Case #959

DATE: September 18, 2018

PARTIES: University of Toronto v. J.L. (“the Student”)
Hearing Date(s): June 28, 2018
Panel Members:
Mr. Douglas Harrison, Barrister and Solicitor, Chair
Dr. Chris Koenig-Woodyard, Faculty Panel Member
Mr. Chad Jankowski, Student Panel Member
Appearances:
Mr. Robert Centa, Assistant Discipline Counsel, Paliare Roland Rosenberg Rothstein LLP, Barristers
Mr. Nathan Korenberg, Paralegal and Agent, Juslaw Legal Services
Ms. Sana Kawar, Manager, Transcript Centre, University of Toronto
In Attendance:
Ms. Lucy Gaspini, Manager, Academic Success & Integrity, Office of the Dean, University of Toronto Mississauga
Ms. Lisa Devereaux, Academic Integrity Officer, Academic Success & Integrity, Office of the Dean, University of Toronto Mississauga
Ms. Krista Osbourne, Administrative Clerk and 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) – forging or falsifying an academic record – forged transcript – agreed statement of facts – guilty plea - student did not attend hearing – joint submission on penalty – undertaking not to reapply to the University - suspension of five years; ten year notation on transcript; that the decision be reported to the Provost with the Student’s name withheld.
The Student was charged with forging or falsifying 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 charges related to an application that the Student had made to another University which contained a transcript that was a forgery. The Student pled guilty to the first charge, the University withdrew the alternative charge. The Student did not attend the hearing.
The Tribunal accepted the Student’s guilty plea. The parties submitted a joint submission on penalty (JSP) and an undertaking from the Student that he would not apply to the University for re-admission. Pursuant to the JSP, the University and the Student requested an order (a) immediately suspending the Student for five years; (b) that a corresponding notation of this sanction be made on the Student's academic record and transcript for ten years; and (c) that the Tribunal’s decision be reported to the Provost with the Student's name withheld. In determining the appropriateness of the sanction, the Tribunal referred to the case University of Toronto v. N.R. (Case No. 714, October 11, 2013) for the proposition that forging a transcript was one of the most serious offences a Student can commit because it involves deliberate dishonesty, which was particularly egregious in this case because the Student was attempting to defraud another publicly funded post-secondary academic institution, taking away a space from an honest applicant. The Tribunal noted that expulsion is a common penalty in cases of forged academic records, however the Student had admitted guilt and cooperated with the University and in similar cases a lengthy suspension and transcript notation had been appropriate in other cases (See The University of Toronto v. A. F. (Case No. 2004/05-07, May 16, 2005); University of Toronto v. N. R., supra; and University of Toronto v. S.B.(Case No.905, November 1, 2017). Noting that there was no authority for the Tribunal to enforce the undertaking, the Tribunal made an order: (a) immediately suspending the Student for five years; (b) that a corresponding notation of this sanction be made on the Student's academic record and transcript for ten years; and (c) directing that the Tribunal’s decision be reported to the Provost with the Student's name withheld.