Case #883

DATE: July 11, 2017
PARTIES: University of Toronto v. L.Y. ("the Student")

Hearing Date(s): May 9, 2017

Panel Members:
Ms. Roslyn M. Tsao, Chair
Professor Louis Florence, Faculty Panel Member
Mr. Chad Jankowski, Student Panel Member

Appearances:
Ms. Tina Lie, Assistant Discipline Counsel for University, Paliare Roland Barristers
Ms. Emily Home, Student-at-law, Paliare Roland Barristers
Mr. Jonathan G.V. Hendricks, Counsel for the Student

In Attendance:
The Student (by Skype)
Dr. Kristy Gourlay, Manager, Manager and Academic Integrity Officer, Office of the Student Academic Integrity, Faculty of Arts and Science
Ms. Krista Osbourne, Administrative Clerk and Hearing Secretary, Office of Appeals, Discipline and Faculty Grievances
Mr. Sean Lourim, Technology Assistant, Office of the Governing Council


Trial Division - s. B.i.1(a) of Code - forged or falsified test - student forged a "missing sheet" from marked test - unusually high mark not evidence of misconduct - finding of guilt - zero on course, two year suspension, three year notation, publication of the decision with the name of the Student withheld

The Student was charged with one offence of forgery or falsification under s. B.i.1(a) of the Code, and alternatively, academic dishonesty under s. B.i.3(b) of the Code.

The Student submitted a test for re-marking including a forged "extra sheet" they claimed was missed in the first round of marking. The Student's mark on the question on this extra sheet was unusually high compared to their other marks on the test, but the Tribunal found this could not be considered evidence of misconduct. Poor performance elsewhere in a course or on a test cannot be used to boot-strap an allegation of misconduct. To do so would be unfair to students who improve their performance. The University was able to establish a chain of custody showing that the test had been looked at by 6-8 separate markers before being returned to the Student. The Tribunal found it unlikely that the extra page had been missed by all of them yet was in the booklet when returned to the Student. Thus the Student was found guilty of forgery. The academic dishonesty charge was dismissed.

In determining the penalty, the Tribunal noted that the Student had displayed limited remorse and that this offence demonstrated conscious thought, though no previous record. The Student received a grade of zero in the course, a two year suspension, and a three year notation, and the decision was reported to be published with the name of the Student withheld.