Report 407

DATE: December 12, 2019

PARTIES: N.B. (the “Student”) v. UTSC

HEARING DATE: N/A (written submissions only)

Chair:
Professor Malcolm Thorburn

Appearances:
For the Student Appellant:
Mr. N.B. (the “Student”)

For UTSC:
Professor Mark Schmuckler, Vice-Dean, Undergraduate

Dr. Curtis Cole, Registrar and Assistant Dean Enrollment Management

Request to be awarded a four-year honours bachelor of science (HBSc) degree in geography. This matter concerns the decision of the Subcommittee on Academic Appeals denying the Student’s appeal to be awarded a four-year honours bachelor of science (HBSc). It raises a procedural issue, as well as a substantive one.

The procedural issue involves the Student’s delay in appealing the Subcommittee’s decision. Due to printer problems and his busyness with other matters, the Student appealed the decision approximately eight months after the prescribed 90-day deadline. In addressing the timeliness issue, the Committee agreed with the University’s following comments: (1) all materials relevant to the appeal were available online and fully readable; (2) the printer issues and the Student’s busyness with other matters were not extenuating circumstances; and (3) these were precisely the sorts of matters that the 90-day time for appealing were designed to consider. The Committee concluded that the Student’s appeal must be barred on grounds of timeliness and found that the delay is egregious and without any reasonable reason. Further, the Committee commented that to waive the issue of timeliness in this case would be tantamount to overruling the deadlines themselves.

Given its finding on timeliness, the Committee indicated that its reasons on the merits are moot. It addressed the merits of the appeal to explain to the Student why his request is being denied and to provide him with some guidance. The Committee ultimately held that the Student is not close to meeting the requirements for the degree he is seeking.

Finally, the Committee noted that the original reasons for judgment from the Subcommittee were very brief and unilluminating and commented that it would have been useful for the Subcommittee to have taken the time to make clear precisely why the Student’s request had been denied and what other options were available to him. Appeal dismissed.