Case #880

DATE: September 12, 2017
PARTIES: University of Toronto v. L.L. ("the Student")

Hearing Date(s): June 23, 2017

Panel Members:
Mr. Shaun Laubman, Lawyer, Chair
Professor Kathi Wilson, Faculty Panel Member
Ms. Amanda Nash, Student Panel Member

Appearances:
Ms. Tina Lie, Assistant Discipline Counsel, Paliare Roland Barristers
Mr. Robert Sniderman, Law Student, Downtown Legal Services, for the Student

In Attendance:
Ms. Krista Osbourne, Administrative Clerk and Hearing Secretary, Office of the Appeals,
Discipline and Faculty Grievances, University of Toronto
Mr. Sean Lourim, Technology Assistant, Office of the Governing Council
Professor Eleanor Irwin, Dean's Designate, University of Toronto Scarborough
Professor Wanda Restivo, Dean's Designate, University of Toronto Scarborough

Not in Attendance:
The Student


Trial Division - ss. B.i.1(b), B.i.1(d) of Code - plagiarism and unauthorized aid - student plagiarised parts of paper in one course and obtained unauthorized assistance for paper in another course - student not in attendance - agreed statement of facts - guilty plea - joint submission on penalty - submission accepted with modification to ensure notation on transcript not permanent - zero on courses, three year suspension, notation on transcript for four years or until graduation, publication of the decision with the name of the Student withheld

The Student was charged with plagiarism and obtaining unauthorized assistance under ss. B.i.1(b) and B.i.1(d) of the Code, and alternatively, academic dishonesty under s. B.i.3(b) of the Code, in relation to a July 2016 paper, and charged with the same three offences in relation to a January 2017 paper in another course. In the July 2016 paper the Student used unattributed verbatim text from various sources, and in the January 2017 paper the Student obtained unauthorized assistance with respect to content, style, and language.

The Student did not attend the hearing but, together with the University, submitted an agreed statement of facts and a joint submission on penalty. The Student pled guilty to plagiarism with respect to the July 2016 paper and unauthorized assistance with respect to the January 2017 paper, and the University withdrew the other charges.

The joint submission on penalty was that the Student should be suspended until April 30, 2020, receive a grade of zero in the two courses, and have a notation placed on their transcript until graduation. The Tribunal found that most of this submission was within the acceptable range of penalties for the relevant offences, considering that the Student had one prior plagiarism offence, but was concerned that if the Student decided not to graduate the notation on their record would be permanent. As a permanent notation on the transcript was not the parties' intention, they agreed to instead recommend that the notation expire on the earlier of the Student's graduation or April 30, 2021. Thus the joint submission was accepted with this modification, and the Tribunal ordered that the decision be published with the name of the Student withheld.