Case #817

DATE: April 19, 2016

PARTIES: University of Toronto v H.F.L.
Hearing Date(s): March 3, 2016
Panel Members:
Rodica David, Chair
Joel Kirsh, Faculty Member
Sean McGowan, Student Member
Appearances:
Lily Harmer, Assistant Discipline Counsel
Lucy Gaspini, Manager, Academic Integrity & Affairs, Office of the Dean, University of Toronto Mississauga
Sherna Tamboly, Counsel for the Student, Downtown Legal Services
In Attendance:
Mr. H.F.L., the Student
Krista Osbourne, Administrative Assistant, Appeals, Discipline and Faculty Grievances
Trial Division – s. B.i.1(b) of the Code – unauthorized aid – Student submitted an Assignment for which he had obtained the answers from a friend who had previously completed the Course – Agreed Statement of Facts – guilty plea – finding on Agreed Statement of Facts – finding on guilty plea – Joint Submission on Penalty – two prior academic offences – Panel emphasized the need for the sanction to reflect the seriousness of the offence and the fact that it was the Student’s third offence – likelihood of repetition not lessened by the Student’s graduation from the University – Joint Submission on Penalty accepted, though the Panel noted it would have considered backdating the suspension further if the requirement for not accepting a Joint Submission on Penalty were not so stringent – 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 from the University; case reported to Provost for publication
Student charged under s. B.i.1(b) of the Code. The charges related to allegations that the Student knowingly obtained unauthorized assistance in a Course Assignment. After the Course Instructor discovered that the computer systems showed no record of the Student accessing the system to complete the assignment, the Student admitted that he had obtained unauthorized assistance to complete it from a friend who had previously completed the Course.
Based on the Agreed Statement of Facts, the Panel found the Student guilty of the unauthorized aid charge. The Panel noted that the Student had two prior offences, emphasizing that the sanction needed to be significant to reflect the seriousness of not only the offence itself, but also the fact that it was a third offence. The Panel did not accept Counsel’s submission that there was no likelihood of repetition because the Student was in a position to graduate after the offence was dealt with, noting that if the Student wished to go onto post graduate work, repetition of the offence could occur. The Panel accepted the Joint Submission on Penalty, but it noted that if the requirements for not accepting a Joint Submission on Penalty were not as stringent as they were, it might have considered backdating the suspension farther back than agreed to by the parties in order to avoid penalizing the Student for the delay in the Tribunal. 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.