On September 7, recent UTM graduate students received an email from the Office of Convocation stating that their Spring 2010 UTM diploma contains an incorrect signature title, thereby making their diploma invalid. The invalid status of the diplomas means that affected graduates do not currently possess graduate status, an issue that will affect whether or not they are able to apply for some jobs.
The diploma error affects all students who graduated with an undergraduate degree from UTM in November 2009 and June 2010. The invalidity of the diplomas does not, of course, affect the validity of the degree.
Jane Stirling, Director of Marketing and Communications at U of T, stated, “During the transition of systems within the Office of Convocation, a printing error was made on U of T diplomas for UTM graduates. We are currently working expeditiously to replace incorrect diplomas, provide assurance to UTM graduates that they hold valid degrees, and ensure that similar mistakes do not affect future graduates.”
Although the error was discovered shortly after Convocation took place, graduates were only notified of the invalidity of their diplomas in September. “As soon as we discovered the error following the June convocation, we took immediate steps to rectify the problem by reprinting new diplomas. Corrected diplomas were ready for pick-up a week later for those graduates who did not attend Convocation,” said Stirling.
The email to graduates also indicated that a new and valid diploma can be picked up by the graduates from the Office of Convocation located at 27 King’s College Circle (room 102) by December 17, 2010. The email listed two options: either the graduate could appear in person with their invalid diploma and proper identification, or an authorized person could collect the diploma for the graduate, if they had proper identification and written consent from the graduate.
Collecting the diploma in person can be difficult, especially for international students who have returned home after graduating from UTM.
Another email was sent out to graduates on September 10, indicating that they now have four options for collecting their new diplomas. The graduates may choose from free delivery worldwide, personal pick-up at the Office of Convocation, personal pick-up at the Office of Advancement at UTM, or personal pick-up by an authorized person.
“For those graduates who had received incorrect diplomas, we needed to ensure we could conduct a diploma exchange program efficiently, following careful and secure procedures,” said Stirling via email. “As soon as staff and procedures were in place to handle a safe and secure diploma exchange program, we notified all graduates who had received the incorrect diplomas.”
Along with sending emails to graduates, the Office of Convocation will also email graduates at their secondary email addresses and phone them to ensure they understand the actions they must take to receive their valid diplomas.
For any questions and concerns about the error or how to pick up valid diplomas, graduates are asked to visit convocation.utoronto.ca.