Case #905

DATE: November 1, 2017

PARTIES: University of Toronto v. S.B. (“the Student”)
Hearing Date(s): August 2, 2017
Panel Members:
Mr. Andrew Pinto, Barrister and Solicitor, Chair
Professor Louis Florence, Faculty Panel Member
Mr. Chad Jankowski, Student Panel Member
Appearances:
Ms. Tina Lie, Assistant Discipline Counsel, Paliare Roland Barristers
Mr. Robert Sniderman, Student's legal representative, Law Student, Downtown Legal Services
The Student
In Attendance:
Ms. Krista Osbourne, Administrative Clerk and Hearing Secretary, Office of the Appeals, Discipline and Faculty Grievances
Mr. Brian Alexic, Technology Assistant, Office of the Governing Council
Mr. Nader Hasan, Tribunal Co-Chair (Observer)
Professor Luc De Nil, Vice-Dean, Students, School of Graduate Studies
Trial Division - s. B.i.3(a) – forged academic record – Student had completed degree requirements – no prior offence - Agreed Statement of Facts – Joint Submission on Penalty – start date delayed for two months to allow student to transition his research and not disadvantage other students on his research team - suspension of five years, transcript notation for seven years, and report to the provost.
The Student was charged with two charges of forging an academic record contrary to s. B.i.3(a) of the Code, or in the alternative academic misconduct not otherwise described contrary to s. B.i.3(b) of the Code. The charges related to a forged academic record and a resume reporting a false GPA that the student had submitted in support of his application for a scholarship. The parties submitted an Agreed Statement of Facts and a Joint Submission on Penalty (JSP). The Panel accepted the Student’s guilty plea on the first two charges, the University withdrew the alternative charges.
In deciding whether to accept the JSP, the Panel referred to University of Toronto and M.A. (DAB Case No. 837, December 22, 2016), which provides that "the parties ought to expect that a hearing panel will impose that [jointly submitted] sentence, unless to do so would be fundamentally contrary to the interests of the University community and objectively unreasonable or unconscionable". In this case, the Student had no prior offences, and had demonstrated remorse by admitting guilt, submitting a letter of apology, and participating fully in the academic discipline process. The Student had fulfilled all the requirements of his degree so the likelihood of another offence was low. The proposed two-month delay in the start of the suspension was to permit the Student to transition his research work in order not to disadvantage other members of his research team and the incoming students.
The Panel noted similar facts here to the case University of Toronto v S. D. (Case No. 406, May 1, 2007), where the Student received a three-year suspension for one charge of forgery. Given that there were two charges in the present case, the Panel found that the JSP proposed by the parties was reasonable, and ordered a suspension from the University for five years with a delayed start date to allow the Student to transition their research to colleagues; a notation of the sanction on his academic record and transcript for seven years from the day the Tribunal makes its order; and a report to the Provost for publication with the Student’s name withheld.