Case #696

DATE: September 12, 2013
PARTIES: University of Toronto v. S.A.


Hearing Date(s): August 19, 2013

Panel Members:

Dena Varah, Chair
Joel Kirsh, Faculty Member
Saneea Tanvir, Student Member


Appearances:
Robert Centa, Assistant Discipline Counsel for the University
Amber Neumann, Student Representative, DLS

In Attendance:
The Student
Lucy Gaspini, Manager, Office of Academic Integrity
Natalie Ramtahal, Coordinator, Appeals, Discipline and Faculty Grievances

Trial Division – s. B.i.1(a) of the Code – forged documents – submitted forged medical certificates in support of three petitions for academic accommodation – Agreed Statement of Facts – guilty plea – Joint Submission on Penalty – offences were very serious – Student was cooperative throughout the process – suspension less than five years recommended in order to avoid a suspension that would have been greater than five years in effect – Joint Submission on Penalty accepted – grade assignment of zero for three courses; suspension just under five years; five-year notation on transcript; report to Provost for publication


Student charged with three offences under s. B.i.1(a) and, in the alternative, one offence under s. B.i.3(b) of the Code. The charges related to an allegation that the Student had knowingly forged or falsified three Student Medical Certificates in support of three different petitions for academic accommodation. The Student pleaded guilty and the matter proceeded by way of an Agreed Statement of Facts. The Panel accepted the Student’s guilty plea and the University withdrew the alternative charge. The parties presented a Joint Submission on Penalty. The offences were very serious an involved repeated acts of dishonesty. The Student was cooperative throughout the process. There was evidence that the Student had a significant learning disability. The Student did not rely on her learning disability to avoid responsibility and the Panel accepted it as a mitigating factor. The suspension proposed in the joint submission was slightly less than the five year-suspension imposed in similar cases. The shorter suspension was recommended because the Student had met all requirements for graduation and would be eligible to graduate immediately following suspension. If the suspension were for a full five years, it would delay graduation and the practical effect of the penalty would be a suspension lasting more than five years. The Panel accepted the joint submission and imposed a final grade of zero in three courses, a suspension just under five-years, a five-year notation on the Student’s transcript, and ordered that the case be reported to the Provost for publication.