Case #579

DATE: November 15, 2010
PARTIES: University of Toronto v. X.P.Z.


Hearing Date(s): May 7, 2010

Panel Members:
Julie Hannaford, Chair
Professor Louis Florence, Faculty Member
Sadek Ali, Student Member


Appearances:
Robert Centa, Assistant Discipline Counsel for the University
Betty-Ann Campbell, Law Clerk, Paliara Roland Barristers

Gregory Ko, Articling Student, Paliare Roland Barristers

Kante Easley, Course Instructor

Y.Z., different student enrolled in Course

In Attendance:
Tamara Jones, Academic Integrity Officer

Trial Division – s. B.I.1(b) of Code – unauthorized assistance – collaborated with another student – identical answers – hearing not attended by Student– reasonable notice of hearing provided – personal service of Notice of Hearing – finding on evidence of guilt –prior academic offences – submission on costs requested by the Panel – s. C.II.(a)17(b) of the Code – see University of Toronto v. P.J. (2006)(Case #441) – see Mr. K (Case 1990/00; April 20, 1992) – significant expense in attempting to serve Student with notice – incremental costs directly associated with Student’s failure to participate in the hearing process – costs awarded – required payment before registration – grade assignment of zero for course; five-year suspension; notation on transcript until graduation; and cost order

Student charged with an offence under s. B.I.1(b) of the Code. The Tribunal convened without the Student present. The Panel heard about the efforts made to contact the Student, and the numerous modes of communications engaged to give the Student notice of the charges and of the pending proceedings. The Panel determined the Student should be regarded as having been served and having had notice of the proceedings. The charge related to the allegation that the Student submitted an assignment worth ten percent of a final grade that contained nearly identical answers to those submitted by another student in the class. The other student admitted he and the accused collaborated in formulating the answers to the questions in the assignment. The Panel found the Student guilty of the offence. The Panel imposed a final grade of zero in the Course, a five-year suspension, and a notation of the academic misconduct on the Student’s academic record until graduation. The Panel asked the University to make submissions regarding costs, specifically, whether costs should be awarded, and, if so, the appropriate amounts, and the terms and conditions of costs. The Panel noted the request for submissions on costs came from the Panel and not the University. The Panel reviewed s. C.II.(a)17(b) of the Code regarding matters of cost. The Panel noted the award of costs should relate to circumstances that would logically call for costs. The Panel held that when a party confounds the process of delivering a fair and transparent process for determination of a charge that consideration of costs sanctions should arise. The Panel further held that this was such an instance. The Panel noted they had had to convene twice to hear allegations of academic misconduct against the Student, who did not attend two hearings. The Panel noted the 2006 case of University of Toronto v. P.D. (Case #441) in which the Tribunal ordered a student to pay costs incurred to locate and serve the student. The Panel then noted the cost the University had expended to locate the Student on two occasions. The Panel noted the two scales of costs that exist in cost awards, partial indemnity and substantial indemnity. The Panel noted that fairness and proportionality suggest that a punitive award of substantial or even full indemnity should be reserved for cases where there has been egregious and extraordinary behaviour, in line with the case of Mr. K (Case 1990/00; April 20, 1992), which held that substantial indemnity be reserved for cases where there has been reprehensible, scandalous, or outrageous conduct by a party. The Panel held that the Student pay incremental costs associated with his failure to participate in the hearing process calculated on a partial indemnity basis. The Panel held that the Student be required to pay these costs before registering again at the University.