Academic Calendar

Conflict of Interest Between Evaluators and Students Due to Close Personal Relationships Policy and Procedure

The Policy and Procedure are available online at

The purpose of this policy is to ensure that the relationship between an evaluator and the person being evaluated is and is seen to be impartial.


  1. An evaluator includes any person who participates, whether at first instance or on appeal, in the process of admitting or selecting a student to a course or program, determination of a student's progress or academic standing, or the receipt by a student of a prize, award or university financial support.
  2. A conflict of interest means a close personal relationship between an evaluator and a student or applicant, or between evaluators, that gives rise to a reasonable apprehension of bias and, in any event, such relationships shall include that of:
    1. parent/child;
    2. spouses;
    3. grandparent/grandchild;
    4. siblings;
    5. in-laws; or
    6. persons living in the same dwelling unit.


  1. Responsibility for avoiding the conflict of interest rests with the evaluator. In cases of uncertainty, the evaluator shall and the student may refer the matter for determination to the department head (or dean/director, as appropriate). The decision of the department head is subject to review by the dean/director of the academic unit.
  2. Where there is a conflict of interest, the evaluator shall immediately withdraw from participation and shall inform the student concerned and the head or dean/director, as appropriate.
    1. Where alternative sections or electives exist, the alternative must be taken, unless the dean/director concerned determines that this will create an undue hardship for the student.
    2. Where the dean/director has exercised discretion under 2.(a) or where no alternatives exist to compulsory courses, the dean/director shall ensure fair evaluation by having another suitably qualified evaluator review the submitted material or hear the oral presentations. Where practicable, the evaluator shall not participate in setting the examination or other evaluation method.
  3. Where the dean or director has a conflict of interest, the President shall name a replacement to act in the matter.
  4. In the case of failure to observe these regulations, staff members will be subject to the discipline procedures provided by the appropriate collective agreement or personnel policy of the University.