How to appeal a decision

Know where to submit the appeal

Please refer to your decision letter for instructions on how to start your appeal. You can also refer to the summary diagram to determine where your appeal should be sent. Still not sure where to send your appeal? Contact the Student Appeals Office (appeals@ucalgary.ca).

View diagram

Prepare your appeals package

Graduate students can refer to their decision letter for information specific to their situation. Students are also encouraged to contact the Student Ombuds Office for advice regarding their appeal and for support in preparing their appeals package.

Contact Student Ombuds

Submit your appeal

All appeals must include a cover sheet and can be submitted by email, or in-person at ES 1010 by the deadline stated in their decision letter. If you need to request an extension it must be made prior to the original deadline, after which they will not be considered.

Contact us


Your registration

Students who appeal decisions to the Faculty of Graduate Studies Appeals Committee are entitled to tentative registration pending the outcome of the appeal and must pay all fees.

If the appeal fails: The Dean of Graduate Studies’ ruling will be reinstated, the student’s registration cancelled, the transcript changed to reflect the ruling, regardless of the date, and all fees refunded in full.

Timeline

10 business days from the decision: Graduate Student submits appeal to the Dean.

2 Business Days of receipt of the appeal: Dean will acknowledge receipt of the appeal.

10 Business Days of receipt of the appeal: Dean will resolve the appeal or forward to the Faculty Appeals Committee Chair.

10 Business Days of the date of receipt of the appeal from the Dean: Chair will determine whether the appeal is denied, or whether the appeal will proceed to a hearing. If appeal is proceeding to hearing, Chair will request the Dean provide a response to the appeal.

5 Business Days before the hearing:  Circulation of all submissions, documentation and evidence that will be used by the Faculty Appeals Committee in making its decisions to the Appellant, Respondent (if any) and to the Faculty Appeals Committee.

10 Business Days after the hearing: Faculty Appeals Committee decision.

10 Business Days from the date of the written Faculty Appeals Committee decision (where appropriate): Appeal to University Appeals Committee.

The hearing


Who can attend

  • The members of the Appeal Panel
  • The appellant and one individual to assist the appellant, provided due notification has been given
  • The Dean of Graduate Studies or designate and one individual to assist them, provided due notification has been given
  • One individual invited to assist the Panel
  • Witnesses invited by either party to the appeal

Confidentiality

No recording by any party of any hearing in the Faculty of Graduate Studies is allowed.

Hearings are not open to the public. All written and oral information regarding the hearing is confidential and should not be shared or discussed outside the proceedings. Written material must not be copied or distributed to anyone not involved in the proceedings.


What happens at the hearing

1. Introduction

  • The Chair explains the hearing format and clarifies procedural questions arising from any party, which will be settled by the Chair or by a majority vote of the panel members.
  • The Chair compiles notes on the proceedings in order to be able to write a decision. The notes will be destroyed after a written decision is prepared and distributed.
  • The Chair identifies the appeal, names the parties present and their advisors, the members of the Appeal Panel, and outlines the circumstances leading to the appeal.

2. Presentation of the case

  • The Chair invites the appellant to present their case, including the evidence of any witnesses.
  • The Chair invites the respondent to present the Faculty of Graduate Studies’ case, including the evidence of any witnesses. The Chair may invite witnesses into the hearing to give evidence. The witnesses will leave after giving their evidence and the appellant, respondent and Appeals Panel members have the opportunity to ask questions, at their discretion.

3. Questions

  • The Chair gives the appellant and the respondent the opportunity to ask questions on their behalf.
  • The Chair invites members of the Appeal Panel to ask questions of the appellant and the respondent on the written evidence and on the oral presentations.

4. Conclusion

  • The Chair invites members of the Appeal Panel to ask questions of the appellant and the respondent on the written evidence and on the oral presentations.
  •  The respondent presents concluding statement.
  • The appellant presents concluding statement.
  • The Chair asks all those present except for the members of the Appeal Panel to leave the room.

After the hearing


Reaching a decision

The decision is by vote and requires a simple majority to decide an appeal. For an appeal to be upheld, the grounds for the appeal must be substantiated.

The decision of the Appeal Panel will be based solely on the evidence presented at the hearing and on written submissions to the appeal, which will be available to all parties.

Three possible outcomes

  • To uphold the appeal and approve the remedy being sought
  • To uphold the appeal, and determine an alternative remedy
  • To deny the appeal

The Panel's written decision

  • The date and time of the hearing

  • Names of all those present at the hearing, and their roles in the hearing

  • A review of the decision being appealed, the grounds of the appeal, the documentation considered by the Committee and the nature of the oral presentations

  • Decision of the Appeal Panel

  • Reasons for the decision

The Appeal Panel’s decision is binding upon the Faculty of Graduate Studies.