Case #450

DATE: July 17, 2009
PARTIES: University of Toronto v. R.A.


Hearing Date(s): May 5, 2008

Panel Members:
Ms. Rodica David, Chair
Professor Melanie Woodin, Faculty Member
Dr. Joan Saary, Student Member


Appearances:
Lily Harmer, Assistant Discipline Counsel for the University


Trial Division – s. B.i.1(a) of Code – forged documents – forged and submitted a letter of admissions in support of an application for student loan – hearing not attended – Agreed Statement of Facts – finding of guilt – Joint Submission on Penalty – two previous offences – negative finding on character as Student committed offences in three consecutive years – offence was deliberate and planned – University should not be implicated in criminal behaviour – no extenuating circumstances; Student had other options – strong need for deterrence considering the potential damage to the University’s reputation – Panel accepted the JSP – recommendation that the Student be expelled; five-year suspension; report to Provost

Student charged under s. B.i.1(a) of the Code. The charges related to allegations that the Student forged and submitted a letter of admissions to the Royal Bank of Canada as supporting documentation for a student loan. The Student did not attend the hearing. The parties submitted an Agreed Statement of Facts and a Joint Submission on Penalty. The Panel found the Student guilty under s. B.i.1(a). The Panel noted that the Student had two previous offences on which she received relatively lenient sanctions and found that it was a mark of her character that she committed offences in three consecutive years. The Panel stated that the action that the Student took was clearly deliberate and must have involved a significant amount of thought. In discussing the nature of the offence, the Panel stated its view that an attempt to get money from a bank with a forged document could have potential consequences with criminal charges laid. As such, this was an extremely serious offence as it affected the public reputation of the University and that the University should not be implicated in behaviour that could be considered criminal. The Panel found that there were no extenuating circumstances. If the Student did not have the fund to continue her studies, she had many other options including speaking with a faculty member, working part-time, and taking a year off. The Panel also expressed its doubt as to whether the Student actually lacked the funds. The Panel found the need for deterrence to be very strong considering the potential damage to the University’s reputation. Based on its discussion of all of the factors, the Panel accepted the Joint Submission of Penalty and imposed a recommendation that the Student be expelled; a five-year suspension; and a report be issued to the Provost.