Case #478

DATE: October 6, 2008
PARTIES: University of Toronto v. Mr. S.M.


Hearing Date(s): September 24, 2008

Panel Members:
John A. Keefe, Chair
Professor Bruno Magliochetti, Faculty Member
Ms. Marisa Maharaj, Student Panel Member

Appearances:
Jennifer Murdock and Michael Hamilton from DLS for Mr. S.M., the Student (not in attendance)
Lily Harmer, Assistant Discipline Counsel for the University

Trial Division – s. B.i.1.(a) of Code – forgery of documents – altered Scantron form submitted for re-grading – Agreed Statement of Facts – guilty plea – wrongdoing acknowledged when confronted with allegation – third academic offence – cooperation with discipline process - psychological condition and family distress – sentencing principle – see R. v. Michael Tsicos – Joint Submission on Penalty accepted – grade assignment of zero for the course; three-year suspension; four-year notation on transcript or until graduation; and report to Provost

Student charged with two offences under s. B.i.1.(a) of the Code. The charges related to allegations that the Student altered or falsified a mid-term Scantron answer form and re-submitted the altered or falsified mid-term test for academic credit. The matter proceeded based on an Agreed Statement of Facts and a Joint Submission on Penalty. The Student pleaded guilty to the first offence under s. B.i.1.(a) of the Code. The Panel found that the facts supported the finding of a contravention of the Code as set out in the charge. The Panel found that the Student acknowledged his wrongdoing at an early opportunity when confronted with the allegation. The Student was represented by counsel but did not attend the hearing due to his psychological condition and no witnesses were called to present character evidence. The Panel considered the fact that the offence was the Student’s third involving similar schemes of academic dishonesty, as well as the Student’s guilty plea and his cooperation with the proceedings. The Panel accepted the principle set out in R. v. Michael Tsicos and found that the agreed sanction was appropriate. The Committee noted that but for the mitigating circumstances, including the guilty plea, the Student’s psychological condition and family distress, the penalty would have been more severe. The Panel imposed a grade of zero in the course; a three-year suspension; a four-year notation on the Student’s academic record and transcript (or until graduation, whichever was to occur first); and that a report be issued to the Provost.