Case #554

DATE: October 7, 2009
PARTIES: University of Toronto v. D.S.


Hearing Date(s): August 25, 2009

Panel Members:
Ms. Lisa Brownstone, Chair
Prof. Nick Cheng, Faculty Member
Ms. Elena Kuzmin, Student Member


Appearances:
Mr. Robert Centa, Assistant Discipline Counsel for the University
Ms. Betty-Ann Campbell, Law Clerk, Palaire Roland
Dr. Tamara Jones, Academic Integrity Officer

Not in Attendance:
The Student

Trial Division – s. B.i.1(d) of Code – plagiarism – course work – hearing not attended – reasonable notice of hearing – see Policy on Official Correspondence with Students and Statutory Powers Procedure Act paper plagiarized from internet – “How Not To Plagiarize” rules violated – finding of guilt – previous academic offence – non-cooperation – high likelihood of repetition of offence – see case of Mr. S.B. and case of Mr. M.H.H. – grade assignment of zero for course; three-year suspension; four-year notation; and report to Provost

Student 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 submitted an essay plagiarized from internet and other sources. The Student did not attend the Hearing and did not respond to the charges. The Panel considered the University’s attempts to contact the Student, the University’s Policy on Official Correspondence with Students, and the relevant provisions of the Statutory Powers Procedure Act and found that the University had provided reasonable notice to the Student, and that the Student had chosen not to respond to or the charges. The Hearing proceeded in the Student’s absence. The Panel considered the evidence of the course Professor and a review of the research paper against the alleged internet source of the plagiarism. The Panel found that the volume and order of unattributed ideas presented in the Student’s paper demonstrated that the Student had plagiarized ideas from a website. The Panel considered the handout “How Not To Plagiarize” which accompanied the assignment and found that the Student had violated these rules contained therein. The Panel found the Student guilty of the offence under s. B.i.1(d) of the Code. The Panel considered the Student’s previous academic offence and found that the likelihood of repetition was fairly high, in that the second offence had occurred within 6 months of the first sanction. The Panel found that there was no evidence of any mitigating circumstances, given that the student had chosen not to participate in the process. The Panel considered the cases of Mr. S.B. and Mr. M.H.H. and found that a three-year suspension was warranted. The Panel imposed a mark of zero in the course; a three-year suspension; a four-year notation on the Student’s academic record and transcript; and that a report be issued to the Provost.