The President's Advisory Committee on Student Discipline makes findings of fact as to what has occurred and whether it constitutes academic misconduct. Where academic misconduct is found, the President then determines what penalties, if any, will be imposed given the circumstances of the case. Members of the PACSD are appointed by the President on the recommendation of University Counsel. The Committee usually sits in panels of four or five (often including a graduate student). The most important circumstance considered by the Committee is the student's state of mind at the time of alleged academic misconduct. The Committee must decide whether the misconduct was intentional or due to ignorance and, if it was intentional, whether there were any potentially extenuating circumstances.
Penalties may be imposed singly or in combination. The most lenient penalty is a formal letter of reprimand from the President. Other more severe penalties consist of a mark of zero in a course, a notation on the transcript that academic discipline has been imposed, a period of suspension and, in exceptional cases, permanent expulsion from UBC. In some cases, students are permitted to apply to have transcript notations removed two years after graduation. Suspensions vary in length. The Committee reports its findings and recommendations to the President, who then provides a decision to the student in writing.