Report #264-1

DATE: August 21 and 24, 2000
PARTIES: Ms. R. E. (the Student) v the Faculty of Pharmacy


Hearing Date(s): August 21 and August 24, 2001

Committee Members:
Professor Ralph Scane, Acting Chair
Mr. Muhammad Ahmad
Professor Emmet Robbins
Ms. Susan Scace
Professor Donna Wells

Secretary:
Ms. Margaret McKone

In Attendance:

For the Appellant:
Mr. Frank Genesee, Counsel for the Appellant
Ms. R. E., Appellant (the Student)

For the Faculty of Pharmacy:
Dean Wayne Hindmarsh

Faculty of Pharmacy – appeal from a failure in Fourth Year of program and request to write supplemental examination – anxiety problems in examination situations – oral evidence of family and peers offered lay corroboration of claims but did not justify relief – previously undiagnosed test anxiety disorder – probable that condition was present and operating during examinations in courses and if condition had been known and accommodated the Student might have proceeded in program – condition of relief that Student would not seek to proceed with a repeat of the First Term of her Forth Year at the same time as preparing for her supplemental exam due to concerns that Student would jeopardize both projects – appeal allowed – Student to be permitted to write a supplemental examination in the course to be completed by the normal final examination period of the subsequent term so that the Student had the maximum opportunity to benefit from treatment – The Student was barred from using her medical condition as a ground of appeal from the final grade awarded in the supplemental examination

Appeal from a failure in the Fourth Year of the B.Sc.Phm. program and a request to write a supplemental examination in one course. The Student claimed that she had a history of problems with anxiety in examination situations. The Student had received psychiatric support from the Faculty’s Health Services. The Committee considered the oral evidence of the Student’s family and peers regarding the Student’s study habits and her high level of anxiety, as well as the family’s financial and medical problems, and found that while the evidence offered lay corroboration of the Student’s claims, it did not in itself justify relief. The Committee considered the medical evidence submitted and found that the Student suffered from a previously undiagnosed severe case of “test anxiety disorder” that was probably present and operating during the Student’s examinations in the courses in question, and that, if the condition had been known to the Student and the Faculty and been accommodated, there was a reasonable chance that the Student might have achieved at least the minimum sessional GPA to permit her to proceed to the second term of her Fourth Year. The Committee considered the medical evidence presented by the Student’s psychiatrist and found that if the Student was granted relief, the increased stress of keeping up with her First Term program in Fourth Year, in addition to preparing for the supplemental examination requested, would put both projects in jeopardy. The Committee ordered that as a condition of the relief granted, the Student would not seek to proceed with a repeat of the First Term of her Forth Year at the same time as preparing for her exam. Appeal allowed. The Committee ordered that the Student be permitted to write a supplemental examination in the course and that supplemental examination for the purpose of the decision included all evaluation components normally included in computing the final grade for the course. The supplemental examination was to be completed by the normal final examination period of the subsequent term so that the Student had the maximum opportunity to benefit from the treatment she was undergoing. The Student was barred from using her medical condition as a ground of appeal from the final grade awarded in the supplemental examination. The Student could apply to the University for consideration for accommodation due to her medical condition. If the Student succeeded in raising her sessional GPA by means of the supplemental examination then she would be eligible to proceed to the Second Term of Forth Year. If the Student failed to raise her sessional GPA, then she would be entitled, as per the Faculty’s policy, to repeat it in the following academic year.