Report #277

DATE: March 27, 2003
PARTIES: Mr. G.S. (the Student) v. the School of Graduate Studies


Hearing Date(s): February 24, 2002

Committee Members:
Professor Ed Morgan, Chair
Dr. Alice Dong
Ms. Durré Hanif
Professor Ellen Hodnett
Professor John Furedy

Secretary:
Mr. Paul Holmes, Judicial Affairs Officer

In Attendance:
Mr. G.S., the student
Professor Rashmi Desai, Associate Dean, School of Graduate Studies
Professor J.D. Lavers, Associate Chair, Graduate Studies, Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering

School of Graduate Studies – grade appeal – Student’s performance re–evaluated by new examiner – external assessment of academic work – any possible flaws from previous evaluations cured by reevaluation – no basis for claim that the new examiner lacked qualifications – strength or fairness of the reevaluation not undermined by lower grade – new examiner acted properly in conducting independent reevaluation – no jurisdiction to re–evaluate course work and no reason to do so given new evaluator’s expertise and fairness of reevaluation process – appeal dismissed – observation that recording a conversation with a member of the university community without consent is contrary to the university’s atmosphere of good faith

Request to change a failing course grade. The Student’s projects for the course were reevaluated twice by his course instructor. The Divisional Appeals Committee ordered that the Student’s performance be re-evaluated by a new examiner. On the reevaluation the Student received a failing mark. The Committee found that any possible flaws from the previous evaluations were cured once the reevaluation by the new examiner took place. The Committee found no basis for the Student’s claim that the new examiner lacked the qualifications to conduct the reevaluation. The Committee considered the Student’s objections to the procedures pursued by the examiner and found that the Student had not made out any case of unfairness. The Student’s lower grade in the reevaluation did not undermine the strength or fairness of the reevaluation; the new examiner was not obliged to consult with the course instructor in regards to the reevaluation; and the new examiner acted properly in conducting the reevaluation independently. The Committee considered the Student’s objection to the substance of the grade and found that it did not have the jurisdiction to reevaluate the Student’s course work, and that there was no reason to do so, given the new evaluator’s expertise and the fairness of the reevaluation process. Appeal dismissed. The Committee noted that the Student had tape recorded one of his conversations with the new examiner. The Committee observed that recording a conversation with a member of the university community without that person’s consent is contrary to the atmosphere of good faith in which the business of the university is conducted.