Case #636

DATE: January 24, 2012
PARTIES: University of Toronto v. X.D.

Hearing Date(s): November 23, 2011

Panel Members:
Mr. William McDowell, Chair
Dr. Chris Kownig-Woodyard, Faculty Member
Mr. Jack Brockman, Student Member

Mr. Robert Centa, Assistant Discipline Counsel for the University
Mr. Damon Chevrier, Registrar St. Michael's College
Ms. Deanne Saunders, Director, Academic Services
Prof. John Britton, Dean's Designate

In Attendance:
Ms. Betty-Ann Campbell, Law Clerk, Paliare Roland Barristers
Mr. Jason Marin, Administrative Assistant, Appeals, Discipline and Faculty Grievances
Ms. Natalie Ramtahal, Cooridnator, Appeals, Discipline and Faculty Grievances

Trial Division – s. B.i.1(a) of Code – forged documents – Medical Certificate and Personal Statement – hearing not attended – Difficulty serving notice on the Student - Student served with notice three days prior to hearing – no communication from Student regarding an intention to take a position - Panel allowed the matter to proceed – doctor did not testify; evidence from his office staff not given much weight – Student admitted to providing the forged certificates during her meeting with the Dean's Designate – finding of guilt – case for expulsion is strong as Student neither appeared nor offered explanation – need for deterrance is strong given the forgeries were sufficiently credible to mislead officials - grade assignment of zero for course; five-year suspension; recommendation that the Student be expelled

Student charged under s. B.i. 1(a) and alternatively, under s. B.i.3(b) of the Code. The charges related to allegations that the Student forged a University Medical Certificate on five occasions and that she falsified evidence required by the University, a Personal Statement, on two occasions. The Student did not attend the hearing. The University had attempted to reach the Student repeatedly since three months before the hearing, and a process server served the Student with the disclosure brief and Notice of Hearing three days prior to the hearing. While three days' notice might be considered short, the Student ha s not communicated in any way an inten tion to take position. Accordingly, the Panel ordered the matter to proceed. The doctor who the Student claimed to have signed the Certificate did not testify. The Panel did not give much weight to the evidence provided by a member of the doctor's office staff as it was not given under oath and not a corresponde nce from the doctor himself. However, during her meeting with the Dean's Designa te, the Student admitted to providing forged certificates on four occasions. The Panel found the Student guilty under s. B.i. 1(a) of the Code. The Panel stated that given the premeditation involved, the appropriate sanction would be a recommendation to expel the Student, even if only one forgery had been submitted together with one false personal statement. The case for expulsion is extremely strong as the Student neither appeared nor offered any explanation for her acts. The Panel found that the need for deterrence is strong given that the forgeries were sufficiently credible to mislead senior officials. The Panel imposed a grade of zero for the comse; a five-year suspension; and a recommendation to the President that the Student be expelled.