Report #364

DATE: December 13, 2012
PARTIES: University of Toronto v A.M.

Hearing Date(s): November 21, 2012

Committee Members:
Sara Faherty, Chair
Hugh Gunz, Faculty Member
Michael Donnelly, Student Member

Mr. Christopher Lang, Director, Appeals, Discipline and Faculty Grievances

For the Student: A.M. (student)
For UTSC, John Scherk, Vice Dean

UTSC – request to rewrite examinations – appeal dismissed – Student failed to provide adequate documentation – UTSC should adopt a standardized practice outlining for students and invigilators alike how to proceed when a student is ill during an examination

Student appealed decision of the UTSC Academic Appeals Committee denying her request to rewrite two final examinations she took during the Summer 2011 session. The Student made the request on the grounds that she was ill on the day both the exams were written. The Student submitted a medical certificate dated two weeks after the exam and did not provide a letter from the examination invigilator who, according to the Student, had refused her request for a letter because the examination was a long time ago and she had no recollection of a previous conversation with the Student.

The Committee observed that there was no reliable documentation of the Student’s condition on the day of the two final examinations. The Student claimed she did not leave during the examination because the invigilator informed her that she should try her best to continue. The Committee acknowledged that the obligation to document an illness is properly placed on the student asserting a medical excuse, but expressed disappointment in the lack of clarity on the part of the examination invigilators. The Committee noted that other divisions make clear prior to the start of an exam that if a student feels ill, they should leave immediately because no re-write will be granted once the exam has begun. The Committee urged the division to consider adopting a similar, standardized practice outlining for students and invigilators alike how to proceed when a student is ill during an examination. The Committee concluded that UTSC was justified in invoking its policy requiring the Student to document her illness and provide corroboration from the examination invigilator and a health care professional. The certificate the Student provided was insufficient to document the Student’s condition two weeks prior. Appeal dismissed.