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Section 1 - Preliminary
Part A - Citation and commencement
(1) This Rule is made by the Board of Trustees of the Western Sydney University pursuant to clause 44(1) of the Western Sydney University By-Law 2005 for the purposes of the Western Sydney University Act 1997.
(2) This Rule commences on the day after it is published in accordance with clause 45 of the Western Sydney University By-law 2005.
(3) This Rule sets out the powers and procedures by which the Board of Trustees may revoke degrees, diplomas, certificates or other awards conferred by the University as part of its functions under section 8 of the Western Sydney University Act.
Section 2 - Revocation of Degree, Diploma, Certificate or Other Award
Part B - Power
(4) The Board of Trustees may, subject to this Rule, revoke a degree, diploma, certificate or other award conferred on a recipient:
- for which that recipient was not qualified; or
- because of fraud, dishonesty or because of error.
Part C - Preliminary Investigation
(5) If the Academic Registrar believes that:
- a recipient has been awarded a degree, diploma, certificate or other award of the University for which that person was not qualified; or
- a degree, diploma, certificate or other award of the University has been conferred by reason of fraud, dishonesty or error,
then he or she shall conduct a preliminary investigation (or nominate another person to do so on his or her behalf) to establish whether there is a prima facie case for revocation of that degree, diploma, certificate or other award or whether there are sufficient grounds to require the recipient to show cause.
Completion and Recommendations
(6) Upon completion of a preliminary investigation conducted under clause 5, the Academic Registrar is to report any findings of fact arising from that investigation and recommend to the Vice-Chancellor and President:
- that no further action should be taken; or
- that the matter warrants further investigation by a Revocations Committee.
Determination by Vice-Chancellor
(7) Upon receipt of a report and recommendation referred to in clause 6, the Vice-Chancellor and President may, whether or not it is in accordance with that recommendation:
- decide that no further action should be taken and make a report of that finding to the next meeting of the Board of Trustees; or
- refer the matter to the Remuneration and Nominations Committee of the Board of Trustees to convene a Revocations Committee to further investigate the matter and make recommendations to the Board of Trustees, in accordance with Part D.
Part D - Investigation by Revocations Committee
(8) If the Vice-Chancellor and President refers the matter to the Remuneration and Nominations Committee in accordance with clause 7(b), that Committee shall convene a Revocations Committee, which shall comprise three members, at least one of whom must currently be a member of the Board of Trustees and subject to clause 9.
(9) The Revocations Committee shall be chaired by one of its members, who must be a person, who:
- is currently or who has previously been admitted to practise as a legal practitioner in New South Wales for a continuous period of no less than ten years; or
- currently holds, or has previously held, office as a judge or a stipendiary magistrate in any state or federal court of Australia.
(10) A Revocations Committee has the following powers:
- it may obtain information as to the facts in any way it sees fit and may at any stage seek further information or assistance in any manner reasonably possible;
- it may require a member of the University staff or any student to provide information about the matter;
- it may conduct the investigation by interview, formal hearing or written submissions, or any combination of these;
- it may determine its own procedures, subject to the requirement to observe the rules of procedural fairness and its obligations under clause 12.
(11) The Revocations Committee is not bound by any rules of evidence.
(12) The Revocations Committee must:
- conduct its investigation in a fair and impartial manner;
- ensure that the recipient has been correctly identified and notified about the investigation;
- if satisfied that there is insufficient evidence to establish that the degree, diploma, certificate or other award should be revoked, recommend that no further action should be taken;
- if satisfied, on the basis of the evidence before it, that there are reasonable grounds to recommend that the degree diploma, certificate or other award should be revoked, give the recipient a reasonable opportunity to respond to any findings of fact, evidence put before the Revocations Committee and any proposed recommendations, before finalising any report and recommendations;
- if it determines to conduct a hearing, invite the recipient to be present at the hearing and to make submissions in respect of any evidence put before it at the hearing; and
- if the recipient fails, without a good reason, to respond or to appear at any hearing convened, and if satisfied that reasonable and proper steps have been taken to notify the recipient, proceed in the absence of any response from or appearance by the recipient.
(13) A recipient is entitled to:
- receive notice of an investigation conducted and (if applicable) any hearing convened by the Revocations Committee;
- be informed of the procedure for investigation and determination (including being given a copy of this Rule);
- make written submissions in response to any findings of fact made by the Revocations Committee or recommendations that it proposes to make;
- if the Revocations Committee decides to convene an oral hearing, to be present at the hearing and to make oral submissions or present written submissions in respect of any evidence put before it at the hearing;
- be accompanied by a support person at any interview or hearing, or have an advocate (including a legal representative) appear on his or her behalf at any hearing;
- with leave of, and under the direction of the Revocations Committee, ask questions of any witness who gives evidence to the Revocations Committee.
