Case #633

DATE: May 11, 2012
PARTIES: University of Toronto v. Q.W.

Hearing Date(s): March 22, 2012

Panel Members:
Mr. Paul Morrison, Chair
Prof. Richard Day, Faculty Member
Ms. Alice Kim, Student Member

Ms. Lily Harmer, Assistant Discipline Counsel for the University
Mr. Lorne Gross, Counsel for the Student

In Attendance:
Ms. Q.W., the Student
Prof. John Browne, Dean's Designate
Mr. Christopher Lang, Director, Appeals, Discipline and Faculty Grievances

Trial Division – s. B.i.1(a) and s. B.i.3(a) of Code – forged documents – submitted forged petitions, statements, and medical certificates on six different occasions in the span of two years for five courses – Agreed Statement of Facts – guilty plea – finding of guilt – Joint Submission on Penalty – Panel considered the offences very serious – Student’s cooperation, remorse and pledge not to repeat, and being a first time offender were mitigating factors – Panel would have considered a more severe penalty if not for the Joint Submission – the high threshold to reject a joint submission was not met in this case – grade assignment of zero for courses; five-year suspension; seven-year notation on transcript; report to Provost

Student charged under s. B.i.1(a) and s. B.i.3(a) of the Code. The charges related to allegations that the Student submitted forged or falsified petitions, petition statements, medical certificates, and a police collision report, to defer exams in five different courses on six different occasions over the course of two years. The parties submitted an Agreed Statement of Facts. The Student pleaded guilty to most of the charges, and the Panel found the Student guilty under s. B.i.1(a) and s. B.i.3(a). The parties also submitted a Joint Submission on Penalty. The Panel found the offences of knowingly falsifying petitions for academic favour to be very serious. The Panel stated that the Student’s cooperation, remorse of her conduct and pledge not to repeat as well as the fact that the Student had no prior discipline history were mitigating factors. However, without the Joint Submission, the Panel would have considered a more severe penalty given that the pattern of elaborate falsehood, undertaken deliberately to obtain academic advantage, was antithetical to the core values as set out in the Code. Nevertheless, the Panel recognized that to reject a joint submission, it has to be of the view that accepting the Joint Submission would bring the administration of justice into disrepute. This threshold could not be met in this case. The Panel accepted the Joint Submission and imposed a grade assignment of zero in the five courses; a five-year suspension; a seven-year notation on her transcript or until graduation, whichever was to occur first; and a report be issued to the Provost.