Case #614

DATE: January 26, 2011
PARTIES: University of Toronto v. T.K.


Hearing Date(s): January 14, 2011

Panel Members:
Rodica David Q.C., Chair
Professor Ato Quayson, Faculty Member
Shakir Rahim, Student Member

Appearances:
Lily Harmer, Assistant Discipline Counsel for the University
Betty-Ann Campbell, Law Clerk, Paliare Roland Barristers
Professor Shafique Virani, Islamic Literature, Associate
Lucy Gaspini, Academic Affairs Officer

Trial Division – s. B.I.1(d); s. B.I.3(b) of Code – plagiarism – plagiarism of final project – hearing not attended – reasonable notice of hearing provided – deception to avoid scheduling of hearing – abeyance of file – finding on evidence of guilt – no conflict for Panel members – prior academic offences – prior plagiarism offences – prior deception to avoid hearing – history of academic offences – no evidence of remorse – no mitigating factors –University submission on penalty accepted - grade assignment of zero for courses; five-year suspension to begin after the end of the Student’s current suspension; recommendation to the President that the Student be expelled; and report to Provost

Student charged with two offences under s. B.I.1(d) and. B.I.3(b) of the Code. The hearing proceeded without the Student in attendance. The Panel reviewed the evidence regarding whether the Student had notice of the hearing. The Panel heard that the Student had claimed he was serving in the Taiwan air force; as a result, the University put the file in abeyance. Discipline Counsel submitted evidence that the Student had been in Toronto during the time he claimed to be serving in the Taiwan air force. The Panel heard the University had to go through numerous efforts over an unnecessarily length period of one and half years to schedule the hearing. The Panel accepted the Student had proper notice and proceeded with the hearing. The charges against the Student related to the allegations that the Student plagiarized an entire project. The Panel heard that the Student had been repeatedly warned about what plagiarism was and how it was a serious offence in the Course. The Panel concluded that, based on the evidence, the Student knowingly plagiarized. The University withdrew the second charge under s. B.I.3(b) of the Code. The Student had been subject to previous disciplinary proceedings at the University, having been found to have plagiarized on three occasions. The Panel noted the seriousness of the offence. The Panel further noted aggravating factors including the Student’s history of academic offences, the Student’s absence at the hearing, the pattern of deception the Student engaged in to avoid the hearing, and the Student’s lack of remorse. No extenuating circumstances were found by the Panel. The Panel accepted the University’s submission on penalty and imposed a final grade of zero in the course, a five-year suspension to start a year and four months after the end of the Student’s current suspension, a recommendation to the President that the Student be expelled, and that a report to the Provost be issued.