Case #928

DATE: June 5, 2017
PARTIES: University of Toronto v. J.Z. ("the Student")

Hearing Date(s): May 11, 2017

Panel Members:
Mr. Paul Michell, Chair
Professor Richard Day, Faculty Panel Member
Ms. Natasha Ramkissoon, Student Panel Member

Robert A. Centa, Assistant Discipline Counsel for the University, Paliare Roland Barristers
Ms. Emily Home, Articling Student, Paliare Roland (Discipline Counsel for the University)
Ms. Sana Kawar, Manager, University of Toronto Transcript Centre

In Attendance:
Ms. Tracey Gameiro, Associate Director, Appeals, Discipline and Faculty Grievances
Dr. Kristi Gourlay, Manager, Office of Student Academic Integrity, Faculty of Arts and Science
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 application to another university - 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 an admission application to another university that included a forged transcript.

The Student did not attend the hearing. The University had sent the notice of hearing and charges to the Student's university e-mail account, and that account had been accessed within a week before the hearing and was active. The Tribunal inferred that adequate notice of the hearing had been provided and ordered that the hearing proceed in the Student's absence.

The Tribunal found the student guilty of the forgery charge, and the Provost withdrew the second charge. In determining the penalty, the Tribunal noted that transcript forgery is among the most serious offences due to the importance of the integrity of the University's official records; that forgery is difficult to detect making deterrence more important; that this instance was the product of planning and knowing participation; that the cases commonly impose expulsion for such forgeries; and that the Student did not participate in the hearing to present any explanation or 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.