FILE: Case #540 (2008-2009)
DATE: May 4, 2009
PARTIES: University of Toronto v. A. A-A.
Hearing Date(s): April 14, 2009
Ms. Roslyn M. Tsao, Chair
Professor Louis Florence, Faculty Panel Member
Ms. Elena Kuzmin, Student Panel Member
Mr. R. Centa, Assitant Discipline Counsel, for the University
No one appearing for the Student
Ms. Lucy Gaspini, Academic Affairs Office, UTM
Trial Division – s. B.i.1(a) of Code – forged document – Letter of Permission for Visiting Student Admission Application – hearing not attended – reasonable notice of hearing – see Code and s.6(3)(b) of Statutory Powers Procedure Act – efforts to effect proper service not negated by failure to review emails or check ROSI mailing address – forgery confirmed by Professor – finding of guilt – prior academic offence – academic success – charges not responded to – recommendation that the Student be expelled as per s. C.ii.(b)(i) of Code; and permanent notation on academic record
Student charged under s. B.i.1(a), and alternatively, s. B.i.3(b) of the Code. The charges related to allegations that the Student submitted a forged Letter of Permission for a Visiting Student Admission Application. The Student did not attend the Hearing and did not respond to the charges. The Panel considered whether reasonable notice of the Hearing had been provided pursuant to the Code and the Statutory Powers Procedure Act, particularly s.6(3)(b). The Panel considered the fact that none of the emails sent to the Student were returned to the sender and that his step-sister confirmed his email address. The Panel found that the Student had received or ought to have received reasonable notice of the charges and Notice of the Hearing. The failure of the Student to have reviewed his emails or check his ROSI mailing address did not negate the University’s efforts to effect proper service. The Hearing proceeded without the Student. According to the evidence submitted by the University, the Student, when confronted with the allegations, claimed that he did not have time to get the required letter from his home university so he made up the letter and forged a signature. The University tendered an affidavit sworn by the Professor at the Student’s home university, whose name and purported signature appeared on the letter. The Panel accepted the evidence, noting that there was no prejudice to the Student because he was not in attendance at the Hearing and therefore did not require the opportunity to cross-examine the Professor. The Professor confirmed that she did not write or sign the letter that contained her allegedly forged signature. Based on the evidence submitted by the University, the Panel found that the Student was guilty of the charges. The Panel noted that the Student had been previously found guilty of forgery by the University and served a one year suspension; that the Student had had modest success at the University; and that the Student had not responded to the charges nor appeared at the Hearing. The Panel found that the Student may have caused a diversion of resources and could have denied other worthy candidates from being accepted. The Panel recommended to the President, further to s. C.ii.(b)(i) of the Code, that the Student be expelled from the University; and that a permanent notation be placed on the Student’s academic record indicating that he had been expelled for academic misconduct.
FILE: Case #479 (2008-2009)
DATE: June 22, 2009
PARTIES: University of Toronto v. L. Y.
Hearing Date(s): December 1, 2008
Ms. Lisa Brownstone, Chair
Professor Magdy Hassouna, Faculty Panel Member
Mr. Jeffrey Clayman, Student Panel Member
Mr. Robert Centa, Assistant Discipline Counsel
Ms. Tina Lee, Assistant to Mr. Centa
Professor Scott Graham, Dean's Designate, UTM
Trial Division – s. B.i.1(b) of Code – unauthorized aids – two examinations – hearing not attended – Student charges not responded to – reasonable notice of hearing – see Statutory Powers Procedure Act – unaware of possession of aid – appearance of cheat sheet and high degree of relevance – unauthorized aid copied into examination booklet – Student knew or ought to have known of possession of unauthorized aid – finding of guilt - prior academic offence – breach of trust evoking at least two year suspension and a suspension of three years or longer for repeat offences – see case of Mr. S.B. – pre–meditation and deceit – timing of offences – failure to engage in process – University submission on penalty accepted – grade assignment of zero in two courses; recommendation that the Student be expelled as per s. C.ii.(b)(i) of Code; and report to Provost
Student charged with two offences under s. B.i.1(b), and alternatively, two offences under ss. B.i.3(b) of the Code. The charges related to a deferred final examination during which the Student was alleged to have been in possession of text relevant to the subject matter of the exam, and to a final examination in which the Student was alleged to have been in possession of, and copying from, text relevant to the subject matter of the exam. The Student did not appear at the Hearing. The Panel considered the reasonableness of notice provided to the Student and found the University had taken repeated steps to try and locate the Student, and that the Student had failed to make herself available or to acknowledge the University’s communications. The Panel found that reasonable notice had been provided and that it would be improper to permit a student to avoid facing charges by a failure to respond to the University’s attempts to reach her. The Panel found that adjourning to permit further attempts at service would not be appropriate as the Student had appeared to have moved. The Hearing proceeded without the Student, in accordance with the Statutory Powers Procedure Act. The Panel heard evidence that with regard to the deferred examination, students were permitted to bring a calculator into the examination room. The exam invigilator testified that inside the Student’s calculator she discovered a piece of paper containing notes. According to the University, the Student agreed that she had had an unauthorized aid but claimed that the note was prepared as a study aid for a previous term test and that by the time of the examination she had forgotten that she had left it in the calculator. With regard to the second examination, students were permitted to bring the course text into the examination room. The course professor testified that he discovered text relevant to the examination in the Student’s course text during the examination. The Panel considered the University’s submissions and evidence and found that on both sets of charges, the University had proven its case on the balance of probabilities and that Student was guilty as alleged under s. B.i.1(b). With respect to the deferred examination, the Panel found that the note appeared to be a cheat sheet as it was written in small writing and folded to fit within the covers of the calculator. The Panel found that the note had a very high degree of relevance to the final examination and that the Student knew or ought to have known that the aid was there. The Panel observed that the Student bore the responsibility for ensuring that she did not bring the unauthorized aid into the examination. With respect to the second examination, the Panel found that contrary to explicit instructions, pre-prepared exam answers were handwritten into the Student’s text book and bore the same headings as the practice questions provided in advance of the examinations and that the same answers where copied word for word into the Student’s examination booklet. The Panel found that the Student knew or ought to have known that she was in possession of an unauthorized aid during the examination. The Student had a prior academic offence for plagiarism. The University claimed that the offences were not concurrent but should be treated as a second and third offence because each offence occurred after a previous offence had been brought to the Student’s attention. In its decision on penalty, the Panel considered the University’s submissions and evidence, as well as the Code and past Tribunal decisions. The Panel agreed with the decision in The University of Toronto v. D.L. and found that students who do not act with honesty undermine the reputation of the University. The Panel considered the decision in The University of Toronto v. Mr. S.B. which found that a breach of trust such a plagiarism and/or concoction should evoke at least a two year suspension for the first offence and a suspension of three years or longer on a subsequent finding. The Panel expressed concern regarding the elements of pre-meditation and deceit in both offences; the timing of the offences; and the failure of the Student to engage in the process or respond to the University’s charges. The Panel found that due to the Student’s failure to participate in the process, it had no evidence of any mitigating factors or prospect of rehabilitation. The Panel accepted the University’s submission on penalty and imposed a grade of zero in the two courses; a recommendation to the President, further to s. C.ii.(b)(i) of the Code, that the Student be expelled from the University; and that a report be issued to the Provost.