Skip To Content

Athabasca University

Non-Academic Misconduct Policy

9.2.3 Disciplinary Action

Disciplinary action may include one or more of the following penalties:

  • reprimand
  • suspension
  • expulsion
  • exclusion from class
  • exclusion from exam

9.2.4 Disciplinary Procedures

The following procedures do not apply to disruptive behaviour in class or disruptive behaviour in the exam room (see Section 7 Exclusion from Class or Exam for Disruptive Behaviour within this policy). Initiation of Proceedings


Any person who has reason to believe that a student is guilty of a non-academic offence may initiate proceedings against the student by way of a statement signed by the complainant and delivered to the Registrar.


The Registrar will determine the appropriate avenue for investigation and will designate the appropriate individual to conduct the investigation (herewith called the "Investigator"). Proceedings

Review and Investigation

The Investigator will review the complaint and conduct an investigation. This may include interviewing the relevant individuals and obtaining other information relevant to the complaint.

Complaint Declined

The Investigator may decline to proceed with a complaint under the following circumstances:

  1. where the Investigator believes that no University rule has been violated
  2. where the Investigator believes the complaint to be scandalous, frivolous, or vexatious
  3. where the Investigator believes that an unreasonable amount of time has elapsed since the incident
  4. where the Investigator believes that the offence should be referred to police or appropriate public authorities.
Complaint Declined Procedure

Where the Investigator has declined to proceed with a complaint, this decision will be delivered to the Registrar who will advise the complainant in writing within (10) calendar days of receipt of the complaint.

Action Procedure
  1. The Investigator shall ensure that all documentation is provided to the Registrar.
  2. If the Registrar desires more information, the Registrar shall conduct such further investigation as the Registrar deems appropriate, including reviewing the matter with the student, providing it is practical to do so.
  3. The Registrar, following such investigation, may dismiss the complaint or impose one or more of the penalties.
  4. In determining an appropriate penalty, the Registrar may take into account the disciplinary record, if any, of the student.
  5. The Registrar shall provide written notice to the student of the decision, any penalty imposed, and of the right to appeal within twenty (20) calendar days of receipt of the original complaint.

    NOTE: In the event that the Investigator fails to act within the time limits stated herein, the student shall, upon the expiry of such time limits, be entitled to proceed to the next step: direct appeal to the Associate Vice-President, Academic. In the event that the Investigator or the Associate Vice-President, Academic is not available, a designate will carry out the following procedures. Appeal Procedures

  1. A student or complainant may appeal the decision of the Investigator not to proceed, or the decision by the Registrar, by submitting such notice of appeal in writing to the Associate Vice-President, Academic no later than ten (10) calendar days after deemed receipt of notification of the Registrar’s decision. The Associate Vice-President, Academic may at his/her sole discretion accept an appeal notwithstanding that more than ten (10) calendar days have elapsed since receipt of the Registrar’s decision.
  2. The notice of appeal shall be in writing, signed personally or through an agent representing the appellant, and state the grounds of appeal. The appeal shall deal with the Registrar’s decision, the finding of guilt and/or the penalty imposed. At this time the student may view the file upon request. Any additions to the file during the appeal process will be made available to the student who has requested access to the file.
  3. If legal counsel is retained by the appellant, the Associate Vice-President, Academic must be notified of it immediately.
  4. The Associate Vice-President, Academic shall consider the appeal and review the matter in a manner in which he/she, in his/her sole discretion deems appropriate, and may either sustain, quash, or vary the decision being appealed.
  5. Where the Associate Vice-President, Academic sustains the finding of guilt, he/she may confirm, vary, or suspend the penalty imposed.
  6. The Associate Vice-President, Academic shall communicate his/her decision to the appellant, or his/her agent/representative/lawyer, in writing, within ten (10) calendar days of receipt of the appeal or within such longer period as the Associate Vice-President, Academic deems necessary in his/her sole discretion. The penalty becomes effective immediately upon such notification. Any penalty imposed or confirmed shall take effect on the date indicated in the written notification.
  7. Decisions of the Associate Vice-President, Academic shall be final and binding, and no right of appeal lies therefrom.

NOTE: Notification mailed by single-registered post to the last known address of the student, is deemed, in the absence of evidence to the contrary, to have been received by the student ten (10) calendar days after posting to an Alberta address and twenty (20) calendar days to an address outside of Alberta.


Information effective Sept. 1, 2019 to Aug. 31, 2020.

Updated July 24 2019 by laurab

AU, CANADA'S OPEN UNIVERSITY, is an internationally recognized leader in online and distance learning.