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What We Do

The Ombudsperson will receive and consider the concern(s) raised when:

(a) the member has availed herself/himself of all usual processes but has not been able to resolve her/his concern because of an alleged unfair or delayed application of such processes; or

(b) the member, for good reason, is unable to follow the usual processes.

In exercising this role, the Ombudsperson will have unrestricted access to all University personnel and may examine the actions or decisions of the York University authority in question in order to determine whether such actions/decisions conform to the University's stated processes and with procedural fairness.

In the course of her/his review, the Ombudsperson may do any or all of the following:

  • listen and help to analyze the concern;
  • identify and explain relevant university policies, procedures and practices;
  • help define and evaluate options and strategies;
  • help resolve problems informally and expeditiously;
  • make referrals to other campus and community resources on consent of the parties, mediate conflicts;
  • on consent of the parties, initiate discussions with other parties involved;
  • investigate a problem, complaint, or concern.

While the Ombudsperson does not have the authority to over-rule decisions, impose solutions or interfere with collective agreements or the collective bargaining process, she/he can consider complaints outside of the realm of collective agreements, make informal enquiries, carry out formal reviews, draw conclusions and make appropriate recommendations to the President and Senior Administrators about specific actions or decisions. In addition, the Ombudsperson may also make recommendations about York University policies, practices and/or procedures; including recommending changes to policies or procedures that may be outdated, ineffectual or arbitrary.

The Ombudsperson acts impartially and objectively, neither as an advocate for individuals, nor as a defender of the University, but rather as a seeker of procedural fairness and reasonable outcomes. The Ombudsperson is independent of York University's formal administrative structure and all other departments. This ensures that any matters brought to the attention of the Ombudsperson are dealt with in an impartial and confidential manner.

Once the Ombudsperson has made a decision or recommendation, in the form of a written report to the President (with copies to the person initiating the involvement of the Ombudsperson), there will be no further reviews or appeals.