Case #553

DATE: October 9, 2010
PARTIES: University of Toronto v. N.A.

Hearing Date(s): September 10, 2009

Panel Members:
Ms. Laura Trachuk, Chair
Prof. Graeme Trope, Faculty Member
Mr. Adil D'Sousa, Student Member

Ms. Linda Rothstien and Ms. Lily Harmer, Assistant Discipline Counsel for the University
Mr. Phil Downes for the Student

Trial Division – s. B.i.3(a) of Code – forged academic records – TA, Student’s brother, altered Student’s marks – TA and Student claimed that the Student did not know that his marks had been inflated – Dean’s designate decided not to charge the Student – University subsequently discovered changes to Student’s marks in an earlier course and decided to lay charges with respect to both courses – Student argued that University was barred from reversing the earlier decision – Panel found that it was not necessary to consider the issue because University failed to prove that Student knew about the changes on a balance of probabilities – no direct evidence and insufficient circumstantial evidence – Student found not guilty

Student charged under s. B.i.3(a) of the Code. The charges related to allegations that the Student knowingly forged his academic records by letting his brother, the TA for his courses, change his marks in two courses. The TA inflated marks for his brother’s midterm and final exam in a course in 2007 and for a final exam in a course in 2008. Before the incidents, the University had never been informed that they were brothers. When the incident in 2008 was discovered, the Dean’s designate decided not to charge the Student, as the TA testified that his brother, the Student, had no knowledge that his marks had been changed. However, the University decided to lay charges when it subsequently learned about changes to the Student’s grades in 2007. The Student argued, relying on s. C.I.(a)3 and 7, that the University had no authority to impose charges with respect to the later course since the Dean’s designate had already made and issued a decision that no charges would be laid. The Panel held that it was not necessary to consider this issue because the University failed to prove on a balance of probabilities that the Student knew that his brother changed his marks. There was no direct and insufficient circumstantial evidence that the Student knew what his brother was doing. The fact that they were brothers who lived in the same house and that the brother used his position to change the Student’s marks was all relevant circumstantial evidence but it was not clear and convincing enough to prove the charges. Given that the Student had been academically successful, the Panel could not infer that the Student necessarily should have known that his marks had been inflated. The Panel found the Student not guilty.