Student Day of Action - November 5, 2009

PDAD&C#20, 2009-10


From:       Cheryl Misak, Vice-President and Provost
Date: September 21, 2009
Re: Student Day of Action - November 5, 2009

On November 5, 2009, a student day of action has been planned in support of the post-secondary education system. The campaign has been organized by a large number of organizations and groups concerned about the future of public higher education in Canada. While some of their objectives are not consistent with the approach to these issues advanced by the University, one central message is for strong public funding for high quality, accessible post-secondary education. The University of Toronto fully supports this particular message - we have common cause in seeking to advance the level of per student funding by all levels of government now and in the years ahead.

We have been asked by the University of Toronto Undergraduate Students' Union (UTSU) to try to accommodate students who are unable to meet their academic obligations on November 5th as a result of their participation in the day of action.

I support this request and hence ask that faculty members, where possible, not penalize students for non-attendance at classes on that day and, where possible, to permit students the opportunity to complete an assignment or test at another time if the student's participation in the campaign necessitates this. Instructors may wish to encourage students to make prior arrangements to obtain notes from a classmate or to otherwise make lecture notes for that day available.

The decision to grant dispensation to students of course must remain in the judgment of individual faculty members. I fully recognize that compelling academic considerations may well make dispensation impossible.

In asking for this consideration, the University is not endorsing the campaign or its particular demands and positions. We are simply requesting that students have the opportunity to participate if they wish.

If you have any questions or concerns about this matter, please contact Jim Delaney, Director, Office of the Vice-Provost, Students at 416-978-4027 or via email at  

I would be grateful if you would circulate this memorandum to all faculty members in your division.