Case #837

Case 837 - Appeal
DATE: August 31, 2016

PARTIES: University of Toronto v M.A.
Hearing Date(s):
April 25, 2016
Panel Members:
Paul Morrison, Chair
Markus Bussman, Faculty Member
Jeffery Couse, Student Member
Appearances:
Rob Centa, Assistant Discipline Counsel
Luisa Ritacca, Counsel for the Student
Kasha Visutskie, Academic Integrity Officer
In Attendance:
Christopher Lang, Director, Appeals, Discipline and Faculty Grievances
M.A., the Student
Note: OVERTURNED ON APPEAL
Trial Division –– s. B.i.1(c) and s. B.i.3(b) of the Code – personation – Agreed Statement of Facts – guilty plea accepted for charges under s. B.i.1(a) –– Joint Submission on Penalty – Student admitted guilt and cooperated throughout –– Joint Submission on Penalty accepted in part – permanent notation rejected – coupled with Student’s voluntary withdrawal from the University would approximate expulsion - grade of zero in course; five-year suspension; five-year notation; report to Provost for publication
The Trial Division of the Tribunal held a hearing to consider charges brought by the University against the Student under the Code of Behaviour on Academic Matters.
Student charged with offences under s. B.i.1(c), s. B.i.1(d), and s. B.i.3(b) of the Code. The charges related to allegations that the student knowingly had someone personate them in an exam and represented the work of another as their own. The University proceeded on the charges under s. B.i.1(c), the charges under s. B.i.1(d), were disposed of.
The Hearing proceeded on the basis of an Agreed Statement of Facts (ASF). In the ASF the Student admitted to hiring another person to take a test for her. The Student further admitted that she was scheduled to meet with the Dean’s Designate for Academic Integrity in the Faculty of Arts and Sciences to discuss the allegations of personation but that instead of attending the meeting herself, she engaged the imposter to personate her at the Meeting, which they did. On the basis of the ASF, the Panel entered a finding of guilty.
The parties presented a Joint Submission on Penalty recommending a grade of zero in the courses; a five-year suspension; and a permanent notation on the Student’s academic record and transcript. The Student also agreed to voluntarily withdraw and not reapply to the University. The Panel noted the presence of mitigating factors including the Student's cooperation, full admission, and young age at the time of offence. The Panel accepted the penalty of a grade of zero in the course and suspension but not the permanent notation on the Student's record. In light of the Student’s agreement to withdraw voluntarily from the University and not to reapply in the future, the Tribunal was concerned that a permanent notation of the sanction would have the effect that the penalty would approximate expulsion from the University. The Panel considered that a sanction with this effect was too severe in the circumstances.
The Panel found the Student guilty of one count of personation contrary to s. B.i.1(c) of the Code and one count of academic dishonesty contrary to s. B.i.3(b) of the Code. The Panel imposed a penalty of a grade of zero in the course, a five-year suspension; a five-year notation on her transcript; and that a report be issued to the Provost.