Legal/Policy Issues


The calendar is often referred to and acknowledged to be a contract between a postsecondary institution and its students. In view of the adoption of the Web as a medium for conveying calendar content, numerous questions arise regarding the contractual nature of the publication and the format (hard copy or virtual) which is to be considered to be binding or official. Is it possible that only some portions of the calendar should be deemed to be part of the so-called contract and others are strictly informational in nature? What have some institutions done to mitigate for risk in these areas? These are only some of the many questions which arise.

The working group on Legal and Policy Issues will endeavour to understand and share information about practices that exist across the country and policies that have been adopted.

Cathryn Heslep, Vice President Student Services at MacEwan College, is a key resource for the working group. Cathryn is working on her doctorate on the topic of case law in postsecondary institutions and has agreed to work with the committee on identifying precedents and legal issues pertaining to the role and interpretation of the calendar.

Working Group Objectives

  • Develop an understanding of existing case law and settlements which address issues related to the calendar and its interpretation.
  • Provide information and references to members of such cases.
  • Collect and provide examples of practices that assist in mitigating risks, such as policies that address the identification of 'official' versions of the calendar. This is particularly relevant when more than one version of the calendar exists at an institution.
  • Provide a set of transition recommendations and advice for moving from a print calendar to an e-calendar.
  • Provide a body of links to best practice institutional e-calendars, policy wording and key recommendations when considering the implications of making changes to the delivery of calendar information.
  • Create a list of resources for professional development related to legal matters in postsecondary education; also provide a summary of legal cases related to postsecondary.
  • Contribute to the report and presentation of the e-Calendar committee to the membership at the ARUCC 2006 biennial meeting in Montreal, June 27-29.
  • Determine next steps for research and communication with the membership following the biennial meeting.


Working Group membership:

Kathleen Massey, University of Calgary
France Myette, University of Sherbrooke 
Shannon Murphy, Alliance and Nazarene University College 
Lynette Laing, University of Saskatchewan

Other Resources:

Cathryn Heslep, Vice President Student Services, MacEwan College

Confrence des recteurs et des principaux des universit du Qubec(CRPUQ)