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Athabasca University

Student Appeals Policy

10.3.6 Appeals on Matters of Institutional Procedure or Policy

An student (appellant) may appeal any decision based upon institutional procedure or policy provided that the policy allows for an appeal.The appellant may ask that the decision be rescinded, or that it be varied.

The appeal on the application of University policy or procedure shall result in one of three possible outcomes:

  1. the decision remains the same,
  2. the decision will be rescinded, or
  3. the decision will be varied.

10.3.6.1 Step One – Appeal to Unit Supervisor/Coordinator

An appellant who is dissatisfied with any decision based upon institutional procedure or policy, provided that the policy allows for an appeal, must contact the unit supervisor/coordinator where the initial decision was made to discuss the decision before an appeal is made. Such contact must be made within thirty (30) days of the notification of the decision.

10.3.6.2 Step Two – Appeal to Department Head

An appellant who is not satisfied with a Step One decision may appeal the decision in writing to the head of the department, or designate, of the unit where the original decision is was made, within thirty (30) days of notification of the decision. The written appeal must identify precisely the decision(s) the appellant wishes to have reconsidered. All supporting documentation or evidence that the appellant wishes to have considered must be submitted at this stage of the appeal.

The department head (or designate) shall review the case and any supporting documentation that has been submitted, and may consult with faculty members, committee members, staff members, program directors, the appellant concerned, or other persons as considered appropriate. After a thorough investigation of the circumstances and particulars of the case, the department head (or designate) shall inform the appellant in writing of the decision, within thirty (30) days of receiving the appeal.

10.3.6.3 Step Three – Appeal to Student Academic Appeals Committee

An appellant who is not satisfied with a Step Two decision may appeal a decision based on institutional procedure or policy, provided that the policy allows for an appeal, by submitting a letter of appeal to the Chair of the Student Academic Appeals Committee within thirty (30) days of receiving written notification from the department head (or designate). The letter of appeal must specify in detail the reasons for making a further appeal.

The Chair shall review the case, consulting with staff, faculty, the appellant concerned, or any other person considered appropriate, providing it is practical to do so.

The Chair may:

  1. present the appeal to the Student Academic Appeals Committee for consideration and review, or
  2. decline to proceed if sufficient grounds have not been established.

In cases where the appeal has been presented to the Student Academic Appeals Committee for consideration and review, the committee may consult with the Appellant if desired or delegate the Chair to consult with the Appellant in the event the Appellant is not available at the time of the committee’s review of the appeal. The Chair shall inform the Appellant, in writing, of the Committee’s decision within thirty (30) days of receiving the appeal. The decision of the Committee is final.

Information effective September 1, 2017 to August 31, 2018.

Updated June 06 2017 by laurab

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