The University has made changes to the applicability of the ACORN Absence Declaration Tool. As of the Fall 2023 term, the Absence Declaration Tool will no longer be considered as supporting documentation for petition requests.
If your petition was refused, you are eligible to appeal that decision if you meet one of the following criteria:
- You believe you have new information or evidence to provide in support of your request
- You believe a procedural error or irregularity occurred in the petition process
It is strongly advised that you discuss your appeal with an academic advisor at your College Registrar’s Office. They will be able to walk you through the deadlines, processes and necessary documentation and help you put together the strongest appeal possible.
An appeal is similar to a petition, as it contains the following:
- A personal statement (which reiterates the original or previous petition)
- Supporting documentation
Levels of Appeal
For Arts & Science students, there are three levels in the appeals process. If your petition is refused, you can appeal through the levels in sequence.
|Appeal Level||Appeal To|
Committee on Standing (Faculty of Arts & Science)
Note: First-level appeals can be reviewed either by the petitions unit on behalf of the Committee on Standing or by the Committee on Standing, depending on the nature of the request.
|Second||Academic Appeals Board (Faculty of Arts & Science)|
|Third||University’s Academic Appeals Committee (U of T, Appeals Discipline and Faculty Grievances, Office of the Governing Council)|
Appeal Due to New Information
If your petition or appeal was refused and you have new information or documentation to provide in support of your request, you may wish to appeal the decision.
The table below provides some examples of important considerations when appealing based on new information. This is not an exhaustive list, and you should consult with an academic advisor at your College Registrar’s Office for the best guidance for submitting an appeal.
Note that following the suggestions below and/or those of your College Registrar’s Office does not guarantee a successful outcome to your appeal. All appeals are reviewed on their own merits on a case-by-case basis.
|Reason Petition Was Denied||Things to Consider in Your Appeal Based on New Information|
|Your late withdrawal without academic penalty petition was refused because the course was completed (i.e., you completed the final piece of term work).||
An appeal should contain at least the following:
|Your one-year lift of suspension petition was refused because you provided only a personal statement.||
An appeal should contain at least the following:
|Your term work extension petition was refused — despite the fact that you provided a personal statement and supporting documentation — because you have completed little to no term work in the course.||
While you do have the option to appeal, you will need to explain how you can pass the course with so little work done. In this case, the petition decision may have also advised you to consider other options (such as a late withdrawal). If you still wish to proceed with the appeal, make sure your appeal contains at least the following:
Appeal Due to Error in Process
If your petition or appeal was refused, and you believe that an error was made in the petition consideration or process, you should first speak to an academic advisor in your College Registrar’s Office. They can help you navigate the steps that were taken and determine where an error may have been made.
When appealing based on a perceived error in the previous process, it is important to be very clear in your appeal statement. Your statement should include the following:
- A reiteration of the original or previous request
- An outline of where or how you believe that an error took place
- Any supporting documentation (e.g., email correspondence, a URL to a particular policy, etc.)
Appeal to Committee on Standing Through Your College
If your initial petition request is refused, you may appeal directly to the Committee on Standing.
The Committee on Standing is made up of faculty members, college registrars and undergraduate students and is chaired by an associate dean or vice-dean. Appeals reviewed by the Committee on Standing do not contain any student identifying information, such as name, student number and gender.
Appeals to the Committee on Standing are submitted by the student to the College Registrar’s Office via email. The appeal should consist of a personal statement and relevant supporting documentation. Students may scan or take a photo of their appeal documents and email them to their College Registrar’s Office.
Students have 90 days from the date of the petition refusal to submit an appeal to the Committee on Standing. Appeals submitted after the deadline should include an explanation for lateness in the personal statement.
The outcomes of an appeal are similar to the possible outcomes for petitions. Please see the list of possible outcomes. If you have any questions about your appeal decision, you are strongly encouraged to seek academic advising from your College Registrar’s Office.
