Senate Discipline Committee

Commentary on Penalties

A. Proactive Measures

Dalhousie University emphasizes education and proactive engagement, therefore a Proactive Measure, which is a form of recommendation, may be prescribed as an educational aid in addition to a Penalty. It may include but not necessarily be restricted to suggesting that the student seek some form of professional help from the Advising and Access Services Centre or Counseling Services or elsewhere which, for example may be time management or stress management, etc., and/or an apology for the infraction. The main purpose of a Proactive Measure is to help the student learn how to reduce the likelihood of future violations of academic integrity. It is important to note that it is the student’s responsibility to decide whether or not to follow the Proactive Measure since it is not a formal Penalty but rather a recommendation. Therefore, there is normally no oversight by the University (AIO or SDC) to ensure that a Proactive Measure is followed.

B. Consequence

A Consequence is an outcome of the application of a Penalty. A Consequence is not imposed by the University's academic integrity policies but arises from the University’s academic policies. For example the consequences of the Penalty of a failing grade may include but not necessarily be limited to: failure in a program, delay of graduation, loss of full-time student status, change in visa status (for a visa student), loss of eligibility for student aid, removal from the Dean’s list. Similarly a notation on a transcript may have serious unforeseen consequences for future opportunities, etc. This list is not intended to be exhaustive. Therefore, while the university’s academic integrity procedures (AIO or SDC) may foresee some consequences, ultimately the student bears the responsibility for any consequences of a Penalty.


Jurisdiction of the Senate Discipline Committee

  1. The Senate Discipline Committee has jurisdiction to hear:

a) Complaints referred to the Senate Discipline Committee under the Code of Student Conduct ("Code Complaints"); and
b) Allegations of academic offences referred to the Senate Discipline Committee under the Faculty Discipline Procedures Concerning Allegations of Academic Offences ("Integrity Allegations").

  1. For the purpose of these procedures, the following definitions shall apply:

a) Allegation means a Code Complaint or an Integrity Allegation as the context requires.
b) University Representative means the President of the University or his/her designate in the case of Code Complaints, or the Academic Integrity Officer in the case of Integrity Allegations.

  1. The Senate Discipline Committee’s jurisdiction extends to Allegations against a student who, before or during the course of the disciplinary process involving him or her, but prior to adjudication, has:

i) been compelled to withdraw academically;
ii) chosen to withdraw from the course, the program, or the University prior to being disciplined, or;
iii) chosen not to register at the University.

  1. In the case of Integrity Allegations, a Hearing Panel of the Senate Discipline Committee may:

a) dismiss the allegation; or
b) impose any of the following:

i) notation of the fact of discipline on the offender's transcript for a period of one or more years, but not exceeding five years;
ii) repeat of the assignment that triggered the discipline;
iii) a failing grade or mark or assessment in the piece of work triggering the discipline;
iv) an imposed limit on the grade that can be given for the assignment or course;
v) failure of the course;
vi) suspension for an academic term or year (to a maximum suspension of three academic years);
vii) expulsion from the University;
viii) any other remedy of an academic nature that is within the power of Senate to grant.

  1. In the case of a Code Complaint, a Hearing Panel of the Senate Discipline Committee may:

a) dismiss the complaint; or
b) impose any of the penalties set out under the Code of Student Conduct

  1. In the case where an Allegation is proven and is not dismissed under section 4(a) or 5(a), the Hearing Panel of the Senate Discipline Committee may consider any mitigating or aggravating circumstances in its determination of the appropriate penalty.

Initiating a Hearing/Pre-Hearing Procedures

  1. To initiate a hearing of the Senate Discipline Committee the University Representative shall submit a written request to the Senate Vice-Chair (Student Affairs), or designate. The request shall include a written submission outlining the Allegation together with all supporting evidence, documentation and a list of the witnesses on which the University Representative intends to rely.
  2. The Senate Vice-Chair (Student Affairs) shall provide the student with a notice of the Allegation that shall include:

a) The material filed by the University Representative under section 7;
b) Notice of the deadline for the student to submit a written defence, any supporting evidence and a list of individuals who will attend at the hearing on the student's behalf; and
c) Notification of the student's right to be represented.

