Report 355

DATE:

April 15, 2011

PARTIES:

C.K., (the Student) v. Faculty of Arts and Sciences, Woodsworth College

Hearing Date(s):

March 10, 2011

Committee Members:

Prof. Edward Morgan, Chair
Prof. William Gough
James Park

Appearances:

For the Student Appellant:

C.K. (the Student)

For the Faculty of Arts and Sciences, Woodsworth College:

Prof. John W. Browne, Dean's Designate, Faculty of Arts and Science
Cheryl Shook, Registrar, Woodsworth College

Appeal of a decision of Woodsworth College to deny the Student withdrawal from two courses from a Certificate Program in Business. The appeal relates to the preliminary issue of the timeliness of the appeal. The Student was enrolled in the courses approximately twenty years prior to the appeal in the 1990-1991 academic year. Woodsworth took the position the 90 day appeal period for seeking such relief expired in November 1991 and that the matter could not be reopened. The Student stressed the need for confidentiality in the proceedings and was satisfied with the University’s policy of redacting names from publicly available copies of published academic appeals. The Committee found that Woodsworth’s view that the appeal period expired twenty years prior was too strict. The Committee held that, if a student had evidence there was a mistake in their transcript dating from 20 years ago and the error was only just recognized, the passage of time would not prevent the Committee from addressing the error. The Committee found, however, that the Student became aware of the problem twelve years after the courses ended in 2003. The Student acknowledged this fact. The Committee found that the Director of Professional and International Programs at Woodsworth gave the Student all the information needed to submit an appeal at that point. The Committee held that once an alleged error is discovered and a student is given a proper explanation of how to submit a formal appeal, the appeal deadline begins to run. The Committee further held that both Woodsworth and the University of Toronto at large are not open to appeals from every student for an indefinite period of time. The Committee explained that to do so would place too great a burden on the University of Toronto’s record keeping and appeal system. The Committee concluded that the appeal period expired 90 days after the explanatory conversation the Student had with the Director of Professional and International Programs at Woodsworth twelve years after the 1990-1992 academic year. The Committee found it was on the Student to bring the appeal within 90 days at that time, and could not wait four years later to do so. Appeal dismissed.