Case #617

DATE: August 25, 2011
PARTIES: University of Toronto v. J.O.


Hearing Date(s): February 16, 2011

Panel Members:
Mr. Jeffrey S. Leon, Chair
Prof. Andrea Litvack, Faculty Member
Mr. Eric Siu, Student Member


Appearances:
Mr. Robert Centa, Assistant Discipline Counsel for the University
Mr. Mike Canniffe, DLS for the Student


In Attendance:
Mr. J.O., the Student
Prof. John Browne, Dean's Designate
Mr. Christopher Lang, Director, Appeals, Discipline and Faculty Grievances

Trial Division – s. B.i.1(c) of Code – impersonation – impersonator paid to write term test – Student had denied the allegations the day before the test – Agreed Statement of Facts – guilty plea – finding of guilt – Student’s conduct fell within the most serious category of impersonation – need for both specific and general deterrence – commercial transaction; availability of online advertising makes it harder to monitor – strong need for general deterrence – these factors outweigh rehabilitation needs – grade assignment of zero for course; five-year suspension; recommendation that Student be expelled; report to Provost

Student charged under s. B.i.1(c) of the Code. The charges related to allegations that the Student hired an individual through advertisements to impersonate him and write a term test as if he were the Student. The parties submitted an Agreed Statement of Facts. At the meeting with Departmental representatives, the Student denied the allegations, explaining he was only looking for a tutor; the Departmental representatives found him credible. The next day, the Student sent an impersonator to write the term test and was discovered and charged. The Student pleaded guilty to the charges. The Panel found the Student guilty under s. B.i.1(c). The Panel stated that the particular course of conduct by the Student fell within the most serious category of conduct involving personation; anything less than a recommendation for expulsion would not indicate sufficient condemnation and would not achieve both specific and general deterrence. The Panel also emphasized the need for general deterrence. Because this was a commercial transaction and the availability of online advertising makes it harder to monitor these types of transactions, a forceful message needed to be sent to promote general deterrence. The Panel held that these factors outweighed the possibility of rehabilitation. The Panel imposed a grade assignment of zero in the course; a five-year suspension; a recommendation that the Student be expelled; and that a report be issued to the Provost.