Case #926

DATE: November 30, 2017

PARTIES: University of Toronto v. M.N. (“the Student”)
Hearing Date(s): October 30, 2017
Panel Members:
Mr. F. Paul Morrison, Chair
Professor Faye Mishna, Faculty Panel Member
Mr. Harvey Lim, Student Panel Member
Appearances:
Ms. Lily Harmer, Assistant Discipline Counsel, Paliare Roland Barristers
Mr. Ian M. Shemesh, Paralegal, Representative for the Student, Shemesh Paralegal Services
Ms. Lucy Gaspini, Manager, Academic Success and Integrity, Office of the Dean, UTM
Ms. Alexandra Di Blasio, Academic Integrity Assistant, Office of the Dean, UTM
In Attendance:
The Student (Via Skype)
Ms. Krista Osbourne, Administrative Clerk and Hearing Secretary, Appeals, Discipline and
Faculty Grievances
Ms. Sandra Nishikawa, University Tribunal Co-Chair (Observer)
Mr. Brian Alexic, IT Support, Office of the Governing Council
Trial Division - s. B.i.1(b) - unauthorized aids – possession of a cell phone during an exam – s. B.i.1(a) – forged data – s. B.i.1.(d) – plagiarism – copied portions of another student’s essay – no prior offence – agreed statement of facts – joint book of documents – joint submission on penalty – guilty plea – notation longer than suspension – final grade of zero in the affected courses, suspension until a specified date, transcript notation until a specified date, and report to the provost.
The Panel accepted the Student’s guilty pleas to one charge of using a forged document contrary to s. B.i.1(a) of the Code, one charge of plagiarism contrary to s. B.i.1. (d) of the Code, and one charge of using an unauthorized aid contrary to s. B.i.1(b) of the Code. Alternative charges of academic dishonesty not otherwise described contrary to s. B.i.3(b) were laid in relation to each of these three offences. The charges took place in three separate courses and in three separate academic terms. The first charge of forgery related to falsified data that the Student submitted for course credit as part of a lab assignment. The second charge, plagiarism, related to portions of an essay that the student submitted that had been copied from another student’s essay verbatim. The third charge of using an unauthorized aid was laid when the student was caught with a cell phone in his possession during a final exam. The matter proceeded by way of agreed statement of facts and a joint book of documents. Upon acceptance of the Student’s guilty pleas by the Panel, the University withdrew the alternative charges 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 courses; (b) suspension from the University from the date of the Order until October 29, 2020; (c) a notation of the sanction on the Student’s academic record and transcript from the date of the Order until October 29, 2021; and (d) that the matter be reported to the Provost for publication. The Panel stated that a JSP should only be rejected in circumstances where to give it effect would be contrary to the public interest or would bring the administration of justice into disrepute. The Panel further noted that it was its task to determine whether the outcome falls within a range of reasonable outcomes, recognizing the institutional value, efficiency and importance of outcomes that are achieved through JSPs. The Panel noted the Student had no prior offences and had cooperated with the discipline process. The Panel accepted the JSP, ordering a final grade of zero in the affected courses; suspension from the University from the date of the Order until October 29, 2020; a notation of the sanction on the Student’s academic record and transcript from the date of the Order until October 29, 2021; and that the matter be reported to the Provost for publication.