Five-Year Suspension


FILE: Case #531 (2008-2009)
DATE: April 20, 2009
PARTIES: University of Toronto v. Mr. F.C.


Hearing Date(s): -

Panel Members:
Ms. Rodica David Q.C., Chair
Professor Bruno Magliocchetti, Faculty Member
Mr. Sam Liu, Student Member

Appearances:
Mr. John N. H. Britton, Dean’s Designate, for the University of Toronto
Mr. Robert A. Centa, Assistant Discipline Counsel, for the University of Toronto
Mr. Khalid Janmohamed, assisting Mr. Robert A. Centa
Mr. F. C., the Student
Mr. Nick Shkordoff, Law Student for the Student
Ms. Charlotte Macdonald, assisting Mr. Nick Shkordoff
Mr. Daniel Saposnik, assisting Mr. Nick Shkordoff

Trial Division – charges under Code – plagiarism, forgery of documents and impersonation – course work and final examinations – Agreed Statement of Facts – guilty plea – depression and pressure exerted by family – cultural background made it difficult to seek help from University services – each case depends on its own facts – see Appendix “C” to Code – circumstances mitigated against recommending expulsion – grade assignment of zero for two courses; five-year suspension; ten-year notation on transcript; and report to Provost – ten-year suspension would have been imposed had authority to do so existed

Student charged under the Code. The charges related to two courses in which the Student was alleged to have submitted two plagiarised essays, submitted an examination booklet under a false name in one examination, and had another person sit in for him while giving a false name on another examination. The Student pleaded guilty to the charges. The parties filed a Joint Book of Documents and an Agreed Statement of Facts. On the basis of the Agreed Statement of Facts and Joint Document Brief, the Panel accepted the Student’s plea on the charges. The Panel considered the Student’s evidence on sanction and found that depression coupled with the pressure exerted upon him by his parents accounted for his decision to pursue the route that resulted in the charges. The Student could have dropped the course when he had an opportunity and desire to do so but was pressured by his mother to continue. The Panel found that it was possible that the Student’s cultural background made it difficult for him to seek help from University services. The Panel considered Appendix “C” to the Code, and found that each case must depend on its own facts. The Panel considered case authorities presented by both parties and found that the facts of the case of Mr. P.M. most closely resembled the case. The Panel found that while the Student’s conduct was egregious and deserved a serious sanction, the circumstances mitigated against recommending expulsion. The Panel imposed a grade of zero in the two courses; a five-year suspension; a ten-year notation on the Student’s academic record and transcript; and that a reported be issued to the Provost. The Panel stated that it would have imposed a ten-year suspension had it the authority to do so.