Lawrence S. Bloomberg Faculty of Nursing

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Guidelines, Policies & Regulations

Student Disclosure Process
BScN Student Petition to Committee on Standing Guidelines
BScN Student Academic Appeals Guidelines
Graduate Department Academic Appeals Committee (GDAAC)
Guidelines, Policies & Regulations
  • Student Disclosure Process

    Students who have witnessed or experienced harassment, discrimination or harmful unprofessionalism can use the Faculty’s disclosure protocol by either submitting an entry on the confidential Event Disclosure Form (EDF) or contacting the Faculty’s designated intake officer –  Arleen Morrin, Chief Administrative Officer, at arleen.morrin@utoronto.ca.

  • BScN Petition to the Committee on Standing

    Students registered in the BScN program may petition the Committee on Standing related to substantive or procedural academic matters, including grades, evaluation of comprehensive examinations and other program requirements; decisions about the student’s continuation in the program; or concerning any other decision with respect to the application of academic regulations and requirements to a student in the program. Students must file a petition within eight weeks after the date of the decision being appealed.

    Initiating a Petition to the Committee on Standing (CoS)

    Students must first attempt to resolve the matter with the instructor or other person whose ruling is in question. Should the matter not be resolved with the instructor, and should the student wish to pursue the matter, the student must discuss the matter with the BScN Program Director. Should such discussions fail to resolve the matter, the student may then make a formal petition in writing to Kate Galvin (kate.young@utoronto.ca), the Secretary of the Committee on Standing.

    The petition email should include:

    1. Any supporting documentation to support the petition (e.g., email correspondence, U of T medical certificate)
    2. A written submission statement that will summarize:
    • the decision being petitioned;
    • background (relevant facts and allegations);
    • nature and grounds of the petition;
    • remedy or resolution sought.
  • BScN Student Academic Appeals Guidelines

    The Academic Appeals Committee of the Faculty of Nursing has been established as the formal structure within the Faculty for the hearing of appeals against decisions of the Committee on Standing (CoS). This document outlines the procedures for academic appeals, which are initiated by undergraduate students after the petition process available through the CoS. Within the Faculty, the final decision on an appeal rests with this Committee.

    1. Membership
    • There shall be an Appeals Committee consisting of two members of the teaching staff in the Faculty and one alternate (Vice Chair) appointed by the Executive Committee; one undergraduate student enrolled in the Faculty; and one other member of Council who is not a member of the Faculty.
    • No person shall be a member of both the Committee on Standing and the Appeals Committee in the same academic year.
    • The Alternate (Vice Chair) member shall be used whenever a conflict is identified.
    • When the Chair is present and presiding, the Vice Chair will be considered a regular member of the committee. The Vice Chair shall be delegated all the Chair’s powers and duties if the Chair is absent or has disqualified herself/himself. Under normal circumstances the Vice Chair will succeed the Chair on resignation or retirement from office.
    1. Quorum

    Quorum is 50% plus one of all members. Any vote requires a simple majority of the quorum present.

    1. Function

    It shall be the responsibility of the Committee to:

    • Determine the general format for the conduct of the meetings.
    • Hear appeals of undergraduate students in the Faculty of Nursing against petition decisions of the Committee on Standing relating to exemption from the application of academic regulations or standards pertaining to BScN studies.
    • Deliberate and make the final decision within the Faculty on academic appeals by an undergraduate student against a decision as to the student’s success or failure in meeting an academic standard or other requirement or as to the applicability to a student’s case of any academic regulation. After consideration by the appropriate committee or members of the Faculty, the Appeals Committee will be the final decision-making authority within the Faculty.
    • Report to Faculty Council at least annually on decisions.
    • Recommend to Faculty Council changes to policies and procedures with respect to petitions and appeals by
    • Generate and disseminate recommendations arising from
    1. General Information Pertaining to Academic Appeals

    An academic appeal is an appeal by an undergraduate student:

    • Against a decision as to the student’s success or failure in meeting an academic standard or other requirement.
    • As to the applicability to the student’s case of any academic regulation.
    1. Grounds for Appeal

    Appeals may only be based on grounds that a decision of the Committee on Standing was unreasonable because:

    • Faculty regulations and procedures were not followed; or
    • Relevant evidence was not taken into consideration when the decision was
    1. Procedures to File an Appeal

    NOTE: All intervals are in calendar days. Periods ending on a weekend or holiday will extend to the first following working day.

