DATE: December 6, 2012
PARTIES: University of Toronto v. Y.L.
Hearing Date(s): October 22, 2012
Mr. Bernard Fishbein, Chair
Prof. Andrea Litvack, Faculty Member
Mr. Adam Found, Student Member
Ms. Lily Harmer, Assistant Discipline Counsel for the University
Dr. Tom Fairgrieve, Department of Computer Science
Prof. John Carter, Deans' Designate
Ms. Betty-Ann Campbell, Law Clerk
Mr. Christopher Lang, Director, Appeals, Discipline and Faculty Grievances
Trial Division – s. B.i.1(d) of Code – plagiarism – provided and sold assignments to students – hearing not attended – reasonable notice given – Student had been selling assignments through a commercial company called Complete Tutoring – Ms. S.’s affidavit that she had purchased her assignment from Student – affidavit admitted in her absence – Student admitted to charges at the meeting with the Dean’s Designate – finding of guilt – plagiarism is the most serious and egregious of academic offences and it is rare for the University to be able to get to the provider – recommendation that the Student be expelled; five-year suspension
Student charged under s. B.i.1(d) and s. B.i.1(b) of the Code. The charges related to allegations that the Student provided and sold assignments to students through a commercial company. The Student did not attend the hearing. The Panel found that the Student had been given reasonable notice of the hearing in accordance with s. 22 of the SPPA and that the hearing should proceed. At the hearing, Dr. Fairgrieve testified how he discovered that the Student had been selling assignments through a commercial company called Complete Tutoring. He testified that during the course of his investigation, a student, Ms. S., submitted an assignment purchased from the Student. This was confirmed by a sworn affidavit of Ms. S. that she had purchased her assignment from Complete Tutoring and had handed it in as her own work. In the absence of Ms. S at the hearing, the Panel admitted the affidavit, in accordance with s. 61 of the Tribunal’s Rules of Procedure. The Panel stated that Ms. S. was out of the country and unavailable and could not be seen as objecting to the admission of her affidavit. Moreover, Prof. John Carter, the Dean’s Designate, testified that the Student admitted to providing solutions to other students to hand in as their own work for money. The Panel found the Student guilty under s. B.i.1(b) and (d) and noted that it would have reached the same conclusion even without the affidavit of Ms. S. In determining the penalty, the Panel emphasized that plagiarism has been described as the most serious and egregious of academic offences and that it is difficult to detect as well as to get to the actual provider of plagiarism. There were no mitigating circumstances, and the Student did not cooperate with the University. The Panel imposed a recommendation that the Student be expelled; and a five-year suspension.