriate). If the hearing arises out of Progressive Discipline, the relevant Program Director, Chair/Director (or designate) and the AIC Panel Chair shall recommend the penalty and shall be co-respondents. In cases related to falsified admission documents where the Graduate Program or Graduate Admissions Office has recommended to the Secretary of Senate the Revocation of the Degree, Diploma, or Certificate the co-respondents will be the Manager of Admissions (or designate) and the Program Director. Co-respondents will submit a joint letter with their recommendation and rationale, although they can submit separate responses if they prefer.

12.6.        In cases of Progressive Discipline (e.g. multiple DNs), after reviewing the evidence regarding the prior findings, the relevant Program Director, Chair/ Director (or designate) must recommend an appropriate penalty (e.g. a DS or higher for an undergraduate, a DW or higher for a graduate). The AIO must then ensure that this recommendation is forwarded to the student so that they may address it in their letter of response to the respondent and panel. The Program Director will then be asked to submit a letter of response within ten (10) business days, including a clear rationale for their recommended penalty.

12.7.        Any documents relevant to the recommended penalty must be submitted in advance of the hearing by both the student and the respondent.

12.8.        A student who is facing a penalty hearing may:

12.8.1.       Dispute the recommended penalty and proceed to a penalty hearing at AIC

12.8.2.       Not dispute the recommended penalty. In such a case, the panel will make a decision without the appellant or respondent in attendance

12.8.3.       Waive the penalty hearing at the AIC and go directly to a penalty hearing at SAC (where the recommended penalty is DW, Expulsion, or Revocation of Degree, Diploma, or Certificate)

12.9.        If the AIC, RAC, or GAAC upholds the initial finding and/or recommends a penalty of DW, Expulsion, or Revocation of a Degree, Diploma, or Certificate and the student does not appeal to the SAC, there will be a further penalty hearing of the SAC. If the student does appeal to the SAC, then the SAC hearing will deal with both the finding and penalty.

 

12.10.     The AIO or Senate Office will send by University email the decision letter written by the Panel Chair to the student and all other relevant parties within ten (10) business days of the hearing. If the student does not receive the decision within this time, they should contact the Senate Office.

12.11.   Student responsibility for penalty hearings

12.11.1.       A student who wishes to dispute the recommended penalty must file a penalty hearing form with the AIO, or Senate Office, in person, within ten (10) business days from the date of the letter notifying them of the recommended penalty.

12.11.2.       Students are asked to address in their submission (and subsequently at the hearing) why they feel the recommended penalty is or is not appropriate. While students may choose to include information from the initial finding(s) that led to the penalty hearing being convened, the focus of the panel will be on the recommended penalty. Incomplete submissions will not be accepted.

12.11.3.       If, after the decision maker has submitted their response, new evidence becomes available, the student must contact the AIO or Senate Office regarding the evidence as soon as possible. If the decision maker does not have the opportunity to submit such evidence in advance, they may bring it to the hearing, along with seven (7) copies.

12.11.4.       The person submitting the new evidence should provide an explanation of why this information was not provided in advance of the hearing. The Panel will decide whether the evidence will be accepted. The most important criteria for the admission of new evidence are: its relevance to whether misconduct occurred; its relevance to the appropriateness of the penalty assigned/recommended; and/or its authenticity, which may need to be verified.

12.12.     AIO or Senate Office responsibility in receipt of a response to the recommended penalty

12.12.1.       The AIO or Senate Office (as appropriate) will forward a student’s letter regarding the penalty to the decision maker (now referred to as “the respondent” for their written response).

12.12.2.       Once all documents are received, a hearing will be scheduled and all parties will be sent a complete penalty hearing package, no fewer than five (5) business days prior to the hearing to allow all parties to prepare.

 

 

12.13.     Decision maker responsibility in responding to a student’s statement regarding the recommended penalty

12.13.1.       The decision maker (now “the respondent”) must respond within ten (10) business days to the student’s statement in writing to the AIO or Senate Office and submit any documentation and evidence relevant to the recommended penalty, which will be given to the student and the AIC or SAC panel.   

12.13.2.       If, after the decision maker has submitted their response, new evidence becomes available, they must contact the AIO or Senate Office regarding the evidence as soon as possible. If the decision maker does not have the opportunity to submit such evidence in advance, they may bring it to the hearing, along with seven (7) copies.