Appeal decisions will be emailed to your @mail.utoronto.ca email address. If the appeal was decided on behalf of the Committee on Standing by the petitions unit, you will likely receive a decision within five weeks of submitting the request to your college. Alternatively, if the appeal is to be heard at an upcoming Committee on Standing meeting, a decision could take longer than five weeks, based on where your request is in the queue and the scheduled date of the next monthly committee meeting.
Appeal to Academic Appeals Board
If your first appeal was denied by the Committee on Standing, you may appeal to the Academic Appeals Board. This is the last level of appeal within the Faculty of Arts & Science.
The Academic Appeals Board is made up of faculty members and undergraduate students and is chaired by a faculty member. This board is made up of entirely different members than the Committee on Standing. This board does not meet regularly, and hearings are scheduled as needed after a second appeal has been received from a student.
Appeals to the Academic Appeals Board are submitted by the student to the College Registrar’s Office via email. The appeal should consist of a personal statement and relevant supporting documentation. Students may scan or take a photo of their appeal documents and email them to their College Registrar’s Office.
The chair of the Committee on Standing will appear before the Academic Appeals Board to represent the Committee on Standing and explain the reason for its decision regarding both the petition and first-level appeal. At this second level of appeal, the student has the option to appear in person to present their case to the board.
Because a student might be nervous about appearing in person, they are welcome to bring someone along for support, such as a friend, academic advisor or even a lawyer. The Academic Appeals Board hearing is a chance for the members to talk to the student directly in order to better understand their case and to make a decision based on that discussion, in addition to the documentation provided.
Students have 90 days from the date of the Committee on Standing's refusal to submit an appeal to the Academic Appeals Board. Appeals submitted after the deadline should include an explanation for lateness in the personal statement.
You will receive a potential date for the board hearing at least four weeks in advance. Once the date is confirmed, a package containing all appeal and petition documents will be shared in a secure electronic format with you and the board members. With your package, you will also receive a cover letter outlining some important deadlines, an appeal hearing tip sheet and the Academic Appeals Board terms of reference. It is important that you review the package carefully and adhere to the deadlines. For example, there is a date by which you must notify the Faculty petitions unit if you are providing additional information and a date by which you must notify the unit if you will be bringing someone with you to the hearing.
Like all levels of appeal, the provision of new information is an important factor of an appeal. It is important to be thorough and document your circumstances in your submission. During the appeal hearing, be candid and clearly present what circumstances impacted you to help the board members better understand your situation. Ultimately, the board’s questions and appeal decision are based both on your submitted documents and what they learned from you in conversation at the hearing.
If you have any questions about your appeal decision, you are strongly encouraged to seek academic advising from your College Registrar’s Office.
Appeal decisions will be emailed to your @mail.utoronto.ca email address. Normally, the board will meet within 45 days of the petitions unit receiving your second-level appeal. You will receive a formal decision letter electronically within 10 business days of the hearing. This letter will convey reasons for the board’s decision.
Appeal to Academic Appeals Committee
If your second-level appeal has been denied by the Academic Appeals Board, you may appeal to the Academic Appeals Committee of the Governing Council. This is the final level of appeal.
If you wish to learn more about appeals to the Academic Appeals Committee, visit the Academic Appeals page on the U of T Office of Appeals, Discipline and Faculty Grievances website. The How To File an Appeal section will provide you with specific information on how and where you file an appeal to the Academic Appeals Committee.
If you initiate such an appeal, you will receive detailed information and guidance formally from the staff of the Office of Appeals, Discipline and Faculty Grievances. Students sometimes seek legal assistance at this level of appeal, although it is not mandatory. If you decide to obtain legal representation, consider Downtown Legal Services as a potential resource.
Students have 90 days from the date of the Academic Appeals Board’s refusal to submit an appeal to the Academic Appeals Committee of the Governing Council. Consult the Academic Appeals website to review information around lateness.