Case #728

DATE: May 15, 2014

PARTIES: University of Toronto v N.D.
Hearing Date(s): January 13, 2014
Panel Members:
Andrew Pinto, Chair
Dionne Aleman, Faculty Member
Jonathan Hsu, Student Member
Robert Centa, Assistant Discipline Counsel
Joseph Guiyab, Legal Case Worker
In Attendance:
Lucy Gaspini, Manager, Academic Integrity and Affairs
Christopher Lang, Director, Appeals, Discipline and Faculty Grievances
Trial Division – s. B.i.1(d), s. B.i.1(e) and s. B.i.3(b) of the Code – alteration of test prior to remarking – plagiarism – credit previously obtained – Student not present, representative present – Agreed Statement of Facts – Joint Submission on Penalty – guilty plea – additional offence committed between offence and hearing – one prior offence – Student permitted to write a deferred examination – grade of zero in the course; five-year suspension; five-year transcript notation; report to Provost for publication; Panel to deal with implementation issues of deferred exam
The Trial Division of the Tribunal was convened to consider three charges under s. B.i.1(d), one charge under s. B.i.1(e), and, in the alternative, three charges under s. B.i.3(b) of the Code laid against the Student. The charges related to allegations that the Student had altered versions of two tests submitted for re-marking and had submitted an essay which had already received credit or was plagiarized. The Student and University entered into an Agreed Statement of Facts (ASF) and a Joint Submission on Penalty (JSP).
The Student did not attend the hearing but sent a representative. The ASF and JSP were signed by the Student and the Panel determined it was entitled to proceed in the Student’s absence. The Student pleaded guilty to all seven charges and the University withdrew the three alternative charges. The Panel accepted the guilty plea and the Student stood convicted on the four charges.
The JSP included a five year suspension which was at the high end of the penalty spectrum. The University justified it by stating that the Student committed a second offence just weeks admitting guilt to academic misconduct, had a prior offence and the offence was not one that could be committed negligently. Mitigating factors were the Student’s admission of guilt and cooperation with the ASF and JSP. The Student would also be allowed to write a deferred examination as it would be unfair for her to wait five years. The Panel reviewed similar cases in which the student received a four year suspension.
The Panel accepted the JSP and assigned a grade of zero in the course, imposed a five-year suspension from the date of the order, ordered a notation on the Student’s transcript for five years or until graduation and ordered that the case be reported to the Provost for publication. The Panel also remained seized to deal with implementation issues concerning the Student’s deferred exam.