DATE: February 25, 2015
PARTIES: University of Toronto v H.M.
Hearing Date(s): February 18, 2015
Roslyn Tsao, Chair
Michael Saini, Faculty Member
Alice Zhu, Student Member
Robert Centa, Assistant Discipline Counsel
Chester Scoville, Course Instructor
Lucy Gaspini, Manager, Academic Integrity & Affairs, UTM
Christopher Lang, Director, Appeals, Discipline and Faculty Grievances
Trial Division – s. B.i.1(d) and B.i.3(b) of the Code – student does not appear – plagiarism – no past misconduct – grade of zero in course; two-year suspension; notation on transcript until graduation; report to Provost for publication
The Student was charged with plagiarism contrary to s. B.i.1(d) and, in the alternative, one charge s. B.i.3(b) of the Code. The Student did not attend the hearing and there was brief adjournment. The Panel was satisfied that the Student had reasonable notice of the hearing and had been emailed in accordance with the Rules of Practice and Procedure of the University Tribunal, and the hearing proceeded.
The University called the course instructor as a witness. He testified that at the start of his course he conducted an “Academic Integrity Workshop” involving a lecture on academic misconduct and a short quiz identifying instances of plagiarism. The Student scored 90% on this quiz. Students were required to submit an essay in hard copy and to Turnintin.com, a plagiarism detection program. The Student’s essay contained passages identical or nearly identical to unsourced material and the Panel had no trouble identifying significant plagiarism.
The Panel found the Student guilty of the first charge and the University withdrew the alternative charge.
The University sought a penalty of a grade of zero in the course, a two-year suspension, and a notation in the Student’s academic record until graduation. The Student has no prior record of academic misconduct and had not registered at the University since the Winter 2014 term.
The Panel assigned a grade of zero in the course, imposed a two-year suspension, ordered a notation on the Student’s transcript for two years, and ordered that the case be reported to the Provost for publication.