Report #306

DATE: January 10, 2006
PARTIES: the Student Appellant v. the Faculty of Arts & Science


Hearing Date(s): December 6, 2005

Committee Members:
Kaye Joachim, Chair
Professor Pamela Catton
Professor Clair Beghtol
Professor Ian McDonald
Ms. Coralie D’Souza

Secretary of the Academic Appeals Committee:
Dr. Anthony Gray

Appearances:

For the student:

The Student
The Student’s father

For the Faculty of Arts & Science:
Professor Susan Howson, Vice Dean Undergraduate Education and Teaching

Faculty of Arts & Science – late withdrawal without academic penalty from four courses – combination of adverse circumstances – petition filed 4 years after completing courses – Faculty did not rely on delay in filing petition – unusual circumstances prevented making a rational decision – compassionate grounds – appeal allowed in part – late withdrawal from one course allowed – late withdrawal from three courses dismissed

Request for late withdrawal without academic penalty from four courses. The Student experienced a combination of adverse circumstances in her first year of University, including financial difficulties, stressful living conditions, cultural pressures, emotional stress due to the death of a relative, and physical illness during the examination period. A counselor recommended that the Student drop some of her full course load. The Student failed one of the courses and sought permission to withdraw or re-write the examination. The Student claimed that she was advised that she had no grounds for a petition and she did not learn about the appeal process until 4 years later. The Faculty did not rely on the delay in filing the petition and the subsequent appeals. The Committee considered the unique combination of events that affected the Student and granted late withdrawal without academic penalty from one of the courses on compassionate grounds. The Committee found that the unusual circumstances occurring at the deadline for dropping courses without academic penalty prevented the Student from making a rational decision. Appeal allowed in part. Late withdrawal from one course allowed. Late withdrawal from three courses dismissed.