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For LU Staff:

Standing Academic Committee

The main purpose of the Standing Academic Committee is to consider and act upon:

  • A department's recommendation for a permanent or temporary exclusion because of unsatisfactory performance
  • Cases of plagiarism where the department has referred the matter on to the S.A.C. where the powers bestowed on the Department do not match the seriousness of the offence.
  • Cases referred to it by the University Dean relating to malpractice in examinations.

The Committee deals with both Undergraduate and Postgraduate cases. Richard English in the Student Registry acts as secretary; the Committee itself is made up of 15 senior academic members representing each faculty. For any single hearing there are three members in attendance, plus the secretary.

The Committee is aimed at being a last resort. Before a department refers a student to the Committee, every effort must have been made in providing the student with the opportunity to correct the situation. Prior to hearing the case, the Committee must be satisfied that adequate warning has been given to the student that he/she is likely to be called before the Committee. At the point of referral, the student should be written to by the Department, informing him/her of the referral to the S.A.C., and that the recommendation is for exclusion from the University.

The secretary to the Committee will require a copy of the referral letter, together with details of:

  • The student's attendance record
  • The student's coursework record
  • Copies of all other relevant correspondence or other material to demonstrate the efforts made to persuade the student to meet the academic requirements.
  • Medical or other extenuating circumstances known to the department.

Meetings are scheduled throughout the academic year and ad hoc meetings are arranged as required. The student must be given at least one weeks' notice of such a hearing. It is unusual for a final year student to be referred to the Committee later than the end of the Michaelmas Term of their final year.

Often at an S.A.C., the student provides details of extenuating circumstances not known to the Department, giving grounds for the S.A.C. to allow the student to remain at University. This is often subject to strict academic probation, which if not met fully leads to exclusion without referral back to the Committee. Departments are required to closely monitor any such students.

The student has the right to be accompanied at the hearing and often this role is undertaken by a LUSU representative or the student's college tutor. Any student excluded has the right of an appeal to the vice-chancellor under the university's statute 21.

The Department making the referral is not required/expected at the hearing (except in cases of plagiarism where the Academic Officer is required to attend), but information may be sought over the telephone during the meeting, as required.

If you have any queries regarding the Committee and its procedures please contact Richard English.


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