Case #367

DATE: information not available
PARTIES: University of Toronto v. M.M.

Hearing Date(s): August 11, 2005

Panel Members:
Melanie L. Aitken, Co-Chair
Professor Ikuko Komuro-Lee, Faculty Member
Joan Saary, Student Member

Christopher Burr, for M. M.
Lily Harmer, Assistant Discipline Counsel for the University

Trial Division - s. B.i.1(d) and s. B.i.1(f) of Code – plagiarism and concoction – essay - guilty plea – Agreed Statement of Facts – Joint Submission on Penalty - two prior academic offences – proposed sanction within range of previous decisions - nature of offence and Student’s prior misconduct accounted for – extension of notation on transcript beyond graduation not justified - Joint Submission on Penalty accepted with modification – grade assignment of zero for course; three-year suspension – five-year notation on transcript, or until graduation – and report to Provost

Student charged under s. B.i.1(d) and s. B.i.1(f), and alternatively, under s. B.i.3(b) of the Code. The charges related to allegations that the Student submitted an essay, portions of which she did not write and/or properly cite, and in which some or all of the citations and references were concocted. The Student pleaded guilty to the charges under s. B.i.1(d) and s. B.i.1(f) of the Code. The parties submitted an Agreed Statement of Facts. The Panel considered the Agreed Statement of Facts and the submissions of the parties and accepted the Student’s plea. The parties submitted an Agreed Summary of Facts with respect to the sanction. The Student had two prior convictions for plagiarism. The Panel found that it was significant that the recommendations as to sanction were joint and that the Student cooperated with the University and pleaded guilty to the charges. The Panel found that the proposed sanction was within the range of sentences previously imposed in similar cases and that it properly accounted for the gravity and nature of the offence, particularly in light of the Student’s prior academic misconduct. The Panel accepted the Joint Recommendation on Sentence subject to one modification. The Panel found that extending the five-year notation on the Student’s academic record beyond graduation, should the Student do so within five years, was not justified. The Panel found that while the University had an interest in being able to access the information in the notation for a period of five years, irrespective of a matriculation, to further the interest of protection, there was not enough to be gained by way of deterrence or reformation to justify it. The Panel imposed a grade of zero in the course; a three-year suspension; a five-year notation on the Student’s academic record and transcript, or until graduation; and that a report be issued to the Provost.