- Academic Appeals
Academic Discipline & Academic Discipline Appeals
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what is an academic appeal?
An academic appeal is an appeal by a registered student:
• against a University decision as to the Student's success or failure in meeting an academic standard or other academic requirement of the University; or
• as to the applicability to the Student's case of any academic regulation of the University.
i am not sure in which division i am registered, where can i find out?
If you are unsure to which Division you belong, you can check your academic record on ROSI, which will list the Division in which you are registered.
If you are registered at the University of Toronto Mississauga (UTM), or, University of Toronto Scarborough (UTSC), then that would be considered your respective Division.
*For all graduate students, regardless of your area of study, your Division is the School of Graduate Studies (SGS).
who can appeal?
You can only launch an appeal if you are a registered student (the “appellant”) and all levels of appeal at the Divisional level have been exhausted.
i was declined admission to a program offered at the university. may i appeal the admission decision?
No, University decisions regarding admissions cannot be appealed through the ADFG Office.
how is an appeal filed?
To launch an appeal with the Academic Appeals Committee of the Governing Council, a student must file an electronic copy of a Notice of Appeal, and all supporting documentation, to the Office of Appeals, Discipline and Faculty Grievances within 90 calendar days following the Decision of his or her divisional appeals committee. If the deadline date coincides with a day on which the University is closed, the deadline for filing the Notice of Appeal is 5:00 p.m. on the next regular business day.
what type of supporting documentation should i submit in support of my appeal?
Supporting documentation should assist the Committee in understanding the grounds for your appeal and remedy that you are seeking. Supporting documentation may include past petition forms, University of Toronto Medical Certificates, medical records, email correspondence, etc. You should include any document upon which you intend to rely, including a copy of all the materials you submitted to the previous body whose decision you are appealing.
what happens after i have filed my appeal?
When a Notice of Appeal is filed, the ADFG Office’s first step is to review the Notice of Appeal for completeness. You are not permitted to withhold pertinent information until the hearing. It is expected that all your material will be submitted prior to the scheduling of the hearing and within the required timelines. After the ADFG Office confirms the completeness of your Notice of Appeal, the appeal documents will be forwarded to the relevant Division with a request that the Division provide a written Response to the appeal. The Division has 60 calendar days to submit its Response.
Upon receipt of the Division’s Response, the ADFG Office will forward the Response to you. You are then given two weeks to Reply to the Response. You are not required to provide a Reply. If you wish to submit a Reply, the Reply should only include information responding to any new information the Division raised in its Response, that you did not address in your original Notice of Appeal.
Once you and the Division have submitted all materials to the ADFG Office, a hearing date is scheduled. The date, time and names of the panel members hearing the appeal will be forwarded to you and the Division.
how long does it take for my hearing to be scheduled after i have submitted my appeal?
The period between submitting your appeal, including supporting documentation, to the hearing date varies depending on the complexity of the appeal and the availability of committee members, etc. There are three hearing weeks per year (November, March and May/June). In the interest of having appeals heard in a timely manner and as expeditiously as possible, you are expected to make yourself available during the hearing week that the ADFG Office proposes. Additionally, due to the number of people who reserve time to hear these appeals, and the difficulty in finding common availability (i.e. chairs, faculty and student AAC members and Divisional representatives), the ADFG Office expects you to make your appeal hearing a priority.
An appeal may be deemed abandoned and the file may be closed, for one or more of the following reasons:
There are circumstances when the ADFG Office may close your file without a hearing. An appeal may be deemed abandoned and therefore closed, for one or more of the following reasons:
- You fail to complete your appeal with all required documentation and/or within the appropriate timelines
- You do not make yourself available and/or are unresponsive to communications or requests, and you do not provide valid reasons and/or appropriate documentation to explain your unavailability/unresponsiveness;
- You do not make yourself available to have your appeal heard by the second available hearing week, and do not provide valid reasons and or documentation explaining why you need the hearing deferred.
May I have a Legal representative?
Yes, you and the Division are entitled to legal representation. Students sometimes choose a friend, student legal caseworker or lawyer to represent them at the appeal. Anyone you bring who is not a representative is not normally allowed to speak or participate.
are hearings open to the public?
Hearings are open to the public in accordance with s. 9.(1) of the Statutory Powers Procedure Act, R.S.O. 1990, Chap. S.22, as amended. Normally, however, only the individuals who are directly involved in a case will attend the hearing, such as, the three panel members (one legally-qualified chair, one teaching staff member and one student member); the Student appellant; counsel representing the appellant, if any; the Divisional representative; counsel representing the Division, if any; and a staff member of the ADFG Office.
