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Guelph-Humber professor unreachable after giving failing grades

An investigation by The Avro Post.

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SPECIAL REPORT

Diego Williams, a third year Media Business student at the University of Guelph-Humber, has been unable to acquire a breakdown of his grades from a spring course because the professor has been unreachable by both Williams and the school, The Avro Post has learned.

Williams, and at least three other students who came forward to The Avro Post, received failing grades from Professor Thomas Borzecki in his AHSS*3080 Web Design class of Winter 2018, but follow-ups were ignored.

Borzecki is a professor at both Humber College and the University of Guelph-Humber, according to his LinkedIn work history, and has faculty email addresses for both institutions, to which students sent messages.

Williams returned to Guelph-Humber in September determined to sort out what he said was a mistake, as he had excelled in the class, and went to academic advisor Andrea Campea to challenge the 21 per cent final mark.

Williams admitted that he was unaware the deadline for appealing a final mark received in the spring semester was May 18, but still wanted to know how Borzecki came to the conclusion of a failing grade.

Most professors use Courselink, a service that allows students to submit assignments digitally and also is where the results of projects and examinations will be posted, usually with a breakdown and comments.

However, Borzecki took student submissions via his professional website at ThomasBorzecki.ca, thus no one at Guelph-Humber could access a record of submissions or results.

Campea advised Williams to reach out to Borzecki so that the student could get a transcript from his spring professor so that movement could be made in terms of obtaining a breakdown of what occurred.

When Williams could not get a hold of Borzecki, despite repeated attempts through his Gryph Mail and Humber College faculty email, Campea talked to her superior, Registrar Grant Kerr.

According to Williams, Campea told him that Mr. Kerr said there was nothing the University of Guelph-Humber could do to get a hold of Borzecki, leaving Williams disenfranchised with the school.

Diego Williams was not alone in the marking issues and communication struggles with Borzecki, who did not respond to a request for comment from The Avro Post submitted on his professional website.

Another student in Borzecki’s Web Design course in the winter 2018 semester, whose identity The Avro Post has agreed to keep anonymous due to concerns of academic backlash, said that she was ignored by the professor when she attempted to follow up after he only graded half of her final assignment.

The second student, who is in Media Studies, received a final grade of 38, and told the Post: “I only received a mark for the photoshop portion of the assignment but nothing for the coding portion.”

She told the Post about two unverified cases where her friends were in similar circumstances with Borzecki giving them low grades and ignoring follow-up’s, however, one of them got it fixed via her academic advisor.

Another student came forward to The Avro Post after this story was published and said that he also was not marked for the photoshop portion of the final project, which combines coding and graphic design elements.

A fourth anonymous student from Web Design Winter 2018 said she received a 30 per cent final grade, a mark she believes was very low and inconsistent from her usual academic standing.

She followed up with Borzecki on April 15 in an email seen by The Avro Post, but there was no response, despite his replies to two previous emails she had sent asking questions during the semester.

Borzecki was still employed at Humber College in September, according to his LinkedIn profile, and The Avro Post was able to verify that he is listed to teach at least one course next semester, for Winter 2019.

The Avro Post gave the University of Guelph-Humber and Thomas Borzecki a day and a half to respond to emails sent to multiple addresses.


Editor’s Note: The identities of the three separate cases were verified by The Avro Post with student email addresses and other documents. All effort was given to making sure Thomas Borzecki was reached via email as there was no phone number listed on his professional website.

If you have had a similar experience with Thomas Borzecki or any professor, please reach out via our secure Contact page.

Image of the University of Guelph Humber from The Avro Post.

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The Avro Post was established as an independent student publication at Humber College’s North Campus in October 2017. Its mission is to report daily news, important updates and in-depth reporting that matters to students on campus.

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