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Sunday, November 05, 2017

Chris Spence fights to keep his PhD amid plagiarism findings | Toronto Star

Photo: Andrea Gordon
"University of Toronto to hear appeal Thursday of tribunal recommendation that doctorate be revoked" says Andrea Gordon, education reporter.

Former TDSB education director Chris Spence is fighting back against a U of T ruling that would rescind his PhD thesis for plagiarism. 
Photo: STEVE RUSSELL / TORONTO STAR FILE

When allegations of plagiarism exploded in early 2013, Chris Spence lost his sterling reputation and his job leading Canada’s largest school board.

Last year, he was stripped of his teaching licence, and in June, a University of Toronto tribunal recommended his PhD be revoked.

But Spence, disgraced former director of the Toronto District School Board, continues to fight back.

On Thursday, his lawyers will appeal the June decision by an independent tribunal at U of T, which found him guilty of plagiarism in his dissertation, and recommended he lose his PhD and be expelled.

That ruling was made after the tribunal was presented with 67 examples of passages in Spence’s paper that were not properly credited to others or cited as sources.

But Spence’s notice of appeal argues the tribunal erred by failing to grant an adjournment when he was unable to attend the proceedings for medical reasons. As a result, Spence was “denied the opportunity to present a full defence,” says the notice.

It alleges potential bias on the part of the tribunal chair, a conflict of interest by the university’s law firm and concludes the penalty recommended “was excessive” and didn’t properly consider Spence’s circumstances or less severe options.

Spence, currently living in Chicago, is not required or expected to attend the Thursday appeal, his lawyer Darryl Singer said in an email.
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Chris Spence seeks new hearing on PhD plagiarism accusations by
Andrea Gordon, education reporter.

Source: Toronto Star


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