DATE: September 1, 2015
PARTIES: University of Toronto v B.P.
Hearing Date: August 6, 2015
Jeffrey S. Leon, Chair
Chris Koenig-Woodyard, Faculty Member
Shan Arora, Student Member
Lily Harmer, Assistant Discipline Counsel
Kristi Gourlay, Manager and Academic Integrity Officer, Office of Student Academic Integrity, Faculty of Arts and Science
Michael Pelz, Teaching Assistant of the Course
Virginia Fletcher, Law Clerk, Paliare Roland Rosenberg Rothstein LLP
Natalie Ramtahal, Coordinator, Appeals, Discipline and Faculty Grievances
Trial Division – s. B.i.1(d) and s. B.i.1(f) of the Code – plagiarism and concoction – Student submitted a paper containing material from unattributed sources and used citations that were false or misleading – hearing not attended – reasonable notice of hearing provided as per provisions of the Code and the Statutory Powers Procedure Act – finding on evidence – finding on guilt – prior academic offence of plagiarism and use of concocted references – grade assignment of zero in the Course; 3-year suspension; the earlier of either a 4-year notation on the Student’s academic record and transcript or a notation until his graduation; case reported to Provost for publication
Student charged under s. B.i.1(d), s. B.i.1(f) and, in the alternative, s. B.i.3(b) of the Code. The charges related to allegations that the Student knowingly represented the ideas of another as his own work and that the Student knowingly submitted academic work containing a purported statement of fact or reference to a source which had been concocted. The Student was not present for the hearing. The Panel concluded that the efforts made to contact the Student regarding the hearing via email and courier were reasonable and in accordance with the provisions of the Code and the Statutory Powers Procedure Act.
In a meeting with the Dean’s Designate for Academic Integrity, the Student acknowledged that he had submitted a paper containing material from sources without appropriate acknowledgement and used citations that were false or misleading. In that meeting the Student also stated that he was experiencing some challenges related to managing his disabilities, but he was unable to provide relevant documentation of the disabilities or to explain how they would relate to committing the offences.
Student was found guilty with respect to the charges of plagiarism and concoction. The University then withdrew the alternative charge of academic dishonesty not otherwise described. The Panel took into account the fact that the Student had a prior conviction for charges of plagiarism and the use of concocted references. The Panel also noted that the Student had changed selected words to synonyms, which is indicative of a deliberate attempt to avoid detection of plagiarism. The Panel imposed a grade assignment of zero in the Course; a 3-year suspension; the earlier of either a 4-year notation on the Student’s academic record and transcript or a notation until his graduation from the University; and that the case be reported to the Provost for publication.