Case #481

DATE: October 12, 2007
PARTIES: University of Toronto v. the Student

Hearing Date(s): August 13, 2007

Panel Members:
Mr. Michael Hines, Co-Chair
Prof. Stephane Mechoulan, Faculty Panel Member
Ms. Candace Ikeda-Douglas, Student Panel Member

Ms. Lily Harmer, Assistant Discipline Counsel for the University
Mr. Stephen Frankel, Council for the Student

In attendance:
Prof. Scott Graham, Dean’s Designate
The Student

Trial Division - B.i.1(d) and B.i.1(f) of Code – plagiarism and concoction – course work plagiarized from work submitted by past students, from online sources and from published works and sources for course work concocted – guilty plea – Agreed Statement of Facts – Joint Submission on Penalty - decanal sanction for prior plagiarism offence – character reference letters - respect for pre-hearing discussion and negotiation – five-year suspension; grade assignment of zero for five courses; seven-year notation on the Student’s transcript or until graduation; and report to Provost

The Student was charged with five offences under s. B.i.1(d), one offence under s. B.i.1(f) and alternatively, five offences under s. B.i.3(b) of the Code. The charges related to allegations that the Student’s segment of a group project for one course was plagiarized from a paper that was written and submitted by another student who had taken the course in a previous year; that he submitted a plagiarized research essay in a second course that was written and submitted in the course by another student who had taken the course in a previous year; that he submitted a plagiarized essay in a third course which contained text copied from published works that were not referenced or acknowledged; that he submitted a plagiarized midterm paper in a fourth course which contained unattributed text from online sources and in which some of the sources cited were concocted; and that he submitted a plagiarized essay proposal in a fifth course which contained text copied from online and other sources. The Student pleaded guilty to the charges under s. B.i.1(d) and s. B.i.1(f) of the Code. The hearing proceeded on an Agreed Statement of Facts. Based on the Agreed Statement of Fact and the Student’s guilty pleas, the Tribunal found him guilty of six offences. The parties submitted a Joint Submission on Penalty. The Student had previously been sanction at the decanal level for a prior plagiarism offence. The Student submitted two character reference letters. The Panel considered precedent cases attesting to the reasonable of the proposed sanction. The Panel observed that the Student had been treated leniently with regard to his past academic misconduct and that he did not learn from his previous sanction. The Panel stated that it was out of respect for the importance of the pre-hearing discussion and negotiation that it accepted the Joint Submission on Penalty. If not for the guilty plea and proposed sanction, the Panel stated that it would have recommended expulsion. The Panel imposed a five-year suspension; a grade assignment of zero in the five courses; a notation of the Student’s transcript for seven years (or until graduation, wherever was to occur first); and that a report be issued to the Provost.