Academic Programs Committee ReportsUniversity of Saskatchewan Council
Academic Programs Committee
Governing Admission Decisions and the Appeal Process
at the University of Saskatchewan
Approved by Council Feb. 14, 2002, amended March 21, 2002
1. Authority over admission decisions (including appeals) in a direct-entry College/degree program or Unclassified Studies shall reside in the Office of the Registrar, with the exception of Special (Mature) Admission, and re-admission of individuals with two or more previous faculty actions. Authority over the latter two shall reside in the respective College or Extension Division.
2. Authority over admission decisions (including appeals) in a non-direct-entry College/degree program (Dentistry, Education (Sequential), Law, Medicine, Nursing (Post-Registration), Nutrition and Dietetics, Pharmacy, Physical Therapy, and Veterinary Medicine) shall reside in the College that has academic authority over the program.
3. Authority over admission decisions (including appeals) in the College of Graduate Studies and Research shall reside in the College.
4. Authority over admission decisions (including appeals) in a non-degree certificate or diploma program shall reside in the College or Division that has academic authority over the program.
5. It is the responsibility of each unit that has authority over admission decisions to ensure that the criteria for admission, application procedure and the process for evaluation and comparison of applicants are consistent with the University Policy entitled Discrimination and Harassment Prevention and are stated clearly in the University of Saskatchewan Calendar. When the criteria for admission include multiple elements, the weights assigned to these elements shall be specified
6. It is the responsibility of each unit that has authority over admission decisions to ensure that both the criteria and procedures for an appeal from an admission decision, and the range of remedies available in the event an appeal is successful, are stated clearly in the University of Saskatchewan Calendar.
7. If a unit uses a medium other than the Calendar to advertise programs, such as brochures or web pages, either the medium shall contain the information specified in (5) and (6), or it shall refer the student to the admission policy in the University of Saskatchewan Calendar.
8. Grounds for an appeal from an admission decision shall be limited to (1) unit procedural errors, or (2) evidence that the information used in the decision was wrong or incomplete. A failure by the candidate to provide accurate and complete information in accordance with the admission policy shall not be grounds for an appeal.
9. The decision of the individual, committee or board that adjudicates the appeal shall be final.
BACKGROUND AND RATIONALE:
In the summer of 2001, the Bylaws Committee of Council received a request from a student for an appeal from a decision to deny admission to a non-direct-entry program. The student requested an appeal using the procedure specified in the policy entitled, ï¿½Student Appeals in Academic Matters.ï¿½ The Bylaws Committee decided that this policy is not intended to cover admission decisions and on these grounds it ruled that no appeal could be granted. The Committee also agreed to review existing College policies on appeals of admission decisions.
Following this review, it requested the Academic Programs Committee to formulate a university policy on admission decisions. The Academic Programs Committee established a Subcommittee which drafted the Guidelines shown above.
The Committee agreed that students should be permitted to appeal admission decisions only on two possible grounds ï¿½ if a student alleges that, through no fault of the student, accurate information was not available during the admission decision, or if a student alleges that, again through no fault of the student, the unit did not follow its usual admission procedures. The Guidelines also specify which units have authority for admission decisions and appeals, and require admission procedures to be stated clearly in the Calendar. Authority over admission standards, and establishing criteria for admission decisions and related admission procedures, remains with the College offering the program.
These Guidelines were circulated to all Colleges for comment and suggested revisions, and approved at the Feb. 14, 2002 Council meeting.
At this meeting, USSU Academic Vice-President Jack Wallace asked that the Committee also consider whether discrimination should be added to the grounds for an appeal of an admission decision. The Committee considered this question and identified two possible types of discrimination. The first type is discrimination that is embedded in the criteria and standards for admission. To address this issue, the Committee recommended an amendment to section five of the policy, which was approved by Council at its March 21, 2002 meeting. The second type is discrimination that results from a failure to apply the criteria in a fair manner, which is covered currently in clause 8 (1) Unit Procedural Error.