Case #822

DATE: March 22, 2016

PARTIES: University of Toronto v C.L.
Hearing Date: January 21, 2016
Panel Members:
Johanna Braden, Chair
Michael Evans, Faculty Member
Jenna Jacobson, Student Member
Appearances:
Robert Centa, Assistant Discipline Counsel
Lauren Pearce, Student-at-Law, Paliare Roland Barristers
In Attendance:
Donald Dewees, Dean’s Designate
Tracey Gameiro, Office of Appeals, Discipline and Faculty Grievances
Krista Osbourne, Office of Appeals, Discipline and Faculty Grievances
Trial Division – s. B.i.3(a) of the Code – forged academic record – Student falsified her transcript from another university in an application for admission to the Faculty of Arts and Science and her application for on-admission transfer credit – Student gained admission to her Major program on the basis of a forged course –hearing not attended – reasonable notice of hearing provided; Student acknowledged that the hearing would proceed in her absence – Agreed Statement of Facts – finding on Agreed Statement of Facts – finding on guilt – University submission on penalty accepted – Student graduated before the forgery came to light, making cancellation of credits and degree recall the only relevant sanctions – cancellation of the forged 1.50 transfer credits; permanent notation of the offence on the Student’s academic record and transcript; case reported to Provost for publication; recommendation of degree recall
Student was charged under s. B.i.3(a) and, in the alternative, s. B.i.3(b) of the Code. The charges related to allegations that the Student knowingly submitted a forged, altered, and/or falsified document that she represented to be her official transcript from another university in support of her application for admission into the Faculty of Arts and Science and for on-admission transfer credit. The Student was not present at the hearing. The Student acknowledged in writing that she had received reasonable notice of the hearing, and requested that the Tribunal proceed in her absence.
Student was found guilty with respect to the forged academic record charge. The University then withdrew the alternative charge of academic dishonesty not otherwise described. The Panel accepted the parties’ Agreed Statement of Facts. The Student admitted to knowingly forging her transcript, whereby she changed the final grade in one course, added four courses that she did not complete, and excluded nine courses which she had either completed or which were in progress. The Panel noted that the document had been falsified in several significant ways such that the Student knew or must have known about the falsifications. The Student received 1.0 extra transfer credits based on the Forged Transcript. The extra transfer credit was the basis of the Student’s admission to her Major program, for which she was not otherwise eligible.
A complicating factor in this case was that the Student had already graduated from the University. Accordingly, sanctions that might otherwise be available (suspension and/or a recommendation of expulsion) were not relevant. Since the Student had graduated and could not be expelled, cancellation of the credits and a recommendation that her degree be cancelled and recalled was the most appropriate order. The Panel took into account that the Student admitted her misconduct and took some responsibility, but noted that but for the report of a third party, the Student’s misconduct would never have come to light. The Panel also considered the nature of the offence committed to be a significant aggravating factor; the deliberate, careful and detailed falsification of the Student’s transcript shows calculated dishonesty. The Panel also emphasized the serious risk to the integrity of the University given the Student’s possession of a degree from the University which she obtained in part through false pretenses. The Panel imposed a cancellation of the forged 1.50 transfer credits; a permanent notation of the offence on the Student’s academic record and transcript; that the case be reported to the Provost for publication; and a recommendation of degree recall.