Tuesday, January 29, 2013

My appeal winds its way through the system.

So the Senate Committee agrees to hear my grade appeal. I just have to wait for the chair, Danny Blair, to get in touch with me. (That's the same Danny Blair who wrote an impartial report recommending that the University do whatever possible to make sure I never got to work with children.) In any case when Professor Blair finally gets ahold of me, he begins by re-iterating Colin Russell's insistence that I will only be allowed to appeal "on procedural grounds". So I write back immediately:

I will require the Departmental Review Committee's written reasons for rejecting my appeal.

Ten days later, Blair writes back to me, stating that he has made some inquiries and determined that I have already been provided with the DRC's written reasons.

It seems he was referring to the very informative letter I received in October from the Committee, which I reproduce here in full:

As requested in your memo of September 12 2012, the Faculty of Education DRC has examined the claims made in this appeal and has made the following decision.

We believe that the expectations and evaluations in this course were well explained and transparent. The final assignment and the final exam were marked accordingly, and this approach is consistent with Faculty practises. 

We therefore find no basis to uphold the challenge.

Allen Appel
Chair, DRC

Interesting. I'm supposed to appeal on "procedural grounds", but this is all they tell me about the procedures they used. I write back to Blair explaining that I need more than that. Blair ignores me. So a week later I write back, asking him if he plans to take any action at all. Well, that got a response. It seems that Blair has been giving a lot of thought to my request after all, and he had come to a surprising decision:

Hi Marty...good timing....I yesterday finally made the decision that I will be asking the Faculty of Education's DRC to provide me, and through me, you...a written report in which they explain in some detail how it is that they arrived at their decision. I was just drafting the request to send to them; I will give them 10 working days to get their report in my hands (they will likely have to pull the DRC back together to draft the letter, and getting people together for meetings at this time of the term....well anytime....is sometimes time consuming).
I will get back to you asap,

Since it was already Dec. 1st, it would be pretty much Christmas break before I would hear anything. So I'm not exactly holding my breath. But lo and behold, on the 12th, I hear back from ....Colin Russell. 

It seems the Departmental Committee had a small problem with my request for disclosure. When we return, I'll tell you what Russell had to say.

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