Case #906

DATE: October 27, 2017

PARTIES: University of Toronto v. K.T. (“the Student”)
Hearing Date(s): July 28, 2017
Panel Members:
Ms. Amanda Heale, Chair
Professor Pascal van Lieshout, Faculty Panel Member
Ms. Alanis Ortiz Espinoza, Student Panel Member
Appearances:
Mr. Robert Centa, Discipline Counsel, Paliare Roland Rosenberg Rothstein LLP
Ms. Naomi Greckol-Herlich, Counsel for the Student
In Attendance:
Ms. Lucy Gaspini, Manager, Academic Integrity & Affairs, Office of the Dean, UTM
Ms. Alexandra Di Blasio, Academic Integrity Assistant, UTM
Ms. Krista Osbourne, Administrative Clerk and Hearing Secretary, Office of the Appeals, Discipline and Faculty Grievances
Mr. Sean Lourim, IT Support, Office of the Governing Council
Mr. Douglas Harrison, Tribunal Co-Chair, Observer
Not in Attendance:
The Student
Trial Division - s. B.i.1(b) - unauthorized aids – possession of handwritten notes during a final exam – student not present – two prior offences – agreed statement of facts – joint submission on penalty – guilty plea – notation longer than suspension – final grade of zero in the affected course, suspension of three years, transcript notation for four years, and report to the provost.
The Student was charged with possession of an unauthorized aid during a final exam contrary to s. B.i.1(b) of the Code, or in the alternative one charge of academic dishonesty not otherwise described contrary to s. B.i.3(b) of the Code. The charges related to the Student having handwritten notes in his possession during a final exam. At the Dean’s designate meeting, the Student admitted to using the notes during his final exam and signed an Admission of Guilt – Academic Offence form. The matter proceeded by way of an Agreed Statement of Facts and a Joint Submission on Penalty (JSP). Upon acceptance of the Student’s guilty plea in relation to the unauthorized aid charge, the University withdrew the alternative charge that had been laid under s. B.i.3(b) of the Code.
The parties submitted a Joint Submission on Penalty (JSP) proposing: (a) a final grade of zero in the affected course; (b) suspension from the University for three years; (c) a notation of the sanction on the Student’s academic record and transcript for four years; and (d) that the matter be reported to the Provost for publication. The Panel referred to University of Toronto v. M.A. (Case No. 837, December 22, 2016) for the proposition that a joint submission on penalty "may be rejected by a panel only in circumstances where to give effect to it would be contrary to the public interest or would bring the administration of justice into disrepute" (para 25). The Panel took into consideration the seriousness of the offence and the fact that the Student had previously been sanctioned for two prior offences, in one case the possession of an unauthorized aid in an examination, and in the other the receipt of unauthorized assistance on an assignment. Mitigating factors were that the Student had cooperated in the process and entered into the ASF and JSP, thereby showing insight and remorse. The Panel accepted the JSP, ordering a final grade of zero in the affected course; suspension from the University for three years; a notation of the sanction on the Student’s academic record and transcript for four years; and that the matter be reported to the Provost for publication.