Case #867

DATE: January 24, 2017
PARTIES: University of Toronto v. Z.L. ("the Student")

Hearing Date(s): October 17, 2016

Panel Members:
Mr. Michael Hines, Barrister and Solicitor, Chair
Professor Ernest Lam, Faculty Panel Member
Ms. Ashley Ramnaraine, Student Panel Member

Ms. Lily Harmer, Assistant Discipline Counsel, Paliare Roland Barristers

In Attendance:
Ms. Tracey Gameiro, Associate Director, Office of the Appeals, Discipline and Faculty Grievances
Ms. Lucy Gaspini, Manager, Academic Integrity and Affairs, University of Toronto, Mississauga
Ms. Laura Ferlito, Assistant Registrar, Academic Standards and Petitions, University of Toronto, Mississauga

Trial Division - s. B.i.3(a) of Code - forging an academic record - student forged transcript and degree certificate - student did not appear at hearing - proceeding in student's absence - finding of guilt - Tribunal imposed most serious penalty available to it in light of gravity of offence - expulsion, five year suspension, permanent notation

The Student was charged with forging both a degree certificate and a transcript under s. B.i.3(a) of the Code, and in the alternative of academic dishonesty under s. B.i.3(b) of the Code. The Student had not completed a degree, but knowingly forged a degree certificate stating otherwise and a transcript with many false courses and marks. The Student used these forgeries to apply for qualification accreditation in another country.
The Student did not appear at the hearing. The University was able to prove, through affidavit evidence, that all reasonable efforts had been made to locate the student and alert them of the proceedings. Thus the Tribunal proceeded in the Student's absence. The Student was found guilty of the forgeries on the basis of the University's evidence.

The University sought and obtained the most serious penalties available to it. The Tribunal considered that the offence not only demonstrated a serious lack of personal integrity, but undermined the reputation of the University. The Student was suspended for five years, recommended to be expelled, and had a permanent notation placed on their transcript.