At the Faculty/Division

This section deals with the process of Academic Discipline at the Faculty/Divisional level and is designed to help students understand how the process works before his or her case reaches the ADFG Office. First-time visitors to the website may want to read the FAQ.

PLEASE NOTE: The ADFG Office does not handle divisional matters. If your matter has not been referred to the Provost and formal charges have not been laid, you should contact your Registrar.

For a comprehensive list of academic offences applicable to student and faculty members of University of Toronto, please see Section B of the Code of Behaviour on Academic Matters.


B.i.

1. It is an offence for a student to knowingly commit the following acts:

(a) FORGERY of DOCUMENTS

This is applicable to any document required by the University, such as a doctor’s note or certificate, a letter of reference, an email, a course syllabus, etc.

Examples could include, but are not limited to:

  • Using a forged, altered or falsified document such as a medical note or certificate in order to defer writing a test or exam or in order to attain an extension on a due date;
  • Submitting a falsified course syllabus to obtain a transfer credit; or
  • Modifying the answers on a marked test or exam and resubmitting it for grading.

It is an offence whether a document is fabricated in its entirety or in part - i.e., a signature is forged, dates are altered, or the contents of the document are false.

Note, that this offence is closely related to the offence in section B.i.3.(a) of the Code of knowingly forging, altering or falsifying an academic record and/or making use of such records, which typically involves transcripts, admissions documents, personal and biographical information, among other things.

(b) UNAUTHORIZED AID

Use or possess an unauthorized aid, or aids, or obtain unauthorized assistance in any academic examination or term test or in connection with any other form of academic work.

Examples could include, but are not limited to:

  • Bringing a calculator to an exam where a calculator is prohibited, even if it is not used;
  • Bringing notes into a closed book exam where it is not permissible, even if it is not used;
  • Bringing a cellular phone into an exam where it is not permissible, even if it is not used;
  • Hiding notes in a washroom stall that can be referred to during a washroom break; or
  • Making use of verbal or non-verbal signals/communication to provide or obtain unauthorized help during a test or exam.


(c) PERSONATION

Personate another person or to have another person personate you at any academic examination or term test or in connection with any other form of academic work.

Examples could include, but are not limited to:

  • Having someone else write your test or exam for you – even if the other person is not enrolled in the same course or is not a member of the University of Toronto;
  • Writing someone else’s test or exam – even if you are not enrolled in the same course or academic institution (if you’re not currently a University of Toronto student but have been in the past, you may be charged under the Code. If you are from another academic institution, you may be in breach of its policies); or
  • Claiming to be someone else in order to pick up or submit academic work.


(d) PLAGIARISM

Represent as one’s own any idea or expression of an idea or work of another in any academic examination or term test or in connection with any other form of academic work; i.e., to commit plagiarism (for a more detailed account of plagiarism, see Appendix "A" of the Code of Behaviour on Academic Matters).

Examples could include, but are not limited to:

  • Copying word for word, or paraphrasing, someone else's work without clearly indicating that the work is not your own through the use of quotation marks and/or separate indentation together with appropriate citation;
  • Asking an unauthorized person to review your academic work and either make or offer advice on significant changes to the work;
  • Paying someone to complete your academic work; or
  • Purchasing academic work and submitting it as your own.


(e) RESUBMISSION

Submit, without the knowledge and approval of the instructor to whom it is submitted, any academic work for which credit has previously been obtained or is being sought in another course or program of study in the University or elsewhere.

Examples could include, but are not limited to:

  • Renaming a previously graded academic work, altering some of the wording and examples, or adding and removing a few details and submitting it for grading in a different course, without the instructor knowing the origins of the academic work and approving the resubmission.


(f) CONCOCTION
Submit any academic work containing a purported statement of fact or reference to a source which has been concocted (also known as fabrication).

Examples could include, but are not limited to:

  • Creating “facts” that are untrue or unsupported and purporting them to be facts;
  • Making up references that do not exist; or
  • Altering research results, lab results, statistics.

3. It is an offence for a faculty member and student alike to knowingly commit the following acts:

(a) FORGERY of ACADEMIC RECORDS

Forge or in any other way alter or falsify any academic record, or utter, circulate or make use of any such forged, altered or falsified record, whether the record be in print or electronic form.

