Case #654

DATE: August 9, 2012
PARTIES: University of Toronto v. S.P.


Hearing Date(s): June 14, 2012

Panel Members:
Ms. Sarah Kraicer, Chair
Prof. Bruno Magliocchetti, Faculty Member
Ms. Melvin Sert, Student Member


Appearances:
Ms. Lily Harmer, Assistant Discipline Counsel for the University
Ms. Sierra Robart, DLS for the Student


In Attendance:
Ms. S.P., the Student
Prof. Sam Solecki, Dean's Designate
Ms. Natalie Ramtahal, Coordinator, Appeals, Discipline and Faculty Grievances

Trial Division – s. B.i.1(d) and s. B.i.1(f) of Code – plagiarism and concoction – passages from essay taken verbatim from internet sources and references concocted – prior plagiarism offences – Agreed Statement of Facts – guilty plea – finding of guilt – Joint Submission on Penalty – Student repeatedly committed plagiarism despite warnings – Panel stressed the seriousness of plagiarism offences – Student cooperated and indicated acceptance of responsibility – Joint Submission consistent with the range of sanctions imposed in similar cases – grade assignment of zero for course; five-year suspension; seven-year notation on transcript; report to Provost

Student charged under s. B.i.1(d) and s. B.i.1(f) of the Code. The charges related to allegations that the Student submitted an essay containing passages taken verbatim from internet sources and concocted references. The Student had three prior plagiarism offences, two of which were concurrent offences. The parties submitted an Agreed Statement of Facts, and the Student pleaded guilty to the charges. The Panel found the Student guilty under s. B.i.1(d) and s. B.i.1(f). The parties also submitted a Joint Submission on Penalty. The Panel recognized that a high threshold must be met for the tribunal to reject a joint submission. In assessing the character, the Panel found that the Student had repeatedly committed plagiarism despite warnings and progressive discipline sanctions. The Panel found the plagiarism offences to be of serious nature. Finally, the Panel had taken into account the Student’s cooperation with the University and that she had indicated acceptance of responsibility for her conduct by appearing at the hearing, agreeing to the relevant facts and pleading guilty to the charges. The Panel also considered precedents and found the Joint Submission consistent with the range of sanctions imposed in similar cases. The Panel accepted the Joint Submission and imposed a grade assignment of zero in the course; a five-year suspension; a seven-year notation on the Student’s transcript; and a report be issued to the Provost.