Report #398

DATE: July 10, 2018

PARTIES: Ms. M. M. (the “Student”) v. School of Graduate Studies (“SGS”)
Hearing Date(s): May 30, 2018
Committee Members:
Mr. John Monahan, Chair
Ms. Susan Froom, Student Governor
Professor Ernest Lam, Faculty Governor
Hearing Secretary:
Christopher Lang, Director, Office of the Appeals, Discipline Faculty Grievances
Appearances:
For the Student:
Mr. Eric Sherkin, Counsel, Levine Sherkin Boussidan Barristers
Ms. M.M., the Student
For the SGS:
Mr. Robert A. Centa, Counsel, Paliare Roland
Ms. Emily Home, Counsel, Paliare Roland
Prof. Charmaine Williams, Acting Vice-Dean, Students, SGS
Dr. Natasha Crowcroft, Instructor, Laboratory Medicine and Pathobiology, Dalla Lana School
of Public Health
Dr. Nancy Baxter, Associate Dean, Academic Affairs, Dalla Lana School of Public Health
School of Graduate Studies – grade appeal – allegation of bias – error in arithmetic - appeal dismissed
The Student appeals a decision of the Graduate Academic Appeals Board (the “GAAB”) dismissing the Student’s appeal concerning a grade she had received on an assignment completed as part of the graduate program in the Dalla Lana School of Public Health (“School”). The Student had submitted an assignment late and had been advised that it would have 10 marks deducted from it. The Student requested that the marks that had been deducted for lateness be returned to the assignment because of a delay in holding the weekly tutorial. She also requested that the assignment be re-read because of bias on behalf of one of her tutors, or in the alternative, because the School’s policies had not been applied to her fairly.
The Committee dismissed the allegations of bias because the Student had failed to provide the Committee with any compelling evidence to show any personal or professional bias on the part of the tutor that may have caused her to mark the Student’s assignment differently. The Committee focussed exclusively on whether the School had treated the Student fairly in the application of the School’s policies, practices, or processes with respect to the marking of the assignment, and ultimately her course grade. The Committee found that the School had already applied its processes fairly in having all papers on the lower end of the grading scale of the class re-read by a second marker, and then awarding the Student the higher of the two grades. Further, the professor had already agreed not to apply the deduction for lateness to the Student’s assignment, which changed the mark on the assignment but not the overall grade for the course. Ultimately, there was an issue with arithmetic. The Committee did not find any reason to impugn the fairness of the procedures used to arrive at the grades ultimately assigned to the Student. Appeal dismissed.