Further Investigation and Report
(14) The Revocations Committee must conduct an investigation in accordance with clauses 10 - 13, and must prepare a final report and recommendations for the Board of Trustees.
(15) A final report prepared under clause 14 must include:
- any allegations or background to the matter;
- a statement that the recipient was notified of the investigation and any hearing;
- a description of the procedure adopted by the Revocations Committee to investigate the matter;
- a list of persons interviewed or who gave evidence at any hearing;
- a list of all documents put before the Committee as evidence;
- a summary of any evidence or submissions put before the Committee (including, if applicable, any submissions referred to in clause16);
- details of what evidence or submissions it considered relevant and reasons why (if applicable) any of that evidence or those submissions were not accepted or considered irrelevant;
- one of the following recommendations:
- that the degree, diploma, certificate or other award should be revoked; or
- that the degree, diploma, certificate or other award should not be revoked.
(16) Before submitting its final report to the Board of Trustees, the Revocations Committee shall send a copy of that report to the recipient to give that recipient a reasonable opportunity to make any submissions in relation to:
- any recommendation that the degree, diploma, certificate or other award should or should not be revoked;
- any fresh and relevant evidence that has become available to the recipient and which was not available or not known to the recipient at the time of the investigation by the Revocations Committee.
(17) The Revocations Committee must consider any further submissions of the recipient when preparing its final report.
Part E - Final Determination by Board of Trustees
(18) Upon receipt of a report and recommendations of the Revocations Committee, the Board of Trustees shall resolve either that:
- the degree, diploma, certificate or other award is revoked (which revocation shall take effect immediately upon resolution); or
- the degree, diploma, certificate or other award is not revoked.
(19) If the resolution of the Board of Trustees differs from any recommendations of the Revocations Committee, then the Board of Trustees shall provide a short statement of reasons for that resolution.
Effect of Resolution
(20) A resolution of the Board of Trustees pursuant to clause 18(a) has the following effect(s) which on and from the date on which the Board so resolves, or a later date specified in that resolution:
- the degree, diploma, certificate or other award which is the subject of that resolution is revoked;
- any testamur or other record (including official transcript of results) relating to that degree, diploma, certificate or other award shall be cancelled and must be returned by the recipient to the University;
- the University's records relating to the academic progress or results of the recipient shall be amended to take into account the revocation of that degree, diploma, certificate or other award; and
- any prize, scholarship or other benefit awarded by the University and to which the recipient was entitled upon award of that degree, diploma or other award shall also be revoked and must be refunded or returned to the University.
Notification to recipient
(21) The Academic Registrar shall within seven days of the Board of Trustees resolving under clauses 18 - 19 notify the recipient of that resolution, and:
- provide to the recipient a copy of the final report and recommendations of the Revocations Committee and, if applicable, a copy of any statement of reasons required under clause 19; and
- if the Board of Trustees has resolved that the degree, diploma, certificate or other award is revoked, include in that notice a statement that:
- confirms the date on which revocation took effect or is to take effect in accordance with the resolution by the Board of Trustees;
- the recipient is required to:
- return the original testamur, certificate or other award and any other record (including official transcript of results);
- return or refund any prize, scholarship or other benefit that the recipient received upon award of the degree, diploma, certificate or other award, within seven days of the date of that notice;
- the recipient is no longer entitled to represent to any person that he or she is the recipient of that degree, diploma, certificate or other award;
- that the University, in accordance with its policy relating to disclosure and use of student personal information, may notify parties with a legitimate interest in knowing that information, that the degree, diploma, certificate or other award has been revoked; and
- the recipient should take steps to notify any current employers, educational institutions, professional registration bodies or associations or others as applicable, that the degree, diploma, certificate or other award has been revoked;
Amendment of Recipient's Record
(22) If the Board of Trustees resolves to revoke a degree, diploma, certificate of other award of a recipient in accordance with this Rule, then the Registrar shall ensure that all relevant records of the University relating to that recipient are amended to reflect the terms of that resolution.
No Further Internal Appeal or Review
(23) The determination of the Board of Trustees is final and conclusive, and may not be the subject of any internal appeal or review by or within the University.