Case #03-04-02

DATE: April 16, 2004
PARTIES: University of Toronto v. Mr. P.


Hearing Date(s): January 28, 2003, February 4, 2004 and March 31, 2004

Panel Members:
Michael Hines, Co-Chair
Professor Arthur Silver, faculty member,
Cynthia Wesley-Esquimaux, student member,

Appearances:
Gleb Bazov, DLS, for Mr. P.
Lily I. Harmer, for the University
Paul Holmes, Judicial Affairs Officer
Betty-Ann Campbell, Paliare Roland Rosenberg Rothstein LLP
Mr. P., accused

Trial Division - s. B.i.1(a) of Code – forged documents – forged letters, forged Motor Vehicle Accident Report, false information and forged fax in support of false information – two courses – hearing not attended – hearing adjourned to locate Student and serve notice of hearing – guilty plea – Agreed Statement of Facts - credibility doubted and testimony unreliable - egregious and reprehensible actions – repeated lies to professors, forgery of documents and implication of third party – clear and calculating attempt to avoid full accountability - events a reaction to stress of learning about becoming a father - lies began before learning about becoming a father – inconsistencies between character and core values of University not made up by possibility of success in meeting acceptable academic threshold - University submission on penalty accepted - grade assignment of zero for two courses; recommendation that the Student be expelled as per s. C.ii.(b)(i) of Code; five-year suspension pending expulsion decision; and report to Provost

Student charged with five offences under s. B.i.1(a), and alternatively, five offences under s. B.i.3(b) of the Code. The charges related to allegations that the Student provided two forged letters and a forged Motor Vehicle Accident Report in support of a request to write a make-up lab final test in one course, and that the Student provided false information supporting his absence from a term exam in another course and a forged handwritten fax in support of the false information. Neither the Student nor counsel for the Student were present at the hearing. The Panel considered evidence that that there was a possibility that the Student no longer resided in Canada and found that it was appropriate to adjourn the hearing to make further efforts to locate and serve the Student with notice of the hearing. At the reconvened hearing, the Student pleaded guilty to the charges. The parties submitted an Agreed Statement of Facts. The Panel considered the Agreed Statement of Facts and the submissions of counsel and accepted the guilty plea. The Panel doubted the Student’s credibility and found his testimony unreliable. The Panel found that the Student’s actions were egregious and reprehensible. The Panel found that the Student lied repeatedly to his professors, forged numerous documents, implicated other organizations, including a police service and while admitting wrongdoing to the Dean in one case, he continued to lie about another in a clear and calculating attempt to avoid full accountability. The Panel considered the Student’s submission that he was a changed person as a result of the birth of his son and that at the time of the events in question he was reacting to the stress of learning he was to become a father. The Panel found that the Student’s lies began one month before he learned that he was to become a father. The Panel observed that stresses resulting from learning about becoming a father do not end with the birth of one’s child. The Panel stated its discomfort with the prospect of the Student having to cope with future difficulties. The Panel considered the Student’s academic history and status and found that his proximity to obtaining his degree was not a relevant factor to consider. The fact that the Student could have succeeded in meeting an acceptable academic threshold did not make up for the inconsistencies between his character and the core values of the University. The Panel accepted the University’s submission on penalty and imposed a mark of zero in the two courses; a recommendation to the President, further to s. C.ii.(b)(i) of the Code, that the Student be expelled from the University; and that a report be issued to the Provost.