DATE: April 3, 2018
PARTIES: University of Toronto v. M.N. (“the Student”)
Hearing Date(s): March 5, 2018
Ms. Sana Halwani, Barrister and Solicitor, Chair
Professor Faye Mishna, Faculty Panel Member
Mr. Andrey Lapin, Student Panel Member
Ms. Tina Lie, Assistant Discipline Counsel, Paliare Roland Barristers
Professor Luc De Nil, Vice-Dean Students, School of Graduate Studies
Ms. Donna Liu, Multidisciplinary Engineering Design Activities and Operation Assistant, Department of Mechanical & Industrial Engineering
Krista Osbourne, Administrative Clerk & Hearing Secretary Appeals, Discipline and Faculty Grievances
Mr. Graham Henry, Articling Student (Observer), Lenczner Slaght
Mr. Sean Lourim, IT Support, Office of the Governing Council
Not in Attendance
Trial Division - s. B.i.3(a) – forged or falsifying documents – falsified transcript used in an internship application – hearing not attended – reasonable notice provided – graduate student - 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 for an internship. The forgery was caught by a University administrator who was confirming the Student’s eligibility to participate in the internship program. Upon the Panel’s finding of guilt on the charge of forging an academic record contrary to s.B.i.3(a) of the Code, the University withdrew the alternative charge of academic dishonesty not otherwise described contrary to s.B.i.3(b) of the Code.
The Student was not in attendance at the hearing. The Panel found that reasonable notice had been provided to the Student on the basis of affidavits that provided that the Notice of Hearing had been sent to the Student through email and by courier to the home address in the University’s system, as well as by a process server who had received verbal confirmation of the Student’s identity upon serving the Notice of Hearing to him personally.
On the basis of Appendix C of the Code of Behaviour on Academic Matters which states that, absent exceptional circumstances, a penalty of expulsion is appropriate where the student has forged or falsified an academic record, 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. R. W., (Case No. 502, April 18, 2008) which spoke to the seriousness of the offence of forgery and the harm done to the reputation of the University. The Panel noted that it was the Student’s first offence, however, the alterations to the transcript were extensive and performed intentionally. Further, that the Student had failed to engage in any way with the discipline process could indicate a lack of remorse. 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.