Case #977

DATE: November 22, 2018

PARTIES: University of Toronto v. L.D. (“the Student”)
Hearing Date(s): August 23, 2018
Panel Members:
Ms. Amanda Heale, Chair
Professor Gabe D'Eleuterio, Faculty Panel Member Mr. Andrey Lapin, Student Panel Member
Appearances:
Ms. Lily Harmer, Discipline Counsel, Paliare Roland Rosenberg Rothstein LLP
In Attendance:
Ms. Lucy Gaspini, Director, Academic Success and Integrity, University of Toronto
Hearing Secretary:
Ms. Christopher Lang, Director, Appeals, Discipline and Academic Grievances, University of Toronto
Not in Attendance:
The Student
Trial Division - s. B.i.3(a) – forging or falsifying an academic record – forged degree certificate – student did not attend hearing – first offence - suspension of five years pending expulsion and a report to the Provost with the Student’s name withheld.
The Student was charged with one charge of forging or falsifying an academic record contrary to s.B.i.3(a) of the Code, or in the alternative, one charge of academic dishonesty not otherwise described contrary to s. B.i.3(b) of the Code. The charges related to a degree certificate that the Student had provided to the Chinese Center for Scholarly Exchange (CCSE) that was a forgery. The Student did not attend the hearing. In finding that the University had taken appropriate steps to notify the Student of the hearing, the Tribunal heard evidence that the University had attempted to contact the Student numerous times through the email address provided in ROSI, and that the Student had checked her ROSI email since the notifications had initially been sent. The hearing proceeded in the Student’s absence.
The Tribunal found that the Student was guilty of forging an academic record on the basis of affidavit evidence that the Student had provided a Certificate of Degree to the CCSE that was not issued by the University. The affidavit evidence led the Tribunal to conclude that the University had proven, on a balance of probabilities, that the Student had forged an academic record contrary to s. B.i.3(a) of the Code. The University withdrew the alternative charges. The Tribunal accepted the University’s submission on penalty and found that, given the seriousness of the offence, the lack of any evidence of mitigating circumstances without the Student’s participation in the process, and the need to protect the credibility and academic quality of the institution for the benefit of those who rely on them, a recommendation of suspension for a period of five years pending expulsion was appropriate even though it was the Student’s first academic offence. The Tribunal ordered: an immediate suspension for a period of up to five years; a recommendation to the President that the Student be expelled; and that the case be reported to the Provost with the Student’s name withheld.