     Intent to Appeal – If an undergraduate student’s petition has been denied by the Faculty of Nursing’s Committee on Standing and the student has grounds to appeal this decision, the student must notify the Faculty Registrar in writing of the Intent to Appeal not more than 30 days after the date of the written notice of the final petition decision. Upon receipt of the student’s Intent to Appeal, the Faculty Registrar will forward all relevant documents to the Director, Office of the Dean who will inform the Associate Dean Academic.

     Informal Consideration – As soon as mutually convenient, but within 15 days of submitting the Intent to Appeal, and prior to filing the Statement of Appeal (see below), the student must meet with the Associate Dean Academic to discuss the proposed appeal in an effort to resolve the matter. This is an essential element of the process and the appeal will not proceed until after this.

    There are three potential outcomes at this stage:

    • The student withdraws his/her Intent to Appeal;
    • The Associate Dean Academic learns new information that may affect the decision of the Committee on Standing and refers the matter back for their reconsideration; or
    • The appeal proceeds.

    Statement of Appeal – After meeting for Informal Consideration with the Associate Dean Academic, the student has a maximum of 30 days to submit to the Director, Office of the Dean his/her Statement of Appeal, which confirms with the Faculty, in writing, his/her intent to proceed with the appe The Statement of Appeal must include the grounds for the appeal, together with any supporting documentation. A student has the right to legal counsel at an appeal hearing. If the student wishes to appear with legal counsel, he/she shall so inform the Faculty at the time of submitting the Statement of Appeal and failure to do so may result in delay of the hearing to permit the program to engage and brief University legal counsel.

    Acknowledgement of Receipt – In response to the student’s Statement of Appeal, the Chair of the Academic Appeals Committee will provide formal written acknowledgement of receipt of the Statement of Appeal and supporting documentation to the student no later than 15 days following receipt of the student’s Statement of Appeal.

    Scheduling of Appeal Hearing – The Director, Office of the Dean will schedule the appeal hearing in consultation with the Academic Appeals Committee members, normally within 30 days after the Acknowledgement of Receipt of the Statement of Appeal. The Chair will review the Statement of Appeal and determine the time allocation for the hearing, including the time allocation for the student and relevant faculty within the course of the hearing. The date of the hearing will depend on the availability of the Committee members. Once the appeal hearing is scheduled, and time allocated, the Director, Office of the Dean will notify the student to:

    • Inform the student of the date, time and place of the hearing of the appeal, and the time allocated for the hearing;
    • Confirm with the student that he/she will appear in person with or without legal counsel (if applicable);
    • Inform the student that, shall she/he not attend the hearing as notified, the Committee will proceed in her/his absence, and the student will not be entitled to any further notice of the proceedings, except for notice of the decision of the Committee.

    Relevant Faculty – The relevant faculty will be invited to attend or send a delegate to the The relevant faculty has the right to be represented by legal counsel and may call evidence and present arguments in person or by counsel. The Chair of the Academic Appeals Committee will request responses and supporting documentation from the relevant faculty involved in the appeal.

    Material for Hearing – The Director, Office of the Dean will distribute, on a confidential basis, a copy of the Statement of Appeal and any other material provided on behalf of the student, faculty responses and supporting documentation to each member of the Appeals Committee, to the student and her/his counsel, and to the relevant faculty and her/his counsel, at least 7 days prior to the

    Conflict of Interest – Members of the Appeals Committee are responsible for reviewing the material for the hearing in advance, and, if appropriate, notifying the Director, Office of the Dean and Chair of the Academic Appeals Committee in the event of a conflict of

    Powers of Chair – The Chair is responsible for determining any pre-hearing issues that arise, including any dispute as to scheduling or pre-hearing compliance with the guidelines. Any request for such a determination will be made in writing to the Director, Office of the Dean. The Chair or a Vice-Chair may, with the approval of the Dean, request a legal opinion on any matter relating to an appeal prior to the conclusion of the app

