Case #498

DATE: February 16, 2010
PARTIES: University of Toronto v. M.S.


Hearing Date(s): October 21, 2009

Panel Members:
John A. Keefe, Chair
Professor Graeme Hirst, Faculty Member
Elena Kuzmin, Student Member

Appearances:
Lily Harmer, Assistant Discipline Counsel for the University
Elaine Ishibashi, Associate Registrar
Kristi Gourlay, Manager of Student Academic Integrity
Sam Solecki, Dean’s Designate for Academic Integrity

Trial Division – s. B.1.3(a) of Code; s. B.1.3(b) of Code; s. B.1.7(a) of Code – forged documents – forged medical certificate – forged auto insurance invoice - forged accident report – hearing not attended – reasonable notice of hearing provided – adjournment requested – adjournment granted on condition that no future adjournments be granted – no prior offences – grade assignment of zero for five courses; five-year suspension; five-year notation on transcript; and report to Provost; recommendation that the Student be expelled as per s. C.ii.(b)(i) of Code; and permanent notation on academic record

Student charged with six offences under the Code. The charges related to allegations that the Student forged a medical certificate, an auto insurance claim, and an accident report as part of a request to defer examinations for two courses, to extend deadlines for coursework for four courses, and as part of a late withdrawal request for one course. The Student had requested an adjournment for a previous hearing which was granted on the condition that no future adjournments would be entertained. The Student did not attend the subsequent hearing and no further request for adjournment was made. The Panel noted that although the evidence presented at the hearing was hearsay, the Panel is not governed by strict rules of evidence and it would admit the evidence subject to weight. The designate for academic integrity testified that the Student admitted the documents were forged. The Student further acknowledged that by submitting the documents she had violated the Code. The Student was warned by the designate that any statements made could be used against her in a proceeding. The Panel considered previous cases with forgery and observed that forgery is treated as one of the most serious offences. The Student deliberately forged several documents including the signature of a physician on a medical certificate. The Panel also took into account the numerous attempts to schedule a hearing and the conduct of the Student which demonstrated a lack of respect for the University and its processes. The Panel recommended expulsion with a permanent notation on the Student’s academic record, imposed a suspension of five years, and a grade of zero in the affected courses.