Dr. Alan Davis, president and vice-chancellor of Kwantlen Polytechnic University. (Photo: Submitted)

Former KPU student takes school to court over GPA complaint

Judge dismissed petition, finding president’s subsequent actions made it moot

A former engineering student at Kwantlen Polytechnic University has taken his alma mater to court, claiming that after leaving the school it registered him in courses he never attended, resulting in failing grades that reduced his grade point average.

Renaud Burton also claimed he was improperly denied a hearing when he tried to get those grades cancelled. His dad, Robert Burton, who financed Renaud’s education, was the second petitioner.

Justice Nathan Smith presided over the case, heard in B.C. Supreme Court in Vancouver. He said in his reasons for judgment that according to KPU, Renaud knowingly registered for the courses and failed to withdraw by the required time.

“However, after the petition was filed but before it was heard, KPU President Dr. Alan Davis ordered removal of the disputed grades from Renaud’s transcript, with a consequent adjustment in his overall GPA,” the judge noted. “He also ordered cancellation of an outstanding account for unpaid tuition. KPU says the petitioners have therefore obtained the substantive relief they were seeking and the petition is now moot.”

The petitioners, however, argued that Renaud is nevertheless entitled to a “due process hearing” to set the record straight and “absolve him of any suggestion of wrongdoing.”

Smith dismissed the petition, however.

“There is no evidence that Renaud is likely to suffer any adverse consequences now that President Davis has taken the action he has,” the judge decided. “There is no evidence that the now-cancelled marks will appear on any transcript or records that will ever be produced to other parties, such as other academic institutions to which Renaud may apply or potential employers.”

Smith noted that “cancellation of the adverse grades, restoration of the GPA, and the cancellation of the outstanding alleged debt have all been achieved through the decision of President Davis, which came after the petition was filed.”

Smith concluded that, “in short, the substantive relief has already been obtained.”

tom.zytaruk@surreynowleader.com