The Office of the Ombudsperson is primarily concerned with ensuring that everyone involved in a dispute is treated fairly and that decisions affecting students are made promptly and fairly. As a beginning point for the effective resolution of concerns and complaints it is very important that those involved understand the issues that are in dispute and the policies and procedures that are applicable to the particular circumstances.
You may contact us if you feel that you have been treated unfairly or if you have tried to resolve an issue, but now are unsure of next steps or the options available to you. More specific information about the most common issues facing students can be found in the FAQ section, such as academic appeals; academic misconduct; academcic standing, re-instatement, and complaints about faculty or staff members.
If you contact us we will:
- Listen carefully to your concerns,
- Make referrals so as to assist you to obtain the information you need,
- Discuss your options and assist in the generation of options and alternative strategies,
- Help to informally and impartially resolve any conflicts, and
- When appropriate, mediate or facilitate discussions between students, staff or faculty members or if appropriate, investigate.
We will not:
- Accept notice of a complaint or speak on behalf of the university – the Office is not an “office of record” (i.e. we are independent)
- Take any action or speak with anyone outside of the office unless we have your explicit consent (i.e. contact with the Ombuds Office is confidential)
- Automatically take your point of view or the university’s point of view – we are concerned about what is fair for all concerned (i.e. we will view all the information as impartially as possible)
The Ombudsperson can access all relevant University records and has the authority to investigate final decisions to determine whether a student has been treated fairly and whether applicable university policies and procedures have been followed; are adequate; and have been consistently applied. In order to determine whether or not a decision has been made fairly, the Ombudsperson uses the (PDF file) Administrative Fairness Checklist.
We are involved in Ombuds outreach, including consulting on policy development, training and presentations to the University community about fairness and other Ombuds-related topics.