Report 408

DATE: December 16, 2019

PARTIES: J.P. (the “Student”) v. UTM

HEARING DATE: December 12, 2019

Professor Stephen Waddams

For the Student Appellant:
Ms. J.P. (the “Student”)

For UTM:
Professor Andreas Bendin, Acting-Dean, Academic Experience, UTM
Ms. Michelle Kraus, Assistant Registrar, Academic Standards and Petitions, UTM

Student expedited appeal from a decision of the Academic Appeals Subcommittee of the University of Toronto, Mississauga, dismissing an appeal from a decision of the Committee on Standing, which refused to grant the Student’s petition for the lifting of a one-year suspension imposed for failing to maintain a required cumulative grade point average. The committees had refused the Student’s petition because she had not established special circumstances sufficient to justify an exception from the suspension, and that the petition was not supported by documentary evidence.

In dismissing the appeal, the Academic Appeals Committee (AAC) considered the application of the written rules governing suspensions but also the unwritten principle that an exception to a University rule may be justified where compelling circumstances show that strict application of the rule would result in undue hardship. It accepted that it is neither possible nor desirable to lay down precise rules to govern the various special circumstances that may be in issue. It further commented it is not unreasonable for a University officer to expect a substantial degree of precision both in establishing the existence of special circumstances and in establishing a link between the special circumstances and the student’s failure to meet the requirements of the underlying regulations supported by such evidence as the nature of the particular case allows.

According to the AAC, the committees’ decisions could not be said to be unfair, unreasonable or inconsistent. Appeal dismissed