DATE: July 16, 2019
PARTIES: University of Toronto v. D.T.
Hearing Date: April 16, 2019
Ms. Amanda Heale, Chair
Professor Julian Lowman, Faculty Member
Mr. Rory Smith, Student Member
Mr. Robert A. Centa, Assistant Discipline Counsel, Paliare Roland Rosenberg Rothstein LLP
Mr. Christopher Lang, Director, Appeals, Discipline and Faculty Grievances
Ms. Jennifer Dent, Associate Director, Appeals, Discipline and Faculty Grievances
Not in Attendance:
The Student was charged with one count of academic misconduct under s. B.i.3(a) of the Code of Behaviour on Academic Matters, 1995 (the “Code”) on the basis that he knowingly forged, circulated or made use of a forged academic record, namely, a document purporting to be a degree certificate from the University of Toronto dated June 22, 1983.
The parties submitted an Agreed Statement of Facts (ASF), a Joint Submission on Penalty (JSP) and a Joint Book of Documents (JBD). The Student confirmed by way of the ASF that he did not wish to attend or participate further in the proceedings. He requested that the Tribunal proceed in his absence and waived his right to any further notice of the proceedings. The Panel therefore decided to proceed with the hearing in the absence of the Student, noting that the Student indicated in the ASF his understanding that the Tribunal might in his absence find that he had committed an academic offence and impose sanctions, and that the Tribunal was not bound by the terms of the JSP.
As set out in the ASF, the Student admitted that, as part of an application for employment, he submitted a resume stating that he had graduated from the University of Toronto, as well as a forged degree certificate purporting to confirm his graduation from the University of Toronto. The Student pleaded guilty to the charge of submitting the forged degree certificate, and was found guilty of same.
The Parties submitted a JSP which the Tribunal accepted noting that it is critical to the integrity of the University and to its reputation that others can rely upon the official academic records that it provides. The Tribunal also noted that expulsion is generally recommended in similar cases in the absence of mitigating circumstances and/or a JSP. The Tribunal concluded that the JSP in this case was reasonable, particularly in light of the seriousness of the offence.
The Tribunal imposed the following sanctions: immediate suspension for a period of up to five years; recommendation for expulsion from the University; and publication by the Provost of a notice of the decision and sanctions imposed with the Student’s name withheld.