    7. Appeal Hearing

    • The purpose of the hearing is to assist the Appeals Committee in understanding the facts relevant to the appeal and the basis for the app This is not an adversarial trial between the student and Faculty.
    • The hearing will be held in camera and therefore observers are not permitted. In camera hearings will be attended by only the Chair/Acting Chair, other members of the committee, the Director, Office of the Dean, the student and legal counsel, the relevant faculty and legal counsel, and the witness presenting evidence at the time. Other witnesses will wait outside the hearing
    • The hearing will be chaired by the Chair or a Vice-Chair (“the Acting Chair”). The Chair/Acting Chair will decide any issue as to procedure or evidence at the The Director, Office of the Dean will act as Administrative Support for the hearing.
    • At the commencement of the hearing, the Chair/Acting Chair will summarize the procedure for the hearing, and reaffirm the allocation of time provided for the hearing with the student and relevant faculty.
    • The student or student’s counsel will make any statements relevant to the appeal and/or call any evidence and introduce arguments in support of the
    • The members of the Committee, the relevant faculty and their counsel, will be given the opportunity to question the student and any witnesses called by the
    • After the presentation by the student, the relevant faculty will present the evidence upon which the decision was made and may also call
    • The members of the Committee and the student and her/his counsel, will be given the opportunity to question the relevant faculty and any witnesses called by the
    • Members of the Committee will be given a final opportunity to question the student, the relevant faculty, and any The student, or the student’s counsel, will be given the opportunity to make a final statement. The relevant faculty or counsel will be given an opportunity to respond. The hearing will then be concluded.
    • The Committee will proceed to consider and determine its decision on the appeal in closed session attended only by the Chair/Acting Chair, the Administrative Support (Director, Office of the Dean) and the members of the Committee present at the h Where possible, the Committee’s consideration and decision will take place immediately following the conclusion of the hearing.
    1. Decision of the Academic Appeals Committee

    The Academic Appeals Committee may

    1. Grant an appeal in whole or in part; or
    2. Reject an appeal.

    The decision of the Committee will be by a show of hands, and will be determined by a majority of the members present. The Chair/Acting Chair will vote only in the event of a tie. The Chair/Acting Chair will, in consultation with the Committee, prepare reasons for the Committee’s decision.

    1. Notice of Decision and Reasons

    The decision, with reasons for the decision, will be sent via registered mail to the student within 7 days after the day of the hearing. Copies of the decision and reasons will be sent to the Chair of the Committee on Standing whose decision was appealed, and to the Assistant Dean & Registrar and Student Services.

    1. Minutes

    The minutes of the Appeals Committee will record only the date and time of the appeal, those present, a brief summary of the appeal, and the Committee’s decision.

    1. Report to Faculty Council

    The Chair of the Appeals Committee will prepare annually a written report to be presented at Faculty Council summarizing the activities of the Committee and its decisions, without disclosing the name(s) of the student(s) involved.

    1. Appeal of Committee’s decision

    Decisions of the Appeals Committee are final and binding on the Faculty. In the event that the appeal is rejected, the Chair will advise the student of his/her right to appeal within 90 days of its decision to the Academic Appeals Committee of the University of Toronto’s Governing Council http://www.adfg.utoronto.ca/processes/acappeals.htm.

  • Graduate Department Academic Appeals Committee (GDAAC)

    Appeals Process at the Department Level

    1.   Graduate students may dispute substantive or procedural academic matters, including grades, evaluation of comprehensive examinations and other program requirements, decisions about the student’s continuation in any program, or concerning any other decision with respect to the application of academic regulations and requirements to a student. Students must first attempt to resolve the matter with the instructor or other person whose ruling is in question.

    2.   Should the matter not be resolved and should the student wish to pursue it, the student must discuss the matter with the appropriate Program Director (Dr. Heather Thomson: MN & PMNP Director; Dr. Kim Widger: PhD Program; Dr. Elizabeth Peter: DN Program).

    Method for Consideration of an Appeal

    3.   An appeal may be conducted as an oral hearing or by written submission only, at the discretion of the Chair of the Committee. The procedure chosen by the Chair of the Committee must be the same procedure for the student and the other party. That is, if an oral hearing is held, both parties must be given the opportunity to make oral submissions. If written submissions only are used, both parties must be given the opportunity to make written submissions.

    Jurisdiction of the Committee

    4.   EXCEPTION: Appeals related to failure of a doctoral final oral examination or related to termination of registration in a program should be made directly to the SGS Graduate Academic Appeals Board (GAAB) – Step 3(b) (see SGS Calendar entry on Academic Appeals).  In some cases, the Chair of GAAB may refer the appeal to the Graduate Department Academic Appeals Committee (GDAAC) for prior consideration. The GDAAC will not have the right to overturn a failed doctoral oral examination result or a termination of registration, but may recommend that such a decision be considered further by GAAB.

    5.   All academic appeals, other than those identified as an exception in Clause #4 above, must be initiated within the student’s home graduate unit, unless the appeal relates to courses outside the home unit. Appeals related to courses taken outside the student’s home department shall be conducted in the department in which the course was offered.  The student’s home department chair will be notified.

