Background Information

Applicant students to the College of Education Cross-Departmental PhD program whose applications have been deemed to be incomplete at the time of deadline will not be considered for admission to the following September intake.  Should you believe that an error was made in the decision to consider or not consider your application for admission, you are advised to contact the Office of the Associate Dean (Research, Graduate Support, & International Initiatives) at your earliest convenience.  Please include a description of the error you believe was made and how it adversely affected the treatment of your application.

All such communication will be reviewed by the College of Education Cross-Departmental PhD Graduate Chairs Committee.  Letters outlining the decision of the Committee are forwarded directly to students.

Students may appeal decisions of the Cross-Departmental PhD Graduate Chairs Committee in accord with the deadlines outlined in the letter.  Appeals involve a review of the decision by the Dean of the College of Education (or designate).

Appeal Process

The process for preparing an appeal begins with:

    • the identification of an error or conflict in the Committee's application of College or University policy;
    • a claim that the consequence of a decision of the Committee is disproportionate to the request or infraction leading to the original review by the Committee; or
    • the introduction of additional facts—not available at the time of, or within the scope of, the original review by the Committee—to ensure that fairness in review is present. 

Appeals are commonly made based on one or more of the following three grounds:

    • compassionate:
      • a claim based on compassionate grounds will arise when unforeseen circumstances—beyond the student’s control—in a student’s family or personal life can be understood as causally linked to a period of uncharacteristically poor academic performance, where the student has sought remediation.
    • medical:
      • a claim based on medical grounds will arise when a student has suffered a professionally diagnosed ailment or disease for which they havereceived a documented treatment plan.
    • procedural:
      • a claim based on procedural grounds will arise when a student has been adversely affected by a policy or conflict of policies of the College or University.

In all cases outlined above, students wishing to appeal are required to provide all of the following documents in advance of an appeal being entertained by the Dean (or designate):

    1. a copy of the letter received from the College of Education Cross-Departmental PhD Graduate Chairs Committee;
    2. a letter summarizing the rationale for the appeal, including the category outlined above, and providing any additional explanation in support of this appeal; and
    3. documents offering evidence in support of the additional explanation and the basis for the appeal.

Documents noted above must be submitted in advance of the deadline outlined in the letter received from the Committee.  Please submit all documents electronically to the Office of the Associate Dean (Research, Graduate Support, & International Initiatives) in the College of Education.  The Associate Dean is currently designated by the Dean of the College of Education to entertain appeals of decisions of College of Education standing committees.

Students are advised that letters of support from family members and friends will not be considered in appeals; such do not offer independent evidence.  

Appeal Results

Students will be notified of the results and rationale by letter from the Associate Dean (Research, Graduate Support, and International Initiatives).  Appeals granted will offer instruction to relevant offices of the University and College indicating action required to ensure remedies are implemented forthwith.

Generally speaking, appeals based on the following will not be granted:

    • Without compelling and substantiated reasons, appeals sought after the date provided for such in the letter from the Committee Chair;
    • Without compelling and substantiated reasons, appeals supported only by medical evidence of alleged illness or disease that could have been provided to the College of Education Cross-Departmental PhD Graduate Chairs Committee in advance of their original review, but was not;
    • Appeals based on student ignorance of published University or College policy;
    • Appeals based on any of the following:
      • careless or last-minute holiday or travel arrangements;
      • misreading of schedules, timelines, or letters indicating a requirement for student action to be taken;
      • consequences of student compliance with University or College policy, schedule, or timelines and the disruption of paid employment;
      • supporting evidence that can be shown to be fraudulent, dishonest, or acquired by fraudulent or dishonest means;
    • Appeals considered to be vexatious or frivolous; and
    • Appeals sought absent evidence.

Appeals considered vexatious or frivolous may lead to disciplinary action.