Case #759

DATE: July 30, 2014

PARTIES: University of Toronto v D.H.
Hearing Date(s): June 13, 2014
Panel Members:
Sana Halwani, Chair
Pascal Van Lieshout, Faculty Member
Saneea Tanvir, Student Member
Appearances:
Robert Centa, Assistant Discipline Counsel
Eleanor Irwin, Dean’s Designate
Brett Kingsbury, Course Instructor
In Attendance:
Sinead Cutt, Administrative Assistant, Appeals, Discipline and Faculty Grievances
Not in Attendance:
The Student
Trial Division – Student not at hearing – s. B.i.1(d) of the Code – plagiarism – uncited material in paper – Student does not respond to messages – finding of guilt – grade of zero in the course; two-year suspension; academic record notation until graduation; report to Provost for publication
The Student did not attend the hearing and the Panel addressed whether to proceed in the Students’ absence. The Panel was satisfied that the Student had reasonable notice of the hearing and had been served, by letter, email, and phone message left with the Student’s mother in accordance with the Rules of Practice and Procedure of the University Tribunal. The matter proceeded in the Student’s absence.
The Student was charged with knowingly representing another’s ideas as her own contrary to s. B.i.1(d), and in the alternative, academic misconduct not otherwise described in the Code contrary to s. B.i.3(b) of the Code. The charges related to a research paper which the Student submitted per course requirements.
The course instructor testified that he had included an Academic Integrity Statement in the course syllabus as well as a lecture highlighting the issues of plagiarism. He testified that while marking the Student’s paper he became suspicious based on some of the material and conducted a google search finding that approximately 80% of the paper was plagiarized from various internet sources and was uncited. The instructor and Dean’s Designate tried unsuccessfully to make contact with the Student to discuss the allegations. The Panel found the Student guilty on the first charge and the University withdrew the alternative charge.
The University sought a grade of zero in the course, a suspension of two years, and a notation on the Student’s transcript until graduation as penalty. The relevant characteristics to the University submission were the Student’s clean academic history, one act of extensive dishonesty, and the Student’s refusal to meet with the Dean’s Designate. The University acknowledged that if the Student had met with the Dean’s Designate she would not have faced a suspension. The University brought like cases describing that a suspension of two years was normal for a first offence absent mitigating circumstances.
The Panel imposed a grade of zero in the course, a suspension of two years, a notation on the Student’s transcript until graduation, and ordered that the case be reported to the Provost for publication.