Case #496

DATE: April 30, 2009
PARTIES: University of Toronto v. The Student

Hearing Date(s): February 18, 2009

Panel Members:
Mr. Clifford Lax, Chair
Professor Carolyn Pitchik, Faculty Panel Member
Mr. Sybil Derrible, Student Panel Member

Ms. Lily Harmer, Assistant Discipline Counsel
Professor Susan Pfeiffer, Dean, School of Graduate Studies

Trial Division – s. B.i.3(a) of Code – forged academic records – transcript, diploma and verification letter submitted with falsified admission application – hearing not attended – reasonable notice of hearing – see Statutory Powers Procedure Act – Agreed Statement of Fact – degree completed – guilty plea – Joint Submission on Penalty – admittance under false pretences – no alternative but recommendation of expulsion – Joint Submission on Penalty accepted – recommendation that the Student be expelled as per s. C.ii.(b)(i) of Code; five-year suspension pending expulsion decision; and report to Provost

Student charged with four offences under s. B.i.3(a), and alternatively, four offences under s. B.i.1(a) and s. B.i.3(b) of the Code. The charges related to allegations that the Student submitted a falsified admission application to the Masters of Engineering Program and that he submitted a forged Transcript of Academic Records, a Diploma conferring a Bachelor of Engineering Degree and a verification letter, all from a foreign university. The Student did not attend the hearing. The Panel considered s. 7.1 of the Statutory Powers Procedure Act, the content of the Notice of Hearing, and the emails from the Student confirming that he would not be in attendance, and found that the hearing could proceed in the Student's absence. The Student had emailed signed copies of an Agreed Statement of Fact and Joint Submission on Penalty to the University, both of which were submitted at the hearing. The Student was accepted into the program, successfully completed his degree and was eligible to graduate. After discovering that the Transcript and the Diploma were forged the University received a letter purportedly from the foreign university confirming the authenticity of the Student's degree. The foreign university indicated that the letter was a fake. The Student pleaded guilty to the charges under B.i.3.(a) of the Code. Based on the evidence and the Student's admission of guilt, the Panel registered a conviction on the charges. The parties submitted a Joint Submission on Penalty. The Panel found that the Student’s admittance was under false pretences and that it had negative consequence for the next best legitimate applicant who was rejected. The Panel found that the Student’s admittance to the University was illegitimate and that there was no alternative but to recommend expulsion for a student admitted under false pretences. The Panel accepted the Joint Submission on Penalty and imposed a recommendation to the President, further to s. C.ii.(b)(i) of the Code, that the Student be expelled from the University; a five-year suspension pending the expulsion decision; and that a report be issued to the Provost.