    6.   The Committee does not render decisions but rather makes recommendations to the Associate Dean, Academic Programs. A GDAAC report may include, but is not limited to, a recommendation that the decision appealed from be vacated, reversed, amended, or upheld; and in the case of an appeal of a grade, GDAAC may recommend that the student be re-evaluated in such manner and on such terms and conditions as the Committee considers appropriate. The Committee may recommend to the Associate Dean, Academic Programs that fees of a student be rebated or cancelled in whole or in part, but shall not otherwise recommend or award any monetary or other compensation. In turn, the Associate Dean, Academic Programs may recommend to SGS that adjustments be made to a student’s fees. However, only SGS may make such a decision, with the recommendation of the SGS Vice-Dean.

    Costs of the appeal are never awarded to any party.

    Establishment of the Graduate Department Academic Appeals Committee (GDAAC)

    7.   Establishing the Committee: A graduate academic appeals committee will be established annually. The GDAAC membership is generally announced at the beginning of July and is constituted for one year, until the end of June. An academic appeals committee may be constituted for more than one year.

    8.   Alternate Members: In addition to the committee membership (as described in #11 below), the Chair is required to identify at least one alternate member for each individual on the committee. These alternate members may be called upon by the Chair in an individual appeal to replace a regular GDAAC member where a conflict of interest has been identified, or where a regular member is unable to serve.

    9.   Joint GDAAC: In the case of smaller departments, a Joint Graduate Department Academic Appeals Committee may be formed with membership to be selected by the graduate chairs from amongst the faculty and student membership of the departments involved. This provision applies to the membership and alternate membership criteria and procedures below. Additional criteria related to the Joint GDAAC are noted within clause #11 in square brackets below.

    10. Conflict of Interest in Small Departments: In the case of small graduate departments, or where there is conflict of interest, some or all appeals committee members may be seconded by the Chair of the Department from one or more cognate departments. See also clauses #20 and 25 below.

    Membership

    11. Members and Quorum: The Committee shall have a total membership of five: four graduate faculty members and one graduate student; in addition there will be alternate members, as set out below. One of the faculty members will serve as Chair of the Committee. The Chair of the Department may assign a Secretary to the GDAAC, as required. Quorum for the Committee is three members, including the Chair. [For the purposes of an individual appeal, the Joint GDAAC would report to the Chair of the Department in which the appeal is being launched.]

    (a) Members: There shall be four graduate faculty members and one graduate student member from the department. Neither the Chair nor the Graduate Coordinator of the Department normally should be a member of the GDAAC.

    (b) Chair of the CommitteeThe Chair of the Department will appoint a Chair of the Committee from amongst the faculty membership of GDAAC. [In the case of a Joint Committee, the chairs of the participating departments will jointly appoint a Joint Committee Chair.]

    (c) Student Member: The graduate students in the Department normally shall choose the student member.

    (d) Alternate Members: Alternate Committee members and an alternate Chair of the Committee shall be appointed by the Chair of the Department each academic year. The graduate students in the Department also normally should choose alternate student members. Normally, alternate members from cognate departments will be chosen from the Graduate Department Academic Appeals Committee of the cognate department. Once an alternate member is involved in an appeal, that alternate member shall continue to hear that same appeal until it is resolved.

    (e) Secretary: The Chair of the Department may assign a Secretary to the GDAAC, as required.

    12. In some cases there may be insufficient graduate faculty or student members or alternate members, who are available to hear and determine an appeal. In such cases, the Chair of the Department may appoint ad hoc a person from the same constituency as the member who is unavailable, to be a member of the Committee for the purposes of determining that appeal.

    Timeline for Student to File Appeal

    13. The student must file an appeal to the Committee within eight weeks after date of the decision being appealed.  (See SGS Calendar for overview and timeline of overall graduate appeals process.)

    Filing of Appeal

    14. The student files an appeal by submitting a Notice of Appeal to the Chair of the Graduate Department Academic Appeals Committee in the relevant department or to the Chair of the Department (see form in Appendix A). The Notice must be filed no later than eight weeks of the date of the decision being appealed.

    15. The Notice of Appeal must include the following:

    (a) a clear statement of the decision the student is appealing;

    (b) the name of the person or persons who made the decision, if known to the student; (c) the date the decision was communicated officially to the student;

    (d) a clear statement of the resolution the student is seeking on appeal;

    (e) a statement of the reason or reasons that the student feels that the decision was incorrect and that the student’s proposed resolution is appropriate, including any arguments the student wishes to advance in support of the appeal;

    (f)  copies of any documentary evidence the student has in her/his possession, and wishes the Committee to consider. Other documents may be used in the appeal only with the leave of the Committee.

