Report #322

DATE: January 29, 2008
PARTIES: Ms. E. G. (the Student) v. Faculty of Applied Science and Engineering


Hearing Date(s): January 15, 2008

Committee Members:
Professor Emeritus Ralph Scane (Senior Chair)
Professor Clare Beghtol
Ms Saswati Deb (Student)
Professor William Gough
Professor Ronald Kluger

Judicial Affairs Officer:
Ms. Nancy Smart

Appearances:

For the Student Appellant:
Mr. Eric Polten (Counsel)
Ms. Amy Mitchell (Counsel)
Ms. E. G. (“the Student”)

For the Faculty of Applied Science and Engineering:
Ms. Lily Harmer (Counsel)
Mr. Danny Kastner (Counsel)
Ms. Barbara McCann
Ms. Ella Lund-Thomson
Professor Kim Pressnail

Faculty of Applied Science and Engineering – late withdraw without academic penalty – health reasons – conflicting submissions regarding withdrawal of earlier petition – Faculty granted remedy of assessed grade – continuance of hearing would create undue hardship to Student – permitting withdrawal from course would not compromise Faculty’s standards – repetition of session coupled with undergoing unusually long period of enforced absence from studies would be unduly harsh consequence – appeal allowed – grade in course vacated and replaced with non–grade report WDR

Request to withdraw late without academic penalty from one course for health reasons. The Student failed the course and as a result failed the relevant term. The Student did not retain credit for courses which she had passed. The Student requested the remedy of allowing her to retain credit for courses passed in the relevant term if she accepted the failure in the course. The Student had earlier petitioned the results of a term mark in the course, on grounds of illness. The Faculty submitted that the Student withdrew the petition. The Student denied that assertion. On the petition at appeal, the Faculty had accepted the validity of the Student’s grounds for seeking relief and applied the remedy of assessing a grade. As the term mark in question was very low, its inclusion operated to reduce the final assessed mark. The Committee had no basis upon which to decide whether the term mark petition was or was not withdrawn and could not determine whether the Student’s overall result in the course would be affected had the petition been considered, as it had no evidence as to the totality of the term marks employed in the calculation. The Committee rejected a continuance of the hearing because it would create undue hardship to the Student. The Faculty informed the Committee that if the Student was permitted to withdraw without penalty from the course, her sessional average would have been sufficiently high to permit her to proceed to the next session, retaining credit for the other courses taken in the session. The Committee found that giving the benefit of the doubt to the Student on the matter of the term examination by permitting withdrawal from the course in question would not compromise the Faculty’s standards, while the repetition of the session, coupled with the undergoing of an unusually long period of enforced absence from her studies, would be an unduly harsh consequence of the result in one course pulling down her sessional average below the ordinarily permitted level. Appeal allowed. The Committee ordered that the grade in the course be vacated and replaced with the non–grade report WDR.