DATE: August 11, 2014
PARTIES: University of Toronto v J.L., H.L., A.Z.
Roslyn Tsao, Chair
Markus Bussman, Faculty Member
Adel Boulazreg, Student Member
Hearing Date(s): July 11, 2014
Lily Harmer, Assistant Discipline Counsel
Samuel Greene, DLS, for the Student
Lucy Gaspini, Manager, Academic Integrity and Affairs, University of Toronto Mississauga
Nathan Innocente, Teaching Assistant
Catherine Seguin, Senior Lecturer
Student 1 (J.L.)
Natalie Ramtahal, Coordinator, Appeals, Discipline and Faculty Grievances
Christopher Lang, Director, Appeals, Discipline and Faculty Grievances
Not in Attendance:
Student 2 (H.L.)
Student 3 (A.Z.)
Trial Division – s. B.i.3(a), s. B.i.1(c) and s. B.i.3(b) of the Code – ASF – personation – forgery – forged T-Card - Dean’s Designate meeting - Student appears at hearing –Students do not appear at hearing– previous incident not elevated to prior offense due to timing – finding of guilt – grade of zero in the courses in question; five year suspension; suspension deferred to allow completion of courses; academic record notation
The Panel found JL and HL guilty of use of an unauthorized aid in an earlier decision but adjourned the hearing until after this hearing on personation charges against JL and AZ. HL and AZ did not attend. The Panel imposed a grade of zero in the course in question for HL.
JL was charged with having another person personate her contrary to s. B.i.1(c), falsifying a T-card contrary to s. B.i.3(a) and, in the alternative, academic misconduct not otherwise described in the Code contrary to s. B.i.3(b) of the Code. AZ was charged with personating a student contrary to s. B.i.1(c), falsifying a T-card contrary to s. B.i.3(a) and, in the alternative, academic misconduct not otherwise described in the Code contrary to s. B.i.3(b) of the Code.
JL and the University entered into an Agreed Statement of Facts (ASF) confirming that JL persuaded AZ, who was not enrolled in the course, to take an exam for her using a forged T-Card. In a Dean’s Designate meeting JL claimed AZ was her cousin in high school, which was later contradicted by AZ in another meeting who claimed she was a University student and not JL’s cousin.
The Dean’s Designate testified that she met with AZ who admitted to taking the exam for JL with a forged T-Card as she felt sympathy for JL who had broken up with her boyfriend.
The Panel found AZ and JL guilty on the first two counts and the University withdrew the alternative charge.
The University suggested a two year suspension for HL who has no academic offense history. The Panel accepted the recommended penalty and imposed a two year suspension with a notation on HL’s academic record for the length of the suspension.
AZ had a previous infraction, had not participated in the process since meeting with the Dean’s Designate and the University recommended expulsion. The Panel imposed a five year suspension with a notation on AZ’s academic record for the length of the suspension plus one year, taking into account that AZ gained no advantage in her personation and was trying to show JL sympathy.
JL testified and submitted there were mitigating factors such that JL’s grandmother had died just before the infraction, she had no family in Toronto, she admitted her guilt at the Dean’s Designate meeting, her deception was not calculated, she had no prior offenses and a small likelihood of reoffending. JL sought a suspension for five years, deferred to allow completion of summer courses, with a notation on for the length of the suspension plus one year.
The University submitted that JL had not taken advantage of the first opportunity to admit her guilt, continued to mislead the University as to AZ’s identity. This and the T-Card forgery and continued attempts at deception warranted a sanction of expulsion, a grade of zero in the courses in question, suspension for five years, and a notation on JL’s academic record for the length of the suspension plus one year. The University cited several instances of personation in support of its position.
The Panel did not view the first offense as a prior offense as that conviction took place after the hearing. The Panel also took into account JL’s grandmothers death, though it was concerned about the delay in providing this information. The Panel also noted JL’s cooperation through two years of proceedings.
The Panel imposed a penalty of a grade of zero in the courses in question, suspension for five years, deferred to allow completion of summer courses, and a notation on JL’s academic record until August 31, 2020.