Case #467

DATE: March 13, 2007
PARTIES: University of Toronto v. Mr. L.Y.


Hearing Date(s): March 13, 2007

Members of the Panel:
Janet Minor, Chair
Sarah King, Faculty member
Steven Meurrens, Student member

Appearances:
Robert Centa, counsel for the University
The Student, did not appear

In attendance:
Kristi Gourlay, Manager Office of Student Academic Conduct
Carrie Harber, Graduate Administrator and Chair’s Administrative Assistant, Department of Biochemistry

Trial Division - s. B.i.1(a) and s. B.i.3(a) of Code – forged documents and forged academic records - altered transcript and ROSI statement submitted in application for admission to the School of Graduate Studies - hearing not attended – reasonable notice of hearing – finding of guilt - planned and deliberate offences – offences admitted and remorse expressed but no cooperation with scheduling of hearing - University’s submission on penalty accepted - recommendation that the Student’s Master of Science Degree be cancelled and revoked, as per s. C .ii.(b)(j)(i) of Code; six-month suspension; grade assignment of NCR for course; a two-year notation on transcript; and report to Provost

The Student was charged with two offences under s. B.i.1(a), two offences under s. B.i.3(a), and alternatively, under s. B.i.3(b) of the Code. The charges related to allegations that the Student submitted an altered transcript and altered ROSI statement in support of an application for admission to the School of Graduate Studies. The Student did not attend the hearing. The Panel considered the Senior Chair’s directions on service and the Student’s email advising that he would not be in attendance, and found that the Student had received the Notice of the Hearing and permitted the hearing to proceed in his absence. The Student’s email also contained an admission of guilt on the charges. The University did not rely on the email and led evidence to support the charges. The Panel considered the testimony of the Graduate Administrator of the Department of Biochemistry and the Manager of Student Academic Affairs, the documents provided by the Student and the official transcript and the ROSI transcript of the University, and found the Student guilty of the charges under s. B.i.1(a) and s. B.i.3(a) of the Code. The Panel considered the submissions of the University and the principles of sanction set out in the case of Mr. C and found that the alteration of an official transcript was among the most serious offences a student could commit; that the official records certified the University’s academic reputation and credibility; that is was imperative that others are deterred from committing similar offences; that the offences were planned and deliberate; and that there was no evidence of extenuating circumstances or evidence attesting to the Student’s character. The University claimed that the Student had admitted the offences at the first meeting with the Dean’s Designate and expressed remorse but that he did not cooperate with scheduling of the hearing or in responding to repeated attempts to contact him. The Panel acknowledge the Student’s expressions of remorse but found that without any further evidence from the Student, the University’s submission on penalty should be accepted. The Panel imposed a recommendation to Governing Council, further to s. C .ii.(b)(j)(i) of the Code, that the Student’s degree be cancelled and recalled; a permanent notation on the Student’s academic record and transcript; and that a report be issued to the Provost. The Panel observed that if the recommendation was accepted, the Student’s academic credits would remain and he could apply for a re-conferral of the degree at a later time.