DATE: April 28, 2016
PARTIES: University of Toronto v T.I.
Hearing Date(s): April 20, 2016
Roslyn Tsao, Chair
Michael Saini, Faculty Member
David Kleinman, Student Member
Robert Centa, Assistant Discipline Counsel
Lauren Pearce, Student-at-Law, Paliare Roland Barristers
Michael Jones, Program Coordinator, Institute for Communication, Culture, Information & Technology
Rahul Sethi, Instructor of the Course
Catherine Seguin, Dean’s Designate, University of Toronto Mississauga
Lucy Gaspini, Manager, Academic Integrity and Affairs, University of Toronto Mississauga
Tracey Gameiro, Associate Director, Appeals, Discipline and Faculty Grievances
Trial Division – s. B.i.1(d) of the Code – Student plagiarized from the internet for a take home quiz in one Course and for three assignments in another Course – hearing not attended – reasonable notice of hearing provided – finding on guilt – prior academic offence of plagiarism – aggravating factors – University submission on penalty accepted – grade assignment of zero in both Courses; 4-year suspension; 5-year notation on the Student’s academic record and transcript; case reported to Provost for publication
Student charged with four offences under s. B.i.1(d), one offence under s. B.i.1(b) and, in the alternative, two offences under s. B.i.3(b) of the Code. The charges related to allegations from two separate courses; in the first, the Student was charged with plagiarism and obtaining unauthorized assistance in connection with a take home Quiz, and in the second, the Student was charged with plagiarism in connection with three separate Assignments. The Student was not present at the hearing. The Panel concluded that the efforts made to contact the Student by email were reasonable pursuant to Paragraph 9(c) of the Rules of Practice and Procedure. The Panel ordered that the hearing proceed in the Student’s absence.
Student was found guilty with respect to the four charges of plagiarism. The University then withdrew the unauthorized aid charge and the alternative academic dishonesty charges. The Student readily admitted to plagiarizing material from the internet for the Quiz and Assignments in a meeting with the Dean’s designate. The Panel took into account the Student’s admission of guilt and evidence from the Course Instructor as to the marked difference between the Student’s rough drafts and final submitted assignments. The Panel also took into account a number of aggravating factors, including that the Student had participated and been sanctioned in the discipline process fewer than 4 months before these Charges were brought, that the Student was in her third year of studies, that the Charges relate to plagiarism over two courses and two terms and multiple assignments, that there were deliberate and deceitful acts undertaken by the Student in an attempt to hide the plagiarism from detection, and that the Student admitted her guilt but did not participate with counsel to create an Agreed Statement of Facts, which would have reduced the Tribunal’s time and resources. The Panel accepted the University’s submissions on sanction and imposed a grade assignment of zero in both Courses; a 4-year suspension; a 5-year notation on the Student’s academic record and transcript; and that the case be reported to the Provost for publication.