Case #858 - Appeal 1

Case 858 - Tribunal 1
Case 858 - Tribunal 2
Case 858 - Appeal 2
DATE: June 28, 2017
PARTIES: University of Toronto v. A.S. (“the Student”)

Hearing Date(s): May 18, 2017

Panel Members:
Ms. Lisa Brownstone, Barrister and Solicitor, Chair
Professor Elizabeth Peter, Faculty Panel Member
Professor Allan Kaplan, Faculty Panel Member
Ms. Beth Martin, Student Panel Member

Appearances:
Mr. Robert Centa, Assistant Discipline Counsel, Paliare Roland Barristers
Emily Howe & Glynnis Howe, Students-at-Law, Paliare Roland Barristers
Ms. Lucy Gaspini, Manager Academics Integrity, University of Toronto,
Mississauga
Alexandra DiBlasio, Academic Integrity Assistant, University of Toronto, Mississauga
The Student
Mr. R.S., Student's Father and Representative

In Attendance:
Ms. Tracey Gameiro, Associate Director, Office of Appeals Discipline and Faculty Grievances, ("ADFG")
Mr. Christopher Lang, Director, ADFG, University of Toronto
Mr. Sean Lourim, IT Support, Office of the Governing Council

DAB Decision
NOTE: See the Tribunal decision for detailed facts

Discipline Appeal Board – Student appeal – reasonable notice of hearing – delivery of notice during an academic suspension – delivery of notice via email – no evidence about who accessed email account or which specific emails had been read – exceptional circumstances – s. 7(b) of the Code – Appeal allowed, matter remitted to a new hearing

Appeal by the Student from a Tribunal decision that reasonable notice had been provided by the University. The Student was suspended for a year. During the course of the Student’s suspension, the University filed charges of academic dishonesty against the Student and served him with a Notice of Hearing and a revised Notice of Hearing by email to his University of Toronto email address. As evidence that notice had been given to the Student, the Provost provided an email from the University’s Information Security Department which showed that the Student’s University of Toronto email account had been accessed two weeks prior to the hearing, which led the Panel to conclude that the University’s obligation to give reasonable notice of the hearing to the Student had been discharged. The hearing proceeded without the Student, who was found guilty of academic misconduct.

On appeal, the Student argued that he had not received reasonable notice. The Student testified that he believed that he was effectively suspended until the fall session of 2016 so he was not checking emails sent to his University of Toronto email address during his suspension. There was no evidence that anyone from the University had advised the Student that the University’s polices and guidelines would continue to apply to him while he was under suspension and unable to participate in the academic life of the University, or that he was expected to be active on his University email account during his suspension. The Student had taken steps to appeal the Panel’s decision as soon as he had learned of it. The email from Information Security was insufficient proof that the Student had received notice because it provided no information as to who accessed the Student’s email account or information about whether any specific emails had been accessed. In these exceptional circumstances, the Board exercised its discretion under s. 7(b) of the Code of Behaviour on Academic Matters to remit the matter for a new hearing at which the Student would participate.


Appeal allowed.