DATE: August 30, 2018
PARTIES: University of Toronto v. A.A.(“the Student”)
Hearing Date(s): May 25, 2018
Ms. Johanna Braden, Barrister and Solicitor, Chair
Professor Michael Evans, Faculty Panel Member
Ms. Sherice Robertson, Student Panel Member
Ms. Lily Harmer, Assistant Discipline Counsel, Paliare Roland, Barristers
Professor Luc De Nil, Vice-Dean, Students, School of Graduate Studies, University of Toronto
Mr. Philip Norton, Counsel to the Student, Norton Barristers
Ms. Tracey Gameiro, Associate Director, Office of Appeals, Discipline and Faculty Grievances
Mr. Brian Alexic, Technology Assistant, Office of the Governing Council
Trial Division - s. B.i.3(a) – forging or falsifying an academic record – forged transcript – forged correspondence from the University – misrepresentations on resume – misrepresentations on LinkedIn profile – student had already graduated from the University with two degrees – agreed statement of facts – guilty plea – jurisdiction – no jurisdiction to punish offences committed after a student has graduated – joint submission on penalty – cancellation of one degree, five year suspension of second degree, permanent notation on transcript, report to the provost with the Student’s name withheld.
The Student was charged with twelve charges of forging or falsifying an academic record contrary to s.B.i.3(a) of the Code, or in the alternative twelve charges of academic dishonesty not otherwise described contrary to s. B.i.3(b) of the Code. The charges related to information that the Student had uploaded to a career database maintained by the Rotman School of Business for students in its program. The Student falsified and then uploaded: preliminary grade reports, academic records, correspondence purporting to be sent on behalf of the Dean conferring awards to the Student, as well as a resume that reported this false information (inflated GPA, awards that the Student had not been awarded). The forgery was uncovered when a prospective employer contacted the school to verify the Student’s information. Afterwards, the University uncovered that the Student had misrepresented his grades and awards in 42 different job applications. The Student admitted guilt at the first Dean’s meeting and expressed remorse. He pled guilty to seven charges. Five charges were withdrawn because counsel agreed that the Tribunal lacked jurisdiction over misrepresentations that had been made after the Student had graduated.
The joint submission on penalty (JSP) recommended that the Tribunal make an order that it: (a) cancel and recall the Student’s MBA degree; (b) suspend the Student’s B.ASc degree for a period of five years; (c) that it make a permanent notation of the sanctions on the Student’s record and transcript; and (d) a report to the Provost with the Student’s name withheld. The Tribunal applied the Mr. C. factors, finding that mitigating factors were that the Student admitted guilt, expressed remorse, cooperated with the process and had no prior offences. The aggravating factors were the seriousness of the offences, the deliberate and repeated nature of the offences committed, the chance that the Student would commit the same offences again, as well as the impact that the Student’s misrepresentations had on other students who would have been competing for the same jobs. The Tribunal found that the JSP was harsh but fair – that it reflected that the Student had earned his credits, at the same time having the degrees cancelled and suspended would limit his job prospects significantly. Tribunal accepted the JSP, and made an order recommending that: (a) the Student’s MBA degree be cancelled and recalled; (b) the Student’s B.ASc degree be suspended for a period of five years; (c) a permanent notation of the sanctions be placed on the Student’s record and transcript; and (d) a report to the Provost with the Student’s name withheld.