DATE: March 24, 2021
PARTIES: University of Toronto v. Y.T.
HEARING DATE: December 3, 2020, via Zoom
Ms. Alexi Wood, Chair
Professor Ken Derry, Faculty Panel Member
Ms. Emily Hawes, Student Panel Member
Ms. Lily Harmer, Assistant Discipline Counsel, Paliare Roland Rosenberg Rothstein LLP
Mr. Daniel Walker, Representative for the Student, Bobila Walker Law LLP
Mr. Christopher Lang, Director, Appeals, Discipline and Faculty Grievances
On two occasions, the Student was charged under s. B.i.1(d) of the Code of Behaviour on Academic Matters, 1995 (the “Code”) on the basis that she knowingly represented an idea or expression of an idea or work of another as her own in an assignment to obtain an academic credit. She was charged alternatively under ss. B.i.1(b) and B.i.3(b) of the Code for these offences.
The parties provided a partial Agreed Statement of Facts (“ASF”), a Joint Book of Documents, as well as a Joint Submission on Penalty (“JSP”). The ASF noted that the Student’s assignment contained sentences and text that appeared in two other students’ assignments as well two paragraphs copied directly from the Professor’s assignment text. Further, the Professor noted that the test code for the oral test was virtually identical to that of a student from the previous year. After hearing the submission of counsel for both parties as well as reviewing the facts outlined in the ASF, the Panel accepted the guilty plea for both charges under s. B.i.1(d) of the Code. The Panel was satisfied that the Student acknowledged that she had entered the guilty plea freely and voluntarily, knowing of the potential consequences she faced, and having obtained the advice of counsel. The University withdrew the alternative charges.
Regarding the submitted JSP, the Panel noted that a JSP should only be rejected if the penalty is contrary to the public interest or would bring the administration of justice into disrepute. The Panel further noted that when there is a JSP, it is not their role to determine if it would impose the same penalty that was proposed by the parties. The Panel found that the proposed penalty falls within the acceptable range of outcomes, it is not contrary to the public interest nor would it bring the administration of justice into disrepute. Therefore, the Panel accepted the penalty proposed in the JSP.
The Panel imposed the following sanctions: a final grade of zero in the course; three and a half year suspension; notation on transcript for just under 54 months or until graduation, whichever comes first; and report to the Provost for publication with the Student’s name withheld.