Case #917

DATE: June 13, 2017
PARTIES: University of Toronto v. A.B. ("the Student")

Hearing Date(s): March 17, 2017

Panel Members:
Mr. Andrew Pinto, Barrister and Solicitor, Chair
Professor Kathi Wilson, Faculty Panel Member
Ms. Natasha Ramkissoon, Student Panel Member

Mr. Robert Centa, Assistant Discipline Counsel, Paliare Roland Barristers
Ms. Emily Home, Student-at-Law, Paliare Roland Barristers

In Attendance:
Professor Donald Dewees, Dean's Designate for Academic Integrity
Dr. Kristi Gourlay, Manager and Academic Integrity Officer, Office of Student Academic Integrity
Sana Kawar, Manager, University of Toronto Transcript Centre
Ms. Krista Osbourne, Administrative Clerk & Hearing Secretary. Office of Appeals, Discipline and Faculty Grievances
Mr. Sean Lourim, Technology Assistant. Office of the Governing Council

Not in Attendance:
The Student

Trial Division - s. B.i.3(a) of Code - forged academic record - student submitted forged transcript in scholarship application - student did not attend hearing - University provided proper notice of hearing - finding of guilt - expulsion, five year suspension, publication of the decision with the name of the Student withheld

The Student was charged with forging an academic record under s. B.i.3(a) of the Code, and alternatively, academic dishonesty under s. B.i.3(b) of the Code. The charges related to a scholarship application that included a forged transcript.

The Student did not attend the hearing. The University presented evidence that the notice of hearing and charges had been sent to the Student's university e-mail account, and that the account had been accessed after these documents had been sent. The Tribunal was satisfied that the Student had been provided with reasonable notice of the hearing, and ordered that the hearing proceed in the Student's absence.

The Tribunal found the Student guilty of the forgery charge, and the University withdrew the second charge. In determining the penalty, the Tribunal noted that transcript forgery is treated extremely seriously due to the importance of the integrity of the University's official records; that forgery is difficult to detect; that the Student's conduct was flagrant and deliberate; that many cases impose expulsion for such forgeries; and that the Student did not participate in the hearing to present any mitigating factors. The Tribunal suspended the Student for up to five years, recommended that they be expelled, and ordered that the decision be reported to the Provost for publication with the name of the Student withheld.