Frequently Asked Questions related to Academic Appeals

Frequently Asked Questions

1.    What is the function of the AAS?

The Academic Appeals Subcommittee (AAS) considers appeals of decisions made by the Committee On Standing (COS). Appeals to COS are requests from undergraduate students for an exemption from an academic regulation or deadline. The COS must hear all cases (appeals) before they can be appealed to the AAS.

2.    What is the deadline for filing an appeal?

An appeal to the AAS must be filed within 90 calendar days of the decision of the COS. Where this deadline falls on a day when the University is closed, the deadline shall be deemed to fall on the next regular business day of the University. The Subcommittee’s decision is final within UTM, but it may be appealed within 90 days of its decision to the Academic Appeals Committee of the Governing Council.

3.    What happens at the hearing?

When you appear at the AAS, it is your first opportunity to present your case in person.  The Chair will ask you to present the basis of your appeal, which is your opportunity to explain the circumstances that have resulted in your inability to meet UTM academic regulations.  Remember that you bear the onus of proof.  As such, supporting documentation from credible sources strengthens your case.  When you have finished speaking, the Chair will invite members of the subcommittee to ask you questions.  They could, for example, ask you to provide more detail on certain points you made in your presentation. 

4.    May I bring someone with me to the hearing?

Yes - You are entitled to appear with or without legal counsel or another representative.   Please note that your personal and confidential information will be discussed at the hearing and that any representative you bring with you will hear that information.   

5.    What happens after the hearing?

Following the hearing, committee members will deliberate and make a decision on your case.  Should you wish, you may wait until all cases have been heard for that day, at which point you will be invited back into the room where the Chair will inform you of the decision of the AAS. A formal letter stating the AAS’s decision will be mailed to the address you have provided.

6.    What documentation is seen by the AAS?

Members of the Academic Appeals Subcommittee will receive all case-related documents, which you provided in support of your petition - your academic transcript and all material you provided previously to the Office of the Registrar and for consideration by the COS.  You may also choose to put forward any evidence that is material to the matter, including detailed medical evidence if you wish.  Members of the AAS need to be able to make an assessment with respect to your capacity and they need evidence that is sufficient to support the decision that they make. Please note that any and all documentation that you provide will be treated with the utmost attention to your privacy and all case related documents that members receive are shredded immediately following the hearing.

7.    What is the membership of the AAS?

AAS is chaired by a teaching staff member appointed by the Vice-Principal Academic and Dean from the members of the Academic Appeals Subcommittee. Each hearing panel is comprised of up to 7 members (including the Chair). Panel members are drawn by the Secretary from a pool of 15 teaching staff members (one appointed by each department) and two undergraduate students. The teaching staff members of the panel are drawn with due consideration to continuity, discipline relevance and quorum needs. Undergraduate student members are approved by the committee on the recommendation of the Chair.  In addition, the Secretary and representatives from the COS and/or the Office of the Registrar shall attend hearings in a non-voting capacity.

8.    What do you need to do after filing an appeal to the AAS from the decision of the COS?

•    After you receive a notice of appeal email from the Secretary of the AAS, confirm your attendance at the hearing by calling 905-569-4358 or emailing mariam.ali@utoronto.ca.

•    Notify the AAS secretary (contact above) if you are planning to appear with legal counsel and/or another representative.  

•    Submit any additional documentation as appropriate.  You are welcome to provide any documentation, even if not previously submitted to COS, if you feel that it may strengthen your case (see FAQ #6). 

•    Submit an optional statement, prepared by you or your counsel/representative that describes the remedy sought (e.g., lift of a suspension, deferred exam, etc.,); the grounds for your appeal (e.g., medical, financial, compassionate); and a brief description of the background to the appeal (i.e., in your own words describe what happened).

9.    What do I do if I have confirmed my attendance, but I am unable to attend?

If you are unable to attend the meeting due to unforeseen circumstances, such as illness, immediately contact our office via phone or email as listed above.  You must provide medical or other supporting documentation within 72 hours of the meeting to justify the rescheduling of your hearing.  Information on medical documentation may be obtained at the following link:  http://www.illnessverification.utoronto.ca/. 


10.    What do I do if I am unsure about the appeal documentation and process, or I simply want to talk to someone about my case?

Call or email the Secretary, who can walk you through the process, the documentation required and can refer you to the appropriate university services, as needed:

Ms Mariam Ali
Governance Coordinator
Office of the Campus Council
905-569-4358
council.utm@utoronto.ca