DATE: April 19, 2018
PARTIES: University of Toronto v. Y.X. (“the Student”)
Hearing Date(s): April 4, 2018
Mr. Paul Michell, Chair
Professor Bruno Magliocchetti, Faculty Panel Member
Mr. David Kleinman, Student Panel Member
Ms. Lily Harmer, Assistant Discipline Counsel, Paliare Roland Banisters
Ms. Tracey Gameiro, Associate Director, Appeals, Discipline and Faculty Grievances
Ms. Nisha Panchal, Student Conduct & Academic Integrity Officer, Office of the Dean & Vice Principal Academic, University of Toronto Scarborough
Mr. Sean Lourim, Technology Assistant, Office of the Governing Council
Not in Attendance
Trial Division - s. B.i.3(a) – forged or falsifying documents – falsified transcript and academic record used in an application for admission and transfer credit – hearing not attended – reasonable notice provided – recommendation of expulsion, five-year suspension pending expulsion, transfer credits revoked, permanent notation on transcript, report to the Provost with the Student’s name withheld.
The Student was charged with two charges of falsifying or forging an academic record contrary to s. B.i.3(a) of the Code, or in the alternative, two charges of academic dishonesty not otherwise described contrary to s.B.i.3(b) of the Code. The charge related to a forged academic record and transcript that the Student submitted in her application to UTSC, and then later relied on to obtain 9.5 transfer credits at UTSC.
The Student did not attend the hearing. The Panel found that, even though they were in no position to determine if the Student had actual notice of the hearing or the charges against her, the Student had nonetheless been provided with reasonable notice of the hearing in accordance with Rules 9, 13 and 14 of the Rules of Practice and Procedure and section 6 of the Statutory Powers Procedure Act. The Panel found that the University was entitled to rely on its policy in communicating with Students, and that the University’s attempts to contact the Student by email, courier, phone and social media had exceeded what was required of it. The Panel found that if Students failed to provide accurate and up-to-date contact information in ROSI, or to monitor and retrieve their mail and email on a frequent and consistent basis they run the risk that important steps may be taken in their absence.
The Panel considered affidavit evidence from the University administrator who had asked SFU to authenticate the Student’s transcript. The affidavit contained SFU’s emailed response to her request, that the transcripts lacked a number of the hallmarks of authenticity and that the Student had never been enrolled at SFU. Based on this evidence, the Panel found the Student to be guilty of forging an academic record contrary to s.B.i.3(a) of the Code. Upon the Panel’s finding of guilt, the University withdrew the alternative charges of academic dishonesty not otherwise described contrary to s.B.i.3(b) of the Code.
The University requested the penalty that: (1) the Panel recommend that the Student be expelled; (2) a suspension of up to five years pending the decision on expulsion; (3) the 9.5 transfer credits assessed and granted as if earned by the Student from SFU be cancelled and removed from the Student's academic record; (4) a notation be placed on the Student’s transcript corresponding to the suspension and, once granted, a permanent notation as to the expulsion; and (5) the decision be published with the Student’s name withheld. In determining the appropriateness of the proposed penalty, the Panel referred to the case University of Toronto v. J.Z. [Case No. 928, June 5, 2017] and University of Toronto v. M.M. [Case No. 496; April 30, 2009] which spoke to the seriousness of the offence of forgery and the harm done to the reputation of the University and to the prospective student whose spot were taken by the Student’s dishonesty. The Panel noted that because the Student had not participated in the discipline process, it had no evidence of any mitigating circumstances. The Panel ordered: (1) that the Student be expelled; (2) a suspension of up to five years pending the decision on expulsion; (3) the 9.5 transfer credits assessed and granted as if earned by the Student from SFU be cancelled and removed from the Student's academic record; (4) a notation be placed on the Student’s transcript corresponding to the suspension and, once granted, a permanent notation as to the expulsion; and (5) the decision be published with the Student’s name withheld.