This office was established in 1975 as part of the University’s commitment to ensure that, in spite of its size and complexity, the rights of its individual members would be protected. The Office is funded by the University, and is fully accessible to the entire University community – students, faculty, and staff.
The Ombudsperson offers confidential advice and assistance with complaints unresolved through regular University channels. The office is designed to provide an alternative, independent, and informal method of resolving disputes within the University. The Ombudsperson does not advocate for a particular side in a dispute, but instead attempts to reach a fair and just resolution of a problem. On occasion, the Ombudsperson may investigate a complaint and although the Office has no power to change or set aside policies or decisions, the Ombudsperson can make recommendations and work towards a fair outcome. The Ombudsperson can also report trends and keep the University informed about institutional issues.
How can the Office help you?
The Ombudsperson may (with your permission):
- initiate problem solving discussions with other parties
- facilitate effective communication
- provide third party intervention by acting as an informal mediator
- investigate a complaint that is not covered by any existing policy or procedure
- bring a complaint to the attention of the appropriate individuals
- promote fair and equitable processes and, at times, recommend changes in policies and procedures.
When should you contact the Ombudsperson?
- if the normal channels of redress outlined in your academic calendar or handbook are unsuccessful
- if you are unsure how a policy or procedure applies to you
- if you feel a policy or procedure has been applied unfairly or erroneously
- if you are unsure what options exist to solve a problem
- if you need help pursuing a resolution or facilitating communication with someone
- if you want to discuss a sensitive issue
The Ombudsperson maintains office hours at all three U of T campuses. Appointments outside normal office hours may also be arranged upon special request.