Case #931

DATE: October 27, 2017

PARTIES: University of Toronto v. C.W. (“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
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(d) – plagiarism – unattributed sources from the internet in an essay – student not present – two prior offences – agreed statement of facts – joint book of documents – joint submission on penalty – guilty plea – start date – consecutive penalties – 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 plagiarism contrary to s. B.i.1(d) 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 an essay that the Student had written that contained text from the website Wikipedia that the Student had copied verbatim and expressed as her own ideas. At the Dean’s designate meeting, the Student admitted to submitting the plagiarized essay . The matter proceeded by way of an Agreed Statement of Facts, Joint Book of Documents and a Joint Submission on Penalty (JSP). Upon acceptance of the Student’s guilty plea in relation to the plagiarism 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 JSP proposed that the 3 year suspension commence immediately following the conclusion of the 12 month suspension being served by the Student for a previous academic misconduct offence. The Panel took into consideration the seriousness of the offence and the fact that the Student had previously been sanctioned for obtaining an academic advantage over other students and for unauthorized assistance and plagiarism. The plagiarism offence was admitted by the Student only three months prior to the conduct that gave rise to the charge in this case. 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 including the University’s submission that sentences not overlap when they both arise from academic misconduct., and ordered a final grade of zero in the affected course; suspension from the University for three years to start after the current suspension expired; 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.