Special Cases Committee (Senate)
On behalf of Senate to take final decisions on all cases referred to it under Regulations 2, 5 and 6 and Ordinance 8. This includes regulations on assessment; regulations regarding procedures for students on taught and research programmes; and exemptions from part of a programme of study in the University. The SCC deals with student cases where progression is not as expected, and handles student appeals.
Chair and members
- Dr Jen Wotherspoon (acting Chair)
19 members* appointed by Senate, at least one of whom should be a member of Senate
- Dr C Chaffer, Management to serve until 31 July 2025
- Dr M Nazarov, Mathematics to serve until 31 July 2025
- Dr L Baxter, Management to serve until 31 July 2024
- Dr B Flowerdew, International Pathway College, to serve until 31 July 2024
- R Havelock, Health Sciences, to serve until 31 July 2024 (on leave)
- Dr J Jacob, Computer Science to serve until 31 July 2024
- Dr P Lightfoot, Physics to serve until 31 July 2024
- Dr J Lynam, Chemistry to serve until 31 July 2024
- Dr J Mensah, English to serve until 31 July 2024 (on leave)
- Dr K Quigley, Theatre Film and Interactive Media, to serve until 31 July 2024 (on leave)
- Dr A Rees, Sociology to serve until 31 July 2024
- Dr K Arnold, Environment to serve until 31 July 2023 (Deputy Chair, Research Students)**
- Dr E Hayiou-Thomas, Psychology to serve until 31 July 2023 (Appeals Chair)
- Dr S Hellmuth, Linguistics to serve until 31 July 2023 (Appeals Chair)
- Dr P Vohra, History to serve until 31 July 2023 (on leave)
*There are currently four vacancies for ordinary members
**denotes member of Senate
Agendas and minutes
- Ms D Bowen, Student Administration and Academic Affairs (SAAA)
Senior member of SAAA, or deputising senior colleague (at full Committee hearings if required)
Terms of reference
- To have regard at all times to principles of equity, fairness and transparency and to bear in mind relevant equality and diversity, confidentiality and data protection policies and legislation.
- On behalf of Senate to take final decisions on all cases referred to it under Regulations 2, 5 and 6 and Ordinance 8 of the University Ordinances and Regulations and in particular to decide cases relating to students where:
(a) a proposed variation in the normal pattern of registration or progression for a University qualification is recommended;
(b) progression is not as expected;
(c) the award of an aegrotat degree is proposed.
- To consider appeals by students against decisions of Boards of Studies, Boards of Examiners, Departmental Exceptional Circumstances Committees or decisions taken by Chair's action by the Chair of Special Cases Committee or their nominee, affecting students' academic progress, or decisions taken by a Standing Committee on Academic Misconduct Investigatory Panel (StAMP).
- To decide any other special cases referred to the Committee by Boards of Studies, Graduate Schools Boards, Standing Committee on Assessment, or by Senate.
- To monitor and review statistical information on the cases within the Committee's purview, and to report annually to Senate.
- To report to Senate following each of its policy meetings, where appropriate.
- The Special Cases Committee deals with all students (taught and research) and all decisions will be taken either by a full meeting of the Committee, a Special Cases hearing (see points 5-8) or a Chair’s action meeting (see point 4).
The procedure for handling student appeals is defined formally by Regulations 2.8 and 6.7 of the University Ordinances and Regulations and by the published Student Academic Appeals Procedures.
- A full meeting of the Committee, ie a policy meeting or hearing, will be considered quorate provided a minimum of three members are present.
- The Chair, Deputy Chair, Appeals Chair or Chair's nominee have discretion to decide on cases, as appropriate, in consultation with an ordinary member of the Committee but without reference to the full Committee. The majority of cases are considered in this way. This is known as a Chair’s action meeting.
- A Special Cases hearing is a full meeting of the Committee to which the student is invited, along with the Chair of the Board of Studies or Chair of Graduate Schools Board (or their nominee), the student’s supervisor, and/or other members of the University as determined necessary by the Chair (or Deputy Chair). The student can be accompanied by a YUSU or GSA representative and/or a friend, who must be a registered employee or student at the University. The Chair of Special Cases Committee (or Deputy if they have called the hearing) decides who is invited to attend the hearing.
- Special Cases hearings are called at the discretion of the Chair of the Special Cases Committee, or their nominee. A Special Cases hearing will only be held if, in the judgement of the Chair, a hearing is necessary to resolve any issues which cannot be resolved by reference to the submitted documentation (with the exception of the circumstances outlined in point 7 below). As a guide, a hearing is also likely to be called in the following circumstances:
- The total accrued leave of absence, or total length of programme extension for a taught student, becomes so lengthy that the student’s likelihood of successfully completing their programme is called into question;
- An extension request or leave of absence request for a research student exceeds the limits specified in the Policy on Research Degrees.
A hearing will always be held where a student appeals against a recommendation for termination of enrolment on the grounds that the student is academically unsatisfactory, other than where triggered by failure of the programme or failure to progress.
Former members of the Committee are permitted to be part of a panel hearing cases if called upon to do so in exceptional circumstances and provided that only one such person takes part in any one hearing.
New members of the Committee are permitted to attend hearings and Chair's action meetings in an observing capacity, in addition to the panel selected to hear or consider the case, in order to become familiar with the hearing process.