  1. The student shall provide the Senate Vice-Chair (Student Affairs) with a written defence, supporting evidence and a list of the individuals who will also be attending, as well as their capacity (e.g. witness, support person, advocate) no later than the date specified in the notice of allegation. Any evidence or documentation provided after the deadline for submission may be ruled inadmissible by the Hearing Panel at the hearing.

  2. The Chair of the Senate Discipline Committee shall constitute a Hearing Panel in a timely manner comprising three faculty and two students. No faculty member who is a current instructor of the accused student may serve as a member of the Hearing Panel. The student member of a Hearing Panel shall not be a member of the course from which the complaint originates. In the event that no student members of the Committee are able to participate on a Hearing Panel due to the provisions of this paragraph, the Dalhousie Student Union shall appoint an ad hoc member to the applicable Hearing Panel. The Committee Chair or an alternate faculty member shall chair the hearing.

  3. The Student and University Representative shall be notified of the date, time and location of the hearing, as well as the names of all individuals who will be in attendance, no less than 10 working days in advance of the hearing.

  4. Preliminary objections or issues must be raised as far in advance of the hearing as reasonably possible. The Chair of the Hearing Panel has sole discretion to rule on any preliminary issues or objections raised by either party that must be dealt with prior to the commencement of the hearing. The Hearing Panel may rule on any preliminary issues or objections raised at the commencement of the hearing.

Hearing Procedures

  1. The Chair of the Hearing Panel shall determine procedures for the hearing in a manner that is consistent with the principles of natural justice and these Procedures.

  2. In extenuating circumstances, the Chair of the Hearing Panel may decide to proceed with the hearing in the absence of one faculty member of the Hearing Panel.

  3. In the event that the student fails to appear at the hearing, the Hearing Panel shall satisfy itself that reasonable efforts were made to notify the student and may proceed in the student's absence.

  4. The student may participate at an oral hearing in person, by way of teleconference, or by such other means approved in advance by the Hearing Panel. The student may waive the right to an oral hearing and choose to proceed solely by written submissions.

  5. Hearings shall be in camera.

  6. At the commencement of the hearing, the Chair of the Hearing Panel shall explain the procedures to be followed and provide an opportunity for introductions as well as any questions, objections, or opening statements.

  7. The University Representative shall present the Allegation and witnesses, if any. The student and any members of the Hearing Panel may question the University Representative and the University Representative's witnesses following the presentation of the Allegation.

  8. The student may present his or her defence and witnesses, if any, following the University Representative's presentation. The University Representative and any members of the Hearing Panel may question the student and any of the student's witnesses following the presentation of the defence.

  9. At the discretion of the Chair of the Hearing Panel, the parties may make final arguments following the presentations. The student shall have the last word.

  10. At the discretion of the Hearing Panel, any evidence sought to be admitted by either party from witnesses who are not available to give evidence in person may be received in writing or in some other form.

  11. The student is considered innocent until the Allegation is proven on a balance of probabilities, the burden of which lies with the University Representative.

  12. The decision of the Hearing Panel shall be by majority.

  13. The Hearing Panel shall report its decision including reasons for the decision and any penalty imposed, to the Vice-Chair (Student Affairs) who shall forward a copy of the decision to the student and the University Representative.

  14. An audio recording of each oral hearing shall be made. The recording and all correspondence and documentary evidence relating to appeal proceedings shall be kept in accordance with the records management policies of the University Secretariat. The student may obtain a copy of the audio recording by making written request to the Senate Vice-Chair (Student Affairs) and may use such recording only for the purpose of an appeal of the decision in question.

  15. Appeals from decisions of the Senate Discipline Committee may be made to the Senate Appeals Committee in accordance with the Senate Appeals Committee - Jurisdiction and Appeals Procedures.

  16. The Senate shall maintain a confidential database of discipline decisions for the purposes of general reporting and proper adjudication of repeat offences.

University of King’s College

The University of King’s College Registrar shall notify the Dalhousie Registrar in the event that academic discipline proceedings have been commenced in relation to a Dalhousie student, and shall advise the Dalhousie Registrar of the outcome of such proceedings, including any sanctions imposed against the student. Where the student has been previously sanctioned for academic misconduct, the Dalhousie Registrar will provide the University of King’s College Registrar with particulars of the offence and the sanction imposed.