Case #834

DATE: February 25, 2016

PARTIES: University of Toronto v J.Y.
Hearing Date(s): February 10, 2016
Panel Members:
Roslyn M. Tsao, Chair
Pascal Van Lieshout, Faculty Member
Michael Dick, Student Member
Appearances:
Robert Centa, Assistant Discipline Counsel
Lucy Gaspini, Manager, Academic Integrity and Affairs, University of Toronto Mississauga
Kalina Staub, Instructor of the Course
In Attendance:
Krista Osbourne, Administrative Assistant, Appeals, Discipline and Faculty Grievances
Trial Division – s. B.i.1(d), s. B.i.1(b) of the Code – plagiarism and unauthorized aid – Student’s assignment very similar to another student’s assignment – not necessary to determine whether the Student or the suspected collaborator drafted the original content – hearing not attended – reasonable notice of hearing provided as per the Rules of Practice and Procedure – finding on evidence – finding on guilt – aggravating factor of failing to respond to the Course Instructor’s emails – University submission on penalty accepted – grade assignment of zero in the Course; 2-year suspension; 3-year notation on the Student’s academic record and transcript; case reported to Provost for publication
Student charged under s. B.i.1(d), s. B.i.1(b) and, in the alternative, s. B.i.3(b) of the Code. The charges related to allegations that the Student submitted an Assignment with a very high degree of similarity to an essay submitted by another student in the Course. The Panel found that the similarities between structure, phrases, grammatical errors, and the peculiar use of some words could not have been innocuous. The Student did not attend the hearing. The Panel determined that reasonable notice had been provided pursuant to the Rules of Practice and Procedure, and it proceeded in the absence of the Student.
Student was found guilty of plagiarism and of obtaining unauthorized assistance. The Panel noted that it was not necessary to determine whether it was the Student or the suspected collaborator who drafted the original content of the Assignment or whether the Student copied the collaborator’s assignment or vice versa; all of these scenarios will attract a finding of guilt provided the Panel concludes that the Students collaborated or that the original drafter was aware that his work was being used for assistance. The Panel found the Student’s failure to respond to the Course Instructor’s emails about the Assignment to be an aggravating factor. The University did not withdraw the alternative charge but did not pursue a finding thereon. The Panel imposed a grade assignment of zero in the Course; a 2-year suspension from the University; a 3-year notation on the Student’s academic record and transcript; and that the case be reported to the Provost for publication.