Examples could include, but are not limited to:

  • Providing evidence that falsely documents your grades in a course and/or your enrollment in an educational or professional institute in order to gain entrance into a course, program, academic or professional institution or in order to gain employment


b) CHEATING, DISHONESTY, MISCONDUCT, FRAUD, MISREPRESENTATION

Engage in any form of cheating, academic dishonesty or misconduct, fraud or misrepresentation not herein otherwise described, in order to obtain academic credit or other academic advantage of any kind.

Examples could include, but are not limited to:

  • Failing to report an instance or instances of cheating for academic advantage;
  • Collaborating with another student when the instructor has not authorized it;
  • Providing test questions to individuals who have yet to write the test (e.g., peers in a different course section);
  • Erasing someone’s name from a test or exam and submitting the test as one’s own;
  • Modifying the answers on a marked test or exam and resubmitting it for grading, without the instructor’s knowledge or authorization to make such modifications;
  • Removing a test or exam from the exam room, without authorization; or,
  • Making use of verbal or any non-verbal (signals) communication to help or obtain unauthorized help during a test or exam.

4. A graduate of the University may be charged with any of the above offences committed knowingly while he or she was an active student, when, in the opinion of the Provost, the offence, if detected, would have resulted in a sanction sufficiently severe that the degree would not have been granted at the time that it was.

For more details on parties to offences, please see Section B.ii. of the Code of Behaviour on Academic Matters.


B.ii.

PARTIES TO OFFENCES:

1. (a) Every member is a party to an offence under this Code who knowingly:

  • (i) actually commits the offence;
  • (ii) does or omits to do anything for the purpose of aiding or assisting another member to commit the offence;
  • (iii) does or omits to do anything for the purpose of aiding or assisting any other person who, if that person were a member, would have committed the offence;
  • (iv) abets, counsels, procures or conspires with another member to commit or be a party to an offence; or
  • (v) abets, counsels, procures or conspires with any other person who, if that person were a member, would have committed or have been a party to the offence.

(b) Every party to an offence under this Code is liable upon admission of the commission thereof, or upon conviction, as the case may be, to the sanctions applicable to that offence.

2. ACTION or INACTION in order to COMMIT OFFENCES

Every member who, having an intent to commit an offence under this Code, does or omits to do anything for the purpose of carrying out that intention (other than mere preparation to commit the offence) is guilty of an attempt to commit the offence and liable upon conviction to the same sanctions as if he or she had committed the offence.

3. GROUP OFFENCES

When a group is found guilty of an offence under this Code, every officer, director or agent of the group, being a member of the University, who directed, authorized or participated in the commission of the offence is a party to and guilty of the offence and is liable upon conviction to the sanctions provided for the offence.

We strongly encourage students to seek legal representation. You have the right to be represented before the University Tribunal, although some students choose to represent themselves.


Downtown Legal Services
DLS is staffed by law students working under the supervision of lawyers, and is a service provided free of charge to students who qualify.
655 Spadina Avenue
Toronto, ON M5S 2H9
416-978-6447
Downtown Legal Services Website


Lawyer Referral Service
The Law Society of Ontario operates the Lawyer Referral Service. You will be able to speak to a lawyer and receive up to a 30 minute consultation for free.
416-947-3330 (within the GTA)
1-800-268-8326 (Toll Free)
Law Society Referral Service Website


Legal Aid Ontario
In 1998, the Ontario government enacted the Legal Aid Services Act in which the province renewed and strengthened its commitment to legal aid. The Act established Legal Aid Ontario (LAO), an independent but publicly funded and publicly accountable non-profit corporation, to administer the province's legal aid program.
416-979-1446 (Toronto)
1-800-668-8258 (Toll Free)
Legal Aid Website


For more resources, click here.

If an instructor has reasonable grounds to believe that you have committed an offence under the Code, the instructor will:

  • Inform you of the action or conduct that you are suspected of committing, and give reasons
  • Invite you to discuss the matter

Nothing that the student says in the discussion with the instructor may be used or receivable in evidence against the student. (The Code of Behaviour on Academic Matters, C.i.(a)(2) - "Instructors Duties")

If the instructor is satisfied that no academic offence has been committed, he/she will inform you and no further action will be taken by the instructor, unless new evidence comes to the attention of the instructor. If there is new evidence, the case may again proceed. (Code of Behaviour on Academic Matters, C.i(a)(3) - “Instructor's duties”)

When the Dean and/or the Department Chair has been informed by the instructor that you have been suspected of academic misconduct, the Dean and/or the Department Chair will:


In cases where the Department Chair and the course instructor are present at the Dean’s meeting with you, the Dean or his/her designate, will conduct the interview. You are entitled to seek advice and be accompanied by counsel. You are not obliged to say anything at the meeting, and if you do make a statement of admission, it may be receivable in evidence at a Tribunal hearing. (Code of Behaviour on Academic Matters; Section C.i(a)(5) and C.i(a)(6).)

