Report 348

DATE:

October 18, 2010

PARTIES:

M.K., (the Student) v. UTM

Hearing Date(s):

October 1, 2010

Committee Members:

Renu Mandhane, Chair
Prof. Denise Belsham
Prof. William Gough
Dr. Sarita Verma
Joeita Gupta

Appearances:

For the Student Appellant:

M.K. (the Student)

For the University of Toronto School of Graduate Studies:

Prof. Angela Langef
Sandra Speller

Appeal of a decision to deny the Student their petition for a late withdrawal without academic penalty from two courses. The Student was a mature student and had a child during the 2008-2009 calendar year. The Student was placed on academic probation during that year and was advised by UTM not to enrol in summer courses. The Student did so despite this advice. The Student eventually withdrew from two courses, remaining in the two courses that came under review by the Committee. The Student spoke to an academic counsellor and was advised of the deadline for withdrawal without academic penalty. The Student missed the deadline. The Student submitted a petition for an extension of completion of coursework for one course the day after the deadline. Two days after the deadline, the Student withdrew their petition and petitioned for late withdrawal without academic penalty from both courses. The petitions were denied and the Student failed both courses and was subsequently suspended for one year due to their poor GPA. The Student submitted that the birth of their child and other family issues negatively affected their performance. The Committee found the Student was candid and forthcoming in their oral submissions regarding an unexpected and serious family issue that arose on the day of the deadline which resulted in the Student missing the deadline. The Committee noted that UTM had accepted that the event that occurred on the deadline date was, in fact, unexpected and serious. UTM submitted that since the Student had sufficient time to drop the courses prior to the unforeseen event and the deadline, the Student should not be granted relief. The Committee found that the very existence of a drop date or a deadline for withdrawal implies that students are entitled to wait until that very date to make their final decision. The Committee accepted that there was an unexpected and serious family issue that arose on the day of the deadline and that the Student fell into the narrow exception where extenuating circumstances required allowing late withdrawal without academic penalty. Appeal allowed.