Case #600

DATE: November 3, 2010
PARTIES: University of Toronto v. M.H.


Hearing Date(s): September 20, 2010

Panel Members:
Lisa Brownstone, Chair
Professor Gabriele D’Eleuterio, Faculty Member
Haoyu Feng, Student Member

Appearances:
Lily Harmer, Assistant Discipline Counsel for the University
Daniel Goldbloom, DLS for the Student

In Attendance:
M.H., the Student
Professor Mark Kortschot, First Year Chair, Faculty of Applied Science and Engineering

Trial Division – s. B.I.3(a); s. B.I.1(a); s. B.I.3(b) of Code – false medical petition – forged medical documentation – forged doctors’ letters – hearing attended – Agreed Statement of Facts – guilty plea - no prior academic offences – mitigating factors – full cooperation – full e-mail confession – expression of remorse – final grade of zero in the Course; five-year suspension not to run consecutively with sanction; six-year notation on transcript; report to Provost

Student charged with thirteen offences under s. B.I.3(a), s. B.I.1(a), and s. B.I.3(b) of the Code. The charges related to the allegations that the Student submitted forged medical documents, submitted information in a medical petition known to be false, and lied in communications with the University regarding these documents. The Student submitted three separate forged medical letters containing false information. The Student further submitted four letters and e-mails containing information known to the Student to be false. The Student submitted these materials in order to avoid having his mark from his final exam in a course counted towards his final grade. The matter proceeded on the basis of an Agreed Statement of Facts. The Panel accepted the Student’s guilty plea and found contravention of the Code by the Student of eight charges under s. B.I.3(a) and s. B.I.1.(a) of the Code. The remaining charges were withdrawn by the University. A point of disagreement between the University and the Student existed regarding the length of the suspension. The Panel considered the factors relevant to the sanction, finding that, although forgery and falsification are serious offences and that the Student perpetuated the story several times to different forums and different audiences over a period of three weeks, the Student submitted these materials in relation to a single course and a single petition for accommodation. The Panel noted the detriment to the university and the need for deterrence. The Panel further noted the Student’s full confession, his cooperation with the process, his guilty plea, the signing of an Agreed Statement of Facts, and his taking of responsibility for his actions. The Panel rejected the Student’s submission that a 2-3 year suspension was appropriate. The Panel noted that in order for the Student to have a real second chance, the total suspension should not be longer than 5 years. The Panel imposed a final grade of zero in the Course, a five-year suspension to not run consecutively with his academic suspension, a six-year notation of the academic misconduct on the Student’s academic record, and that a report to the Provost be issued.