Case #922

DATE: August 1, 2017
PARTIES: University of Toronto v. Y.Z. ("the Student")

Hearing Date(s): May 10, 2017

Panel Members:
Mr. Christopher Wirth, Barrister and Solicitor, Chair
Professor Ato Quayson, Faculty Panel Member
Mr. Andrey Lapin, Student Panel Member

Appearances:
Ms. Lily Harmer, Assistant Discipline Counsel, Paliare Roland Barristers

In Attendance:
Professor Eleanor Irwin, Dean's Designate, University of Toronto Scarborough
Mr. Christopher Lang, Director, Appeals, Discipline and Faculty Grievances
Mr. Sean Lourim, Technology Assistant, Office of the Governing Council

Not in Attendance:
The Student

Trial Division – s. B.i.1(d) of Code – plagiarism– student copied unattributed text verbatim for paper – student did not attend hearing – University provided proper notice of hearing – finding of guilt – zero in the course, two year suspension, three year notation, publication of the decision with the name of the Student withheld – s. 21.1 of the SPPA – course identified in charges incorrect – Tribunal accepted this as clerical error and that Student was not prejudiced, amended the course

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 paper that featured several lengthy passages identical to text found online, without any attribution.

The Student did not attend the hearing. The Tribunal found that the University had discharged its obligation to provide the Student proper notice of the hearing. The Tribunal found the Student guilty of the plagiarism charge and the University then withdrew the academic dishonesty charge. The Student received a grade of zero in the course, a two year suspension, and a three year notation, and publication of the decision with the name of the Student withheld. In determining the penalty, the Tribunal noted that this was a first offence.

The course referred to in the charges differed from that referred to in the evidence, and the Tribunal sought submissions on this issue. The Tribunal concluded that this was a clerical error, and that the course as stated in the evidence was correct. The Tribunal was satisfied that the Student had not been prejudiced in any way by this error as they were aware of the course in question. As such, it exercised its discretion under s. 21.1 of the Statutory Powers and Procedure Act to correct the error in the charges.