Case #524

DATE: May 1, 2009
PARTIES: University of Toronto v. the Student


Hearing Date(s): February 2, 2009

Panel Members:
Ms. Lisa Brownstone, Chair
Professor Richard B. Day, Faculty Panel Member
Mr. Mir Sadek Ali, Student Panel Member

Appearances:
Mr. Robert Centa, Assistant Discipline Counsel
Dr. Kristi Gourlay, Manager, Office of Student Academic Integrity
Mr. Steve Frankel, Student Legal Representative
The Student

Trial Division – s. B.i.1(d) of Code – plagiarism – course work copied from internet – Agreed Statement of Facts – guilty plea – proposed suspension concurrent with previous suspension imposed by Division –third academic offence – mitigating factors that Student pleaded guilty and cooperated with process – Joint Submission on Penalty accepted – grade assignment of zero for course; three-year seven-month suspension; five-year seven-month notation on transcript; and report to Provost

The Student was charged under s. B.i.1(d) and alternatively, under s. B.i.3(b) of the Code. The charges related to allegations that the Student knowingly submitted a plagiarized essay in one course. The matter proceeded on an Agreed Statement of Facts. The Student admitted that almost all of the pages of the essay were taken directly from unacknowledged internet sources and he pleaded guilty to the charge under ss. B.i.1(d). On the basis of the Agreed Statement of Facts, the Panel accepted the plea. The parties submitted an Agreed Statement of Facts & Joint Submission on Penalty. The Student has previously been sanctioned for committing two academic offences. The Student claimed that he was affected by his father’s illness. The Panel observed that if it accepted the Joint Submission on Penalty, part of the Student's suspension would run concurrently with the suspension imposed at the Divisional level, resulting in a combined 4-year and 4-month suspension. The Panel considered the aggravating fact that the offence was the Student’s third involving academic dishonesty and the mitigating facts that there was an admission, a guilty plea and co-operation by the Student, and found that the agreed-upon sanction was within an appropriate range of sanction in the circumstances. The Panel imposed a final grade of zero in the course; a three-year, seven-month suspension; a five-year, seven-month notation on the Student's academic record and transcript; and that a report be issued to the Provost.