Case #903

DATE: April 26, 2017
PARTIES: University of Toronto v. Y.D. ("the Student")

Hearing Date(s): February 28, 2017

Panel Members:
Mr. Shaun Laubman, Lawyer, Chair
Professor Graeme Hirst, Faculty Panel Member
Mr. Daniel Lazzam, Student Panel Member

Ms. Lily Harmer, Assistant Discipline Counsel, Paliare Roland Barristers
Ms. Lucy Gaspini, Manager, Academic Integrity and Affairs, Office of the Dean, University of Toronto - Mississauga

In Attendance:
Mr. Christopher Lang, Director, Appeals, Discipline and Faculty Grievances, University of Toronto
Mr. Sean Lourim, Technology Assistant, Office of the Governing Council

Not in Attendance:
The Student

Trial Division - s. B.i.1(a) of Code - forged or falsified evidence - student falsified petitions for accommodation for final exams of three courses - student did not attend hearing - University provided proper notice of hearing - finding of guilt - zero on courses, five year suspension, six year notation, publication of the decision with the name of the Student withheld

The Student was charged with four offences of forgery or falsifying evidence under s. B.i.1(a) of the Code, and alternatively, academic dishonesty under s. B.i.3(b) of the Code. The charges related to falsified petitions for accommodation and Verification Of Illness forms in three courses. Attempts to find or contact the clinic and doctor mentioned in the documents were futile.

The Student did not attend the hearing. The Tribunal found that the University had discharged its obligation to provide the Student proper notice of the hearing. The University had tried to contact the Student by e-mail to their institutional address, courier to the Student's home address on record, and through social media. The Tribunal thus decided to proceed in the Student's absence.

The Tribunal found the student guilty of the forgery charges, and did not need to decide the academic dishonesty charge. In determining the penalty, the Tribunal noted that the Student had a prior guilty plea on an unrelated charge and had been warned not to re-offend, and yet had committed the present falsifications one week after this warning. The Student's falsifications took advantage of the process designed to accommodate students who experience legitimate hardships. The University has an interest in maintaining the integrity of this process. These factors, along with the Student's non-participation in the disciplinary process and the multiple findings of guilt, argued for a penalty in the upper end of the range for such offences. The Student received a grade of zero in each of the three courses, a five year suspension, and a six year notation, and publication of the decision with the name of the Student withheld.