Academic Appeal is not appealing

At the University of Calgary, there is but one academic justice system, with a bureaucratic system of layers which tends to confuse the appellant student. Fortunately, the regime lacked the creativity of some of its neighbors in designing its appeals system, and much of it is modeled on a simple pattern.

For minor issues such as assignment grading, students have 15 days to contact the instructor to ask for reassessment. The department head (if there is one) or dean may then be involved if the student is dissatisfied with the result. If students allege wrongdoing at this step, or have new evidence, they have 15 days to bring the issue to the Faculty Appeals Committee via a letter to the dean of their faculty. Again, if students allege wrongdoing at this step, or have new evidence, they have 15 days to bring the issue to the General Faculties Council via a letter to the GFC Secretary.

Appeals of final grades work the same way with the same requirements for alleged wrongdoing or new evidence for cases to be heard. Students start with an appeal to the Registrar by the then-current deadline, and proceed through the Faculty Appeals Committee within 15 days of an unfavourable decision by the Registrar, and finally the GFC within 15 days of an unfavorable decision by the Faculty Appeals Committee.

Not surprisingly, other academic appeals (such as from a requirement to withdraw, as occurs after you fail to increase your GPA during academic probation) work in the same way, with the same 15-day deadlines and requirements of alleged wrongdoing or new evidence, starting with the Faculty Appeals Committee and proceeding through the GFC.

And finally, for great justice, students may petition the Board of Governors for action if all of the above fails, though their standard practice is to refer the matter back to the GFC.

Students are advised to consult the Students’ Union’s Student Rights Advisor if they plan to take a matter beyond the level of the department head since letters, documentation and deadlines have to be carefully attended to. The SRA has experience contesting the regime and is a valuable resource for you in doing the same. Contact the advisor at 220-3909 or

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