Case #958

DATE: April 17, 2018

PARTIES: University of Toronto v. Z.Z. (“the Student”)
Hearing Date(s): March 21, 2018
Panel Members:
Mr. R. Seumas M. Woods, Barrister and Solicitor, Chair
Dr. Maria Rozakis, Faculty Panel Member
Mr. Sean McGowan, Student Panel Member
Appearances:
Ms. Lily Harmer, Assistant Discipline Counsel, Paliare Roland Banisters
In Attendance:
Mr. Christopher Lang, Director, Office of Appeals, Discipline and Faculty Grievances
Ms. Lucy Gaspini, Manager, Academic Success & Integrity, Office of the Dean, UTM
Ms. Alexandra Di Blasio, Academic Integrity Assistant, Office of the Dean, UTM
Mr. Sean Lourim, IT Support, Office of the Governing Council
Not in Attendance
The Student
Trial Division - s. B.i.3(a) – forged or falsifying documents – falsified transcript used in an application for admission – hearing not attended – reasonable notice provided – recommendation of expulsion, five-year suspension pending expulsion, permanent notation on transcript, report to the Provost with the Student’s name withheld.
The Student was charged with falsifying or forging an academic record contrary to s. B.i.3(a) of the Code, or in the alternative academic dishonesty not otherwise described contrary to s.B.i.3(b) of the Code. The charge related to a forged academic transcript that the Student submitted in an application to transfer from SFU to UTM.
The Student did not attend the hearing. The Panel found that reasonable notice of the hearing had been provided to the Student based on affidavit evidence that the University had: (1) sent a copy of the notice of hearing to the Student’s email address on ROSI, which had not ‘bounced back’ and had been accessed since the charges had been laid; (2) made two unsuccessful attempts to send notice by courier; and (3) called the Student, but was informed they had the wrong number.
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 charge 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) a notation be placed on the Student’s transcript corresponding to the suspension and, once granted, a permanent notation as to the expulsion; and (4) 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] which spoke to the seriousness of the offence of forgery and the harm done to the reputation of the University. The Panel noted that, without any evidence from the Student, it had no evidence of the Student's character, no explanation for the Student's conduct, and no evidence of any mitigating circumstances. The Panel ordered: (a) a recommendation to the President of the University that the Student be expelled; (b) a suspension of a period of up to five years effective immediately pending expulsion; (c) a notation on the Student’s transcript corresponding to the suspension and, if granted, a permanent notation on the Student’s transcript; and (d) that the matter be reported to the Provost for publication.