The Student or Division may request a closed hearing on the Notice of Appeal Form. The reasons for requesting a closed hearing will be reviewed by the Chair at the beginning of the hearing.
Click here to see "Who is Going to be at the Hearing?".
what can i expect to happen at my hearing?
Appeals are heard by three people from the Academic Appeals Committee (the “Committee”): one chair who is legally qualified, one teaching staff member and, one student member. The Committee’s role is to review the Division/Faculty’s decision to determine if it was reasonable and not to retry the case. The Committee is neutral and will know nothing about you or your case other than what is contained in the appeal materials submitted by you and the Division. The Committee will make a determination about the case only after hearing submissions from you and the Division.
At the hearing, the chair explains the procedure, which normally occurs as follows:
- You or your representative present your case.
- There may be clarifying questions asked of you by the Committee and/or the Division.
- The Division has the opportunity to present its case.
- You may be provided an opportunity to ask clarifying questions of the Division. The Committee may also have clarifying questions for the Division.
- You will be given a brief opportunity to reply.
- You and the Division present your closing statements.
For additional information, please see What Happens at an Academic Appeal Hearing?
how long after the hearing until i receive the decision?
Normally, the written Decision is released four to six weeks after your hearing, but this depends upon the case.
what happens when a decision is released?
Decisions of the Academic Appeals Committee are final, and any remedy granted in a Decision will be imposed.
The Decision, with the name of the Student removed, is posted on the ADFG web site and it is presented to the Academic Board, which occurs twice a year.
what remedies are available to me?
There are a number of remedies that exist. You will have to determine which remedy or, remedies best fit your circumstances. Please see the section What Remedies Are Available?
Will the Academic Appeal Committee accept a request to reconsider its decision?
Pursuant to the Practice Direction on Reconsiderations of the Senior Chair dated June 29, 2022, decisions of the Academic Appeal Committee are final. Accordingly, requests for reconsideration of its decisions will not be accepted.
Click here to see “What Can I Do if I Don’t Agree with the Decision?”
where will my hearing be held?
Virtual hearings are held virtually via videoconference and are the normal mode for hearings. In exceptional circumstances, a hearing may be held in-person. In such situations, the hearing would normally be held in Simcoe Hall on the St. George campus, but there may be exceptions.
when will my hearing be held?
To ensure that appeals are heard quickly, hearings are held three times a year (known as “Academic Appeal hearing weeks”). The hearing weeks occur every November, March and May/June.
In cases where you have specifically requested that your matter be expedited (ie. rushed), and there are valid reasons for this request, the ADFG Office will attempt to schedule “one-off” hearings as soon as possible.
*NOTE: Although the ADFG Office makes an effort to schedule expedited matters as quickly as possible, factors that must be taken into account are timeline delays caused by lack of communication with the ADFG Office, late submissions by the Student and/or Division (Notice of Appeal, documentation, Response and Reply), and the availability of AAC members to serve on a panel.
how long will my hearing take?
Hearings normally begin at 8:45 a.m. or at 1:45 p.m., and are usually held from Monday to Friday. The duration of each appeal hearing is approximately 2 - 3 hours, therefore a morning appeal hearing would be booked from 8:45 a.m. to 11:45 a.m. and an afternoon appeal hearing would be booked from 1:45 p.m. to 4:45 p.m. As hearings may take longer, you and the Division should plan to stay longer. In the rare case where a hearing takes longer than the scheduled time, the ADFG Office asks that you, the Division and the other attendees bring your calendars to the hearing to facilitate the scheduling of another hearing date and time.
will my hearing be recorded?
Academic appeals heard by the Academic Appeals Committee are not recorded.
where can i park?
Parking will depend on the location of your hearing. For hearings held in Simcoe Hall, we suggest parking along King's College Circle. For other parking locations, please refer to the University of Toronto Parking and Transportation Services website. *Please note that most parking locations on campus are not free of charge.
what should i wear for my hearing?
Although there is no dress code, attendees usually dress in business casual or business attire.
will food be served at an in-person hearing?
In-person hearings are usually catered. During morning hearings (8:45 a.m.), the usual light breakfast consists of juice, coffee, tea, water, breakfast pastries and muffins or bagels. During afternoon hearings (1:45 p.m.), a light snack is provided, usually consisting of juice, pop, coffee, tea, water, pastries and cookies. With enough notice (at least two days), the ADFG Office can accommodate dietary restrictions and requirements.