12.13.3.       The person submitting the new evidence should provide an explanation of why this information was not provided in advance of the hearing. The Panel will decide whether the evidence will be accepted. The most important criteria for the admission of new evidence are: its relevance to whether misconduct occurred; its relevance to the appropriateness of the penalty assigned/recommended; and/or its authenticity, which may need to be verified.

12.14.     AIC Decisions

12.14.1.   The first penalty hearing will normally be heard by an AIC panel and will only be followed by a second hearing at SAC if the student appeals the decision of the AIC, or the penalty upheld/recommended by the AIC can only be assigned by SAC (see Policy 60, Section 7.2).

12.14.2.   An AIC panel may:

·       assign a DS (normally one (1) term to two (2) years) and specify when it should begin, and end

·       assign a DA,

·       assign a DA-S of up to two (2) years and specify when it should begin, and end

·       uphold and forward to SAC a recommended penalty of DW, Expulsion or Revocation of a Degree, Diploma or Certificate

·       recommend such a penalty even if not recommended by the initial decision maker and/or Program Director

12.15.   RAC and GAAC Decisions

12.15.1.   The first penalty hearing will normally be heard by an RAC or GAAC panel for undergraduates or graduate students, respectively, and will only be followed by a second hearing at SAC if the student appeals the decision of the RAC or GAAC, or the penalty upheld/recommended by the RAC or GAAC can only be assigned by SAC (see Policy 60, Section 7.2).

12.15.2.   An RAC or GAAC panel may:

·       assign a DS (normally one term to two years) and specify when it should begin, and end (RAC only and not GAAC)

·       assign a DA

·       assign a DA-S of up to two years and specify when it should begin, and end (GAAC only and not RAC)

·       uphold and forward to SAC a recommended penalty of DW, Expulsion or Revocation of a Degree, Diploma or Certificate

·       recommend such a penalty even if not recommended by the initial decision maker and/or Program Director

12.16.   SAC Decisions

12.16.1.   The SAC panel for a penalty hearing may, in considering a recommendation of DS: determine that no disciplinary suspension is warranted (deny the recommendation for a DS); determine that a DS is warranted; confirm the recommended penalty; increase or reduce the recommended penalty and set the penalty from one (1) term to two (2) years.

12.16.2.   The SAC panel for a penalty hearing may, in considering a recommendation of DA: determine that no DA is warranted (deny the recommendation for a DA); determine that a DA is warranted; determine that a DA-S is (or is not) warranted; confirm or increase or reduce the recommended DA-S for up to two (2) years.

12.16.3.   The SAC panel for a penalty hearing may, in considering a recommendation of a DW: determine that no DW is warranted (deny the DW) and assign a lesser penalty (note that a DS cannot be assigned to graduate students); determine that a DW is warranted and set a period of at least two (2) years during which the student may not apply to any Ryerson program or certificate or take any continuing education courses at the University.

12.16.4.   The SAC panel for a penalty hearing may, in considering a recommendation of Expulsion: determine that expulsion is not warranted and assign a lesser penalty; determine that Expulsion from the University is warranted.

12.16.5.   The SAC panel for a penalty hearing may, in considering a recommendation of a Revocation of a Degree, Diploma, or Certificate: determine that a rescission is not warranted and assign a lesser penalty; determine that a Revocation of a Degree, Diploma, or Certificate is warranted.

13.  Submission of Falsified Documents

The University or eligible investigator (see Policy 60, Section 3.13) may at any point in the academic integrity process take appropriate steps to verify documents submitted.

13.1.   Submission of Falsified Documents in the Admissions Process

The submission of any falsified documents (e.g. transcripts, essays, portfolios, and letters of recommendation or information considered in the admissions process) or omission/withholding of pertinent information/documents that would be considered in the admissions process will result in the following:

13.1.1.       For Undergraduate students - The Undergraduate Admissions Office will notify the student that they will revoke any Undergraduate Offers of Admission. If determined after classes have begun, students may appeal to the RAC within ten (10) business days of issue of the revocation notice (see Policy 60, Section 13.4).

13.1.2.       For Graduate students - The Graduate Admissions Office will notify the student that they will revoke any Graduate Offers of Admission. If determined after classes have begun students may appeal to the GAAC within ten (10) business days of issue of the revocation (see Policy 60, Section 13.4).

