Report #374

DATE: June 19, 2014
PARTIES: Mr. D.H. (the Student) v. the Faculty of Arts and Science

Hearing Date(s): June 4, 2014
Committee Members:
Professor Andrew Green (Chair)
Professor Edward Iacobucci
Ms. Alexandra Harris
Secretary:
Mr. Christopher Lang, Appeals, Discipline and Faculty Grievances
Appearances:
For the Student Appellant:
Mr. D.H., the Appellant (“the Student”)
For the Faculty of Arts and Science:
Professor Anne-Marie Brousseau, Associate Dean Undergraduate
Faculty of Arts and Science – late withdrawal without academic penalty – preliminary issue of timeliness – Student requesting the remedy for courses taken 20 years earlier – Student did not have adequate documentation – extraordinary remedy of late withdrawal without academic penalty must be well-supported and warranted in the circumstances – appeal dismissed
Request for late withdrawal without academic penalty for 14 courses taken by the Student between 1979 and 1986. In his petition, the Student indicated that both his lack of success in the courses and his inability to use the petition process in the 1980s stemmed from his anxiety and his unwillingness to admit that he had a problem or needed help. The Faculty denied the petition on the basis that it had been filed too late; the Faculty rules require a petition for late withdrawal to be made within six months of the end of the session. The Student then appealed to the Faculty’s Committee on Standing, which denied the petition for the same reasons. The Student then appealed to the Academic Appeals Board. The AAB denied the appeal, noting that it was unwilling to make selective modifications to the Student’s record.
The Student then appealed to the Academic Appeals Committee. The Student provided the Committee with two medical records from the previous year relating to his current anxiety treatments and successes, in addition to the undated records he had submitted in his previous petitions that purported to pertain directly to the time when he was taking the courses in question. The Committee stated that the Student’s undated medical records he alleged to be from the time when he was taking the courses in question were not sufficient, and that the current medical records did not provide an adequate link between the Student’s state of mind in the 1980s. The Committee emphasized that the extraordinary request of late withdrawal without academic penalty must be well-supported and rarely applied in fairness to other students and in order to maintain trust in the University’s transcripts as accurate representations of students’ records. The Committee found that it was not unreasonable for the AAB to find that graduate schools would take into account the Student’s progress over time as part of its reasons for denying the Student’s appeal. The Committee concluded that the Student’s circumstances and concerns about being accepted to graduate programs did not warrant granting the remedy. The Committee did not consider the timeliness issue as it denied the appeal on its merits. Appeal dismissed.