When you attend the Dean’s Meeting a few outcomes are possible. Listed below are some possibilities and their potential outcomes.

1. Admit guilt

a) If resolved at the Divisional level, the Dean will determine which sanctions are most appropriate, and you will be informed in writing. The maximum sanction the Dean can impose is a one-year suspension. (Code of Behaviour on Academic Matters, Section C.i.(b) “Divisional Sanctions”)

OR

b) The matter can be forwarded to the Provost for formal charges to be laid. (Code of Behaviour on Academic Matters, C.ii(b) “Tribunal Sanctions”)


2. Maintain that you have not committed an offence

a) The Division may determine that no offence has been committed.

OR

b) The Division may choose to forward the matter to the Provost for formal charges to be laid.


3. If you Do Not attend the meeting with the Dean

If you decide not to participate in the meeting with the Dean, the Division may choose to forward the matter to the Provost for formal charges to be laid.

NOTE: Any admission that you make in a meeting with the Chair or Dean, may be used as evidence against you. A notetaker may be present at the Dean's Meeting.

The sanctions listed below are found in the Code of Behaviour on Academic Matters, Section C.i.(b) "Divisional Sanctions"

Divisional Sanctions (Penalties)

One or more of the following sanctions may be imposed by the Dean where a student admits to the commission of an alleged offence:

  • (a) an oral and/or written reprimand;
  • (b) an oral and/or written reprimand and, with the permission of the instructor, the resubmission of the piece of academic work in respect of which the offence was committed, for evaluation. Such a sanction shall be imposed only for minor offences and where the student has committed no previous offence;
  • (c) assignment of a grade of zero or a failure for the piece of academic work in respect of which the offence was committed;
  • (d) assignment of a penalty in the form of a reduction of the final grade in the course in respect of which the offence was committed;
  • (e) denial of privileges to use any facility of the University, including library and computer facilities;
  • (f) a monetary fine to cover the costs of replacing damaged property or misused supplies in respect of which the offence was committed;
  • (g) assignment of a grade of zero or a failure for the course in respect of which the offence was committed;
  • (h) suspension from attendance in a course or courses, a program, an academic division or unit, or the University for a period of not more than twelve months. Where a student has not completed a course or courses in respect of which an offence has not been committed, withdrawal from the course or courses without academic penalty shall be allowed.


Recording on Academic Transcript

The Dean shall have the power to record any sanction imposed on the Student's academic record and transcript for such length of time as he or she considers appropriate. However, the sanctions of suspension or a notation specifying academic misconduct as the reason for a grade of zero for a course shall normally be recorded for a period of five years.

Provost's Guidelines

The Provost shall, from time to time, indicate appropriate sanctions for certain offences. These guidelines shall be sent for information to the Academic Board and attached to the Code as Appendix "C".

The Provost, or the Provost's designate, on the recommendation of the Dean will review the evidence in support of the allegation(s). If the evidence is sufficient to support the allegation(s), the Provost will formally lay charges. You will receive a copy of the charges at the address (mailing address and/or email address) maintained on ROSI , and will be presumed to have received those charges at that address. Please see the university's Policy on Official Correspondence with Students.

You are responsible for maintaining and advising the University, using the Repository of Student Information (ROSI), of a current and valid postal address as well a current and valid “utoronto” email address; if you choose, you can also provide an additional email address that you access/use, send/receive correspondence from, and check on a regular basis.

This responsibility to maintain updated contact information on ROSI will be used by the University and possibly by the Tribunal to presume that you have received copies of the charges, notices of hearing, and related documents sent to the most recent addresses provided.

Failure to maintain, update and regularly check for correspondence may result in missing important information. This will not be considered an acceptable rationale for failing to receive official correspondence from the University.

You are expected to monitor and retrieve your mail, including electronic messaging account(s) issued to you by the University, on a frequent and consistent basis. You have the responsibility to recognize that certain communications may be time-critical.

You are also expected to respond to communications from the University as required. See the Policy on Official Correspondence with Students.