    Committee Procedures

    16. Convening: The Chair of the Committee shall proceed to convene the Committee as quickly as possible, keeping all parties informed.

    17. Notice of Appeal: After receiving a Notice of Appeal, the Chair of the Committee will provide the person or persons who made the decision being appealed with a copy of the Notice of Appeal and invite a written response.

    18. Guidelines: All parties to an appeal should receive a copy of these Guidelines.

    19. Confidentiality: Committee proceedings normally should be carried out in confidence.

    20. Conflict of Interest Involving GDAAC Members: Any conflict of interest or perceived conflict of interest should be declared and/or identified and committee members replaced by the Chair of the Department, as necessary. The appellant must also be provided with an opportunity to identify conflicts of interest and request that an alternate member be selected. The appellant retains the right to proceed without a student member of the committee. In such a case, the student member will be replaced with an additional faculty member. The appellant shall be informed in advance of the membership of the Committee that will hear the appeal. See also clauses #10 above and #25 below.

    21. Powers of the Chair of the Committee:

    (a) The Chair of the Committee may determine all procedural matters that may arise concerning the appeal, including whether there will be an oral hearing and/or a review of written materials and the admissibility of evidence. All parties will be duly informed.

    (b) The Chair of the Committee may determine that certain persons may receive notice of the proceedings in an appeal, and give directions as to copies of documents that shall be supplied to those persons, and as to the manner and degree of participation of such persons in the appeal.

    22. Legal Representation: Normally the University will not engage legal representation at the level of a department appeal. However, any party to an appeal may, at her/his own expense, be represented by counsel or other agent at any stage of the appeal process. The Chair must secure the permission of the SGS Dean in order to obtain legal representation for the University.

    Committee Recommendations/Decision of the Chair:

    23. GDAAC Recommendation: Recommendations of the GDAAC shall be agreed upon by a simple majority of members. The Chair of the Committee shall cast a vote. A detailed, written report with recommendations of the Committee must be presented immediately by the Chair of the Committee to the Chair of the Department and to all parties involved in the appeal.  The report will outline the evidence considered and the recommendations reached, with reasons.  A copy of this document should be given to the SGS Vice-Dean, Students by the Chair of the Department, and shall remain on file in the department.

    24. Chair’s Decision: The Chair of the Department may accept, amend, or reject any or all of the recommendations of the GDAAC.  Normally, within eight weeks of receiving the Notice of Appeal, the Chair shall notify the appellant in writing of her/his decision with a copy to the Chair of the Committee, and a copy to the SGS Vice-Dean. If the Chair rejects or amends one or more of the recommendations of the GDAAC, reasons shall be provided. This is considered the final stage of the department appeal.

    25. Conflict of Interest involving the Chair: If the appeal is against an academic decision made by the Chair of the Department in her/his teaching/research supervision role then, in advance of the department-level appeal process, the Chair will secure a replacement to whom GDAAC will report. This replacement may be either an impartial senior faculty member in the Department or a senior faculty member from a cognate department. All parties to the appeal must be informed in writing of the replacement prior to the commencement of the GDAAC proceedings. See also clauses #10 and #20 above.

    Further Notice of Appeal

    26. Graduate Academic Appeals Board: If a student wishes to pursue the matter further, she/he may file a Notice of Appeal from the Chair’s decision of the Department appeal to the SGS Graduate Academic Appeals Board. The student must file the Notice within eight weeks of the date of the decision of the Chair of the Department.

    Appendix A

    GDAAC Notice of Appeal (PDF)

    Please submit appeals to Dr. Kelly Metcalfe, Chair of the GDAAC (kelly.metcalfe@utoronto.ca).

  • The University has several policies, which apply to all students. Each student must become familiar with these policies and guidelines.

    The University will assume that he or she has done so.   Those which are of particular importance to students are:

    All University policies can be found at: Governing Council Policies

    The policies and regulations of the Faculty can be found in the Faculty Calendar. In applying to the Faculty, the student assumes certain responsibilities to the University and the Faculty and, if admitted and registered, shall be subject to all regulations and policies cited in the Faculty Calendar, as amended from time to time.

    For graduate students, general regulations found in the School of Graduate Studies are deemed to be part of policies and regulation of the Graduate Department of Nursing Science. Refer to the SGS calendar at: School of Graduate Studies (SGS) Calendar

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