Case #540

DATE: May 4, 2009
PARTIES: University of Toronto v. A. A-A.

Hearing Date(s): April 14, 2009

Panel Members:
Ms. Roslyn M. Tsao, Chair
Professor Louis Florence, Faculty Panel Member
Ms. Elena Kuzmin, Student Panel Member

Mr. R. Centa, Assistant Discipline Counsel, for the University
No one appearing for the Student

In Attendance:
Ms. Lucy Gaspini, Academic Affairs Office, UTM

Trial Division – s. B.i.1(a) of Code – forged document – Letter of Permission for Visiting Student Admission Application – hearing not attended – reasonable notice of hearing – see Code and s.6(3)(b) of Statutory Powers Procedure Act – efforts to effect proper service not negated by failure to review emails or check ROSI mailing address – forgery confirmed by Professor – finding of guilt – prior academic offence – academic success – charges not responded to – recommendation that the Student be expelled as per s. C.ii.(b)(i) of Code; and permanent notation on academic record

Student charged under s. B.i.1(a), and alternatively, s. B.i.3(b) of the Code. The charges related to allegations that the Student submitted a forged Letter of Permission for a Visiting Student Admission Application. The Student did not attend the Hearing and did not respond to the charges. The Panel considered whether reasonable notice of the Hearing had been provided pursuant to the Code and the Statutory Powers Procedure Act, particularly s.6(3)(b). The Panel considered the fact that none of the emails sent to the Student were returned to the sender and that his step-sister confirmed his email address. The Panel found that the Student had received or ought to have received reasonable notice of the charges and Notice of the Hearing. The failure of the Student to have reviewed his emails or check his ROSI mailing address did not negate the University’s efforts to effect proper service. The Hearing proceeded without the Student. According to the evidence submitted by the University, the Student, when confronted with the allegations, claimed that he did not have time to get the required letter from his home university so he made up the letter and forged a signature. The University tendered an affidavit sworn by the Professor at the Student’s home university, whose name and purported signature appeared on the letter. The Panel accepted the evidence, noting that there was no prejudice to the Student because he was not in attendance at the Hearing and therefore did not require the opportunity to cross-examine the Professor. The Professor confirmed that she did not write or sign the letter that contained her allegedly forged signature. Based on the evidence submitted by the University, the Panel found that the Student was guilty of the charges. The Panel noted that the Student had been previously found guilty of forgery by the University and served a one year suspension; that the Student had had modest success at the University; and that the Student had not responded to the charges nor appeared at the Hearing. The Panel found that the Student may have caused a diversion of resources and could have denied other worthy candidates from being accepted. The Panel recommended to the President, further to s. C.ii.(b)(i) of the Code, that the Student be expelled from the University; and that a permanent notation be placed on the Student’s academic record indicating that he had been expelled for academic misconduct.