Assistant Dean’s Note and Medical Certificate

Role of the Assistant Dean (AD)

The role of the Assistant Dean (AD) is to support student development by strengthening the personal and academic well-being of individual students in their residential college through student care and student advising. Assistant Deans also oversee the management and operations of the Residential College and serves as a lecturer in one of the divisions at the college ( ie Humanities, Social Sciences and Science).


When does Faculty get in touch with the AD?

  • When student needs counseling or other types of support.
  • When student does not want to participate in teamwork, is disengaged in class, always alienating oneself etc.
  • When the student has been identified to be at risk of failing (poor/irregular attendance, non-submission of work). Speak with the student and then inform the student’s AD.


When Faculty alerts AD of a student:

  • AD would meet with the student. The student may require further care by a mental health professional or a doctor. AD would refer the student to these resources.
  • If student needs peer tutoring or writing support, they will be referred to CTL or writer’s centre or library resources.
  • DF (Dean’s Fellow) will also provide regular check-ins on the student to ensure that the student gets the appropriate care and support needed.


Assistant Dean’s Notes (AD Note)

The concept of AD notes is derived from the Yale University model and it covers absences from classes as well as push back the deadlines for assignments without grade penalties. The criteria to receive a AD note are:

  1. Death in the Family
  2. Observance of Religious Holidays
  3. Illness (Physical or Mental)
  4. Comparable Emergency (eg: a family emergency)
  • Exceptional circumstances such as the ones outlined above are those for which it is generally not possible to plan.
  • For criteria no 3, the student would also be referred to seek medical treatment and/or therapy. Students who visit a doctor at UHC may be recommended for special consideration ( due to mental or physical health). Upon receipt of a recommendation for special consideration, the AD will issue a AD note for the student.
  • AD notes are short term and apply only for specific modules on specific days ( up to a total of 2 weeks) when students’ are facing extenuating circumstances. Students who requires more than two weeks of AD notes will be counselled to take a leave of absence. Students who require long term learning accommodations will be referred to UHC/CTL. As learning accommodations are typically long term accommodations that apply to all modules throughout the semester, academic year or throughout the student’s candidature.


Assistant Deans’ notes do not apply to extra-curricular activities. An AD Note will not be given for:

  1. Interviews (e.g. for jobs/scholarships/internships)
  2. Participation in competitions, conferences, fellowships etc.
  3. Computer crashes
  4. Common colds or minor ailments
  5. Travelling to attend social events (e.g. weddings, family events)
  6. Extracurricular activities (e.g. sports training, performance rehearsals)
  7. Piano Exam
  8. Driving Test

For these situations (1 – 6) the student will have to seek the direct approval of the Faculty.


When a AD note is given

Faculty will be informed via an email that a AD note has been approved for the student.

Faculty will arrange and notify the student on the new deadline for the submission of work/assignment.


Medical Certificate

A student who receives a Medical Certificate (MC) from a doctor or a psychiatrist for a period of less than two (2) weeks does NOT also need a Assistant Dean’s Note. A student who receives a Medical Certificate (MC) from a doctor or a psychiatrist is unfit to attend class or complete assignments during the period specified in the MC. If a student shares an MC with you, please do not impose a grade penalty for attendance or a missed deadline if such penalties are called for in your syllabus. However, you may work with the student when the student is well to make up for a missed class or set a new deadline for an uncompleted work/exam. If you are concerned that a student has been receiving multiple MCs or if the period of illness specified in the MC is more than two (2) weeks or if the period of illness specified in the MC significantly impacts the fulfilment of the module’s key learning outcomes, please contact the student’s Assistant Dean, who will follow-up with you and the student.


Locating a Student’s RC affiliation

Go to the student directory via this link and key in your student’s name.


When Faculty is worried about the immediate health or safety of a student, please call:


Cendana College

Office hours (Mon-Fri) call: 6601 3661

Evenings (from 6pm) and weekends call: 9338 3452


Elm College

Office hours (Mon-Fri) call: 6601 3930

Evenings (from 6pm) and weekends call: 9338 3449


Saga College

Office hours (Mon-Fri) call: 6601 3931

Evenings (from 6pm) and weekends call: 9338 3440


ADs email contact:

  • Paul Gallagher- AD, Saga RC (
  • Chew Suyin – AD, Elm RC (
  • Janelle Rahyns-AD, Cendana RC (


Supporting the ADs are the following administrative staff:

  • Ngu Hui Tze (College Manager, Saga RC):
  • Indrani Kaliyaperumal (College Manager, Elm RC):
  • Maggie Keng (College Manager, Cendana RC):