DATE: January 13, 2014
PARTIES: University of Toronto v A.B.
Hearing Date(s): June 27 & September 23, 2013
Paul Morrison, Chair
Louis Florence, Faculty Member
Oni Oman, Student Member
Robert Centa, Discipline Counsel for the University
The Student (June 27th only)
Sara Faherty, Assistant Dean Faculty of Law, University of Toronto
Ian Lee, Associate Professor, Associate Dean (J.D. Program), University of Toronto
Natalie Ramtahal, Coordinator, Appeals, Discipline and Faculty Grievances
Trial Division – s. B.i.1(d) and s. B.i.3(b) of the Code – misrepresentation and plagiarism – three counts in three different classes – Agreed Statement of Facts – requested conditional adjournment granted – Student breaches condition, does not appear at penalty hearing – evidence of misleading behavior in career related applications and in communication with the University – Panel concerned that pattern of misconduct will likely continue if Student remains at University – grade of zero in three courses; suspension no more than five years; recommendation of expulsion; report to Provost for publication
Student charged with three offences under s. B.i.1(d) and, in the alternative, three offences under s. B.i.3(b) of the Code. The charges related to alleged misconduct in three distinct courses.
The three charges under s. B.i.1(d) all related to allegations that the Student knowingly represented another’s work as his own in essays in three separate classes. The three offences under s. B.i.3(b) related to allegations that the Student knowingly engaged in a form of cheating not otherwise described in the Code.
The Student pleaded guilty in a June 27th, 2013 hearing and the matter proceeded by way of an Agreed Statement of Facts including a Joint Book of Documents. The Student entered a guilty plea. After reviewing the facts contained in those documents the Panel determined that the facts demonstrated that the charges to which the Student plead guilty were proven. A finding of guilt was entered on the three charges under s. B.i.1(d). The University withdrew the three alternative charges under s. B.i.3(b). The Student requested adjournment of the Penalty phase of the hearing. Adjournment granted so that the Student could prepare, and the Panel urged the Student to take advantage of their indulgence. The penalty phase proceeded on September 23, 2013 to which the Student failed to appear. The University sought a final grade of zero in the three courses in question, suspension from the University for a period no greater than five years, and that the Panel recommend the Student be expelled. The University highlighted several other instances in which the Student misled or concealed the truth in connection with job applications or in communication with the University. Additionally, the University noted the Student sought an adjournment of the penalty phase, ceased communication with the University, and breached the conditions upon which the adjournment was granted. The Student also neglected to disclose his admitted plagiarism in an application to the Gowlings law firm.
The Panel noted the seriousness of the charges and that the Student failed to attend a hearing for which he had requested an adjournment, breaching the conditions on which it was granted. The Panel was also concerned that the pattern of misconduct will likely continue if the Student were to remain at the University. The Panel accepted the Penalty submission of counsel for the University. The Panel found the Student guilty on three counts of plagiarism contrary to s. B.i.1(d) of the Code and imposed a final grade of zero in three courses, a suspension of no more than five years, a recommendation that the Student be expelled, and ordered that the case be reported to the Provost for publication.