Case #800

DATE: December 8, 2015

PARTIES: University of Toronto v S.E.
Hearing Date(s): November 23, 2015
Panel Members:
John A. Keefe, Chair
Joel Kirsh, Faculty Member
Hayden Rodenkirchen, Student Member
Appearances:
Robert A. Centa, Assistant Discipline Counsel
Lauren Pearce, Articling Student, Paliare Roland Barristers
Neil Wilson, Counsel for the Student
Kristi Gourlay, Manager, Office of Student Academic Integrity
Martin Loeffler, Director, Information Security and Enterprise Architecture
Karen Reid, Department of Computer Science
In Attendance:
Christopher Lang, Director, Appeals, Discipline and Faculty Grievances
Krista Osbourne, Administrative Assistant, Appeals, Discipline and Faculty Grievances
Trial Division – s. B.i.3(a), s. B.i.1(b) and s. B.i.1(d) of the Code – forged academic record, unauthorized aids, plagiarism – Student hacked into the computer account of the Course Teaching Assistant to alter the mark recorded for his assignment – Student hacked into another student’s computer account, copied the student’s work, and submitted it as his own work – hearing not attended, but Student’s counsel did attend – guilty plea – University still required to prove its case even though the Student did not challenge the evidence – Agreed Statement of Facts – finding on guilty plea – Joint Submission on Penalty accepted – the Student’s agreement to permanently withdraw from the University was an important factor in the Panel’s decision to accept the Joint Submission on Penalty – grade assignment of zero; 4-year suspension; permanent notation on the Student’s academic record and transcript; case reported to Provost for publication
Student charged with three offences under s. B.i.3(a), one offence under s. B.i.1(b), one offence under s. B.i.1(d) and, in the alternative, two offences under s. B.i.3(b) of the Code. The charges related to two separate allegations; first that the Student knowingly forged or in any other way altered or falsified the mark recorded on Assignment #1 in the Course by hacking into the computer account of the Course’s teaching assistant, and second that the Student knowingly used or obtained unauthorized assistance in connection with Assignment #2 in the Course by hacking into the account of a fellow student, copying his work, and submitting it as his own work. The evidence of these charges was overwhelming and not challenged by the Student. The Student was not present at the hearing, but he did appear through his counsel. Counsel for the Student indicated that the Student was entering a no contest plea. The hearing proceeded on the basis that the University would nonetheless prove its case even though the Student would not be challenging the evidence.
The Student was found guilty with respect to the charges under s. B.i.3(a), s. B.i.1(b) and s. B.i.1(d). The University then withdrew the alternative charges under s. B.i.3(b). The Panel accepted the parties’ Agreed Statement of Facts and Joint Submission on Penalty. The Panel considered the fact that the Student agreed to permanently withdraw from the University and not to seek readmission at any time in the future as an important aspect of its decision to accept the Joint Submission on Penalty. The Panel imposed a grade assignment of zero in the Course; a 4-year suspension; a permanent notation on the Student’s academic record and transcript; and that the case be reported to the Provost for publication.