13.1.3.       The Director of Admissions (or designate) will normally be the respondent in cases related to undergraduate students. The Vice-Provost and Dean YSGS (or designate) will normally be the respondent in cases related to graduate students. The relevant PD may be named as a co-respondent.

13.1.4.       The RAC or GAAC panel may assign the recommended penalty or may in light of the evidence presented, confirm, increase, or reduce the penalty, or find that no misconduct occurred.

13.1.5.       Additional penalties such as DW or Expulsion may only be assigned by SAC (see Policy 60 Section 7.2).

13.1.6.       If submission of falsified admission documents is found after the granting of an undergraduate degree, diploma, or certificate the undergraduate Department/School/ Program or Undergraduate Admissions Office will recommend to the Secretary of Senate Revocation of the Degree, Diploma, or Certificate. There will be a penalty hearing conducted by the SAC. The student may give notice of appeal, and the hearing shall proceed (see Policy 60, Section 15). The decision of the SAC is final and may not be appealed.

13.1.7.       If submission of falsified admissions documents is found after the granting of a graduate degree, diploma, or certificate, the Graduate Program or Graduate Admissions Office will recommend to the Secretary of Senate Revocation of the Degree, Diploma, or Certificate. There will be a penalty hearing conducted by the SAC. The student may give notice of appeal and the hearing shall proceed as in Policy 60, Section 15. The decision of the SAC is final and may not be appealed.

13.1.8.       Students appealing a finding under Policy 60, Section 15 must ensure that all supporting documents for the appeal are received by the Senate Office at least ten (10) business days prior to the hearing.

13.1.9.       At the appeal hearing, students may be accompanied by both an advocate from the RSU and a support person. At SAC hearings, students may be accompanied by legal counsel. (Policy 60, Section 10).

13.1.10.   In all of the above cases, the Association of Registrars of Universities and Colleges of Canada (ARUCC) may be notified if it is found that academic misconduct has occurred.

13.1.11.   Any RAC or GAAC panel shall be constituted as per Policy 60, Section 12.1.2 or Section 12.1.3. Hearings and decision making of the RAC or GAAC are to follow the same guidelines as in any appeal to AIC.

13.2.   Submission of Falsified Documents in a Discussion

13.2.1.       If it is suspected that a falsified document has been submitted as part of an academic misconduct discussion, the decision maker should first determine (in consultation with the AIO) whether or not the document is essential to making a decision regarding misconduct.

13.2.2.       If the decision maker determines that the suspected document is not essential to the decision, they may make a decision on the original suspicion of academic misconduct.

13.2.3.       If the suspected document is essential to the matter being discussed, the decision maker should not make a decision until the authenticity of the document has been verified.

13.2.4.       If the suspected document is found to be authentic, the discussion may be rescheduled and continue, or the decision maker may proceed to make a decision. The original suspicion must still be considered on its own merits.

13.2.5.       If the document is found to be falsified, the student may have committed a distinct and separate act of academic misconduct by submitting it. The decision maker should then proceed to register a new suspicion of misconduct.

13.2.6.       In assessing the authenticity of any document, it is important that the need for confidentiality and privacy be respected. In some cases decision makers may need to consult with others, including the individual who originally referred the case, to determine authenticity.

13.3.   Submission of Falsified Documents or Written Statements in a Hearing

13.3.1.       If it is suspected by a Chair or panel member, in advance of an appeal or hearing, that a document or written statement is falsified, they may wish to consult with the AIO regarding a fair process to verify the document’s authenticity.

13.3.2.       If it is suspected during a hearing that a document or written statement is falsified, the panel should consider whether the document is essential to the decision. If it is not, and if all members of the panel believe they can render their decision without considerations of the document or written statement in question, the panel can render its decision.

13.3.3.       If it is found to be authentic and the panel has adjourned to determine authenticity, the panel should reconvene and render its decision.

13.3.4.       If it is found to be falsified, the Chair of an appeal or penalty panel at any level may register in the usual way a new suspicion of academic misconduct for a falsified document or written statement submitted as part of any appeal or hearing.

 

Related Policies:

 

Policy 60:   Academic Integrity

Policy 61:   Non-Academic Conduct

Policy 118: Scholarly, Research and Creative Activity (SRC) Integrity