Report #262

DATE: February 11, 2002
PARTIES: Ms. P.H., (the appellant) v the Faculty of Arts and Science


Hearing Date(s): December 3, 2001

Committee Members:
Professor Ed Morgan, Acting Chair
Dr. Alice Dong
Professor Luigi Girolametto
Professor Gretchen Kerr
Ms. Heather Schramm

Judicial Affairs Officer:
Mr. Paul Holmes

In Attendance:
Ms. P.H., the appellant
Ms. Emily Morton, Downtown Legal Services, counsel for the appellant
Ms. Sari Springer, Cassels Brock, counsel for the Faculty of Applied Science and Engineering
Professor Raymond Kwong, for the Faculty of Applied Science and Engineering
Professor Doug Lavers, for the Faculty of Applied Science and Engineering
Ms. Ella Lund-Thomsen, Undergraduate Counselor, Faculty of Applied Science and Engineering
Ms. Barbara McCann, Faculty Registrar, Faculty of Applied Science and Engineering

Faculty of Arts and Science – appeal of late withdrawal without academic penalty and appeal of a course grade – no notification of Faculty relief until end of the subsequent term – purported agreement that Student be allowed to proceed with subsequent term, and, barring inadequate performance, retroactive withdrawal be revoked – Professor lacked authority to make purported agreement – no detrimental reliance on purported agreement – timely notice received and decisions valid despite postal mishap – agreement to retroactively adjust course mark – course instructor lacked authority to increase grade for medical reasons – course grade never properly appealed – appeal dismissed

Appeal of late withdrawal without academic penalty granted for five courses taken in the term and an appeal of a course grade the appellant received in the previous term. The Student fell below the required sessional term average and was placed on repeat probation. The Student petitioned the grades on medical grounds and the Faculty granted her late withdrawal without academic penalty for the courses taken in the term. The Student claimed that she did not hear about the Faculty’s relief until two weeks prior to the final exams in the subsequent term and that she believed she was properly registered in that term. The Student claimed that conversations with a Professor amounted to an agreement that she be allowed to proceed with the subsequent term, and, that if she performed adequately in the term, her retroactive withdrawal would be revoked. The Committee found that the Professor did not have the authority to make the purported agreement with the Student, that the Student was aware of this, having pursued the appropriate appeal procedures through the Faculty, and that the Student did not rely to her detriment on the conversations with the Professor. The Committee found that the Student received notice of the Faculty’s decisions in a timely manner, and that the decisions were valid even if there was a postal mishap. The Student was advised orally that the written decisions would be forthcoming, and a tuition fee refund and the Student’s status on ROSI had already effectively notified her of the decision. With respect to the appeal of the grade received in the previous term, the Student claimed that the course instructor agreed to retroactively adjust her mark in consideration of her medical problems. The increase in the grade would raise the Student’s sessional average so as to eliminate her probation upon commencing in the subsequent year, which would, in turn, eliminate her repeat probation. The Committee found that the instructor did not have the authority to increase the Student’s grade for medical reasons, and that the Student never properly appealed her grade for that course. Appeal dismissed.