Case #895

DATE: August 21, 2017
PARTIES: University of Toronto v. A.S. ("the Student")
Hearing Date(s):
July 24, 2017

Panel Members:
Mr. F. Paul Morrison, Chair
Dr. Joel Kirsh, Faculty Panel Member
Mr. Daniel Lazzam, Student Panel Member

Mr. Robert Centa, Assistant Discipline Counsel, Paliare Roland Barristers
Mr. Robert Sniderman, Law Student for the Student, Downtown Legal Services

In Attendance:
Professor Luc De Nil, Vice-Dean, Students, School of Graduate Studies
Ms. Krista Osbourne, Administrative Clerk and Hearing Secretary, Office of Appeals, Discipline, Faculty Grievances
Mr. Douglas Harrison, New Co-Chair (Observer)
Mr. Suraj Sharma, Media Production Technician, Information Commons, University of Toronto
The Student

Trial Division - s. B.i.1(d) of Code - plagiarism - student copied unattributed text verbatim for Master's thesis - guilty plea - agreed statement of facts - joint submission on penalty accepted - zero on thesis, four year suspension, five year notation, publication of the decision with the name of the Student withheld

The Student was charged with plagiarism under s. B.i.1(d) of the Code, and alternatively, academic dishonesty under s. B.i.3(b) of the Code. The charges related to a Master's thesis that featured verbatim and near-verbatim text from various sources, without any attribution.

The Student and University submitted an agreed statement of facts in which the Student admitted to the offences. The University withdrew the academic dishonesty charge. The Student and University also submitted a joint submission on penalty. The Tribunal found that a joint submission on penalty should only be rejected in circumstances where it would be contrary to the public interest or where the administration of justice would be brought into disrepute, and only where the joint submission is truly unreasonable or unconscionable .

In accepting the joint submission on penalty the Tribunal had regard to the gravity of the offence, the Student's co-operation at all stages of the disciplinary process, and that the Student had no prior record of academic offences. The Tribunal therefore ordered that the Student receive a grade of zero on the thesis, a four year suspension, a five year notation, and publication of the decision with the name of the Student withheld.