Case 993

DATE: November 1, 2021
PARTIES: University of Toronto v. K.Q.

HEARING DATE: March 27, 2019 and July 26, 2019

Panel Members:
Ms. Cheryl Woodin, Chair
Professor Kenneth Derry, Faculty Panel Member
Mr. Andrew Opper, Student Panel Member

Appearances:
Ms. Lily Harmer, Assistant Discipline Counsel, Paliare Roland Rosenberg Rothstein LLP

In Attendance:
Ms. Jennifer Dent, Associate Director, Appeals, Discipline and Faculty Grievances

Not in Attendance: The Student

The Student was charged under s. B.i.3(a) of the Code of Behaviour on Academic Matters, 1995, (“Code”) for knowingly forging, altering and falsifying an academic record, which he circulated. Specifically, the Student provided to the Canadian Consulate of Shanghai a document that purported to be a certificate for the degree of Honours Bachelor of Science from the University of Toronto. Alternatively, he was also charged under s. B.i.3(b) of the Code.

Because the Student was unrepresented and did not attend the hearing, the Panel adjourned the hearing, pending receipt of supplementary submissions by the University demonstrating that the Student had been provided with reasonable notice of the hearing. Following receipt of the University’s submissions, the Panel subsequently released a decision concluding that reasonable notice of the hearing had been provided to the Student and reconvened in the Student’s absence.

The Panel held there was no evidence to support the Student’s representation that he had been awarded an Honours Bachelor of Science Degree from the University of Toronto. The University’s Repository of Student Information (ROSI) revealed that the Student had enrolled in several classes at the University, but that the University had never conferred a degree on the Student. Given the Student’s academic standing, the Panel described the Student’s action as a deliberate attempt to misrepresent and grossly overstate his academic progress. On a balance of probabilities, the Panel found the Student guilty of contravening s. B.i.3(a) of the Code. The University withdrew the charge under s. B.i.3(b) of the Code.

In discussing the penalty, the Panel noted that strong denunciation of the conduct is required and held that reformation of the Student is of limited relevance to the analysis on sanction because the Student had made limited progress towards attaining a degree while enrolled at the University and was no longer at the University. There were no mitigating factors and the Student had not acknowledged his responsibility for his serious misconduct.

The Panel imposed the following sanctions: immediate suspension from the University for a period of up to five years to cover period between Panel’s decision and expulsion confirmation; a recommendation to the President that the Student be expelled; a permanent notation on the Student’s academic record and transcript; that a report be issued to the Provost for publication of a notice of the decision of the Panel and the sanction imposed, with the name of the Student withheld.