Report #332

DATE: April 14, 2009
PARTIES: Mr. M. S. (the Student) v. UTM


Hearing Date(s): March 27, 2009 and April 7, 2009

Committee Members:
Professor Emeritus Ralph Scane (Senior Chair)
Professor Jan Angus
Mr. Kenneth Davy
Dr. Joel Kirsh
Professor Elizabeth Smyth

Secretary:
Ms Mette Mai

In Attendance:

For the Student Appellant:
Mr. M. S. (the Student)
Mr. R. S.

For the University of Toronto at Mississauga:
Professor Gordon Anderson

UTM – extension on course work – new evidence – apprehensions regarding major criminal charges – increase in employment workload and assignment abroad – petition submitted late but before final mark could be known – appeal allowed – late withdrawal without academic penalty – non–grade notation of WDR substituted for failing grade in course

Request for an extension of time to complete term work for one course. The student failed the course having not submitted term work. Although the Student was late in seeking relief, the petition was filed before the final examination, and before the final course mark could be known. At the time, the Student experienced a major increase in his employment work load and was assigned abroad. The Committee agreed to hear a new ground of appeal, not placed before the divisional appeal levels below, that the Student had apprehensions of being charged with a major criminal offence, which affected his performance and his judgment. The student had been instructed by his lawyer to refrain from discussing the case with anyone, which the student had interpreted as precluding him from raising the evidence in the original petition or in the divisional appeal. The Committee considered the new evidence, the Student’s employment circumstances, and the timing of the Student’s petition, and found that relief should be granted, although not the remedy requested. Permitting the Student to submit his paper for credit would be impractical considering the time that had lapsed and it would frustrate the academic goals of the course. The Committee granted late withdrawal without academic penalty. The stress from the potential criminal charges, in combination with the major increase in the work load of the Student’s job, the not reasonably foreseeable assignment abroad, and the timeliness of the petition, brought the case within the requirements for granting the remedy as set out in the Committee’s previous decisions. Appeal allowed. The non–grade notation of WDR was ordered substituted for the vacated failing grade and the status of the student in the University should be reassessed.