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We are thankful to be welcome on these lands in friendship. The lands we are situated on are covered by the Williams Treaties and are the traditional territory of the Mississaugas, a branch of the greater Anishinaabeg Nation, including Algonquin, Ojibway, Odawa and Pottawatomi. These lands remain home to many Indigenous nations and peoples.

We acknowledge this land out of respect for the Indigenous nations who have cared for Turtle Island, also called North America, from before the arrival of settler peoples until this day. Most importantly, we acknowledge that the history of these lands has been tainted by poor treatment and a lack of friendship with the First Nations who call them home.

This history is something we are all affected by because we are all treaty people in Canada. We all have a shared history to reflect on, and each of us is affected by this history in different ways. Our past defines our present, but if we move forward as friends and allies, then it does not have to define our future.

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Fair Processes Policy

Classification number LCG 1139
Framework category Legal, Compliance and Governance
Approving authority Board of Governors
Policy owner General Counsel
Approval date October 14, 2016
Review date October 2019
Last updated Editorial Amendments, February 18, 2020

Purpose

In respect of matters affecting the rights and obligations of members of the University community, the University has established Policy Instruments through which it has delegated power to individuals or bodies to make Decisions. The integrity of the University’s Decision-Making Processes is important to the good governance of the University. This Administrative Fairness Policy confirms the University’s commitment to Administrative Fairness in all University Decision-Making Processes and provides a path for the reconsiderations of Decisions made with insufficient Administrative Fairness.

Definitions

For the purposes of this Policy the following definitions apply:

“Administrative Fairness” means that University Decision-Making Processes result in Decisions that are arrived at fairly.

“Balance of Probability” means a standard of proof that applies to all Decisions. This standard requires a Delegated Decision-Maker to, after considering and weighing the evidence, believe a fact, event or allegation is more likely to have occurred than not when arriving at a Decision.

“Complainant” means a University member or other individual who brings an Issue to the attention of a University Recipient.

“Decision” means a judgement made by a Delegated Decision-Maker pursuant to a Decision-Making Process and does not include a decision not to commence a Decision-Making Process.

“Decision-Making Process” means a formal process to make a Decision established and described by an approved Policy Instrument.

“Delegated Decision-Maker” means an individual (including a Process Manager) or group of individuals who are University Members and who are given authority to launch Investigations and to make Decisions under an approved Policy Instrument.

“Hearing” means a part of the Decision-Making Process in which there is an opportunity for a Party to be heard by a Delegated Decision-Maker and/or to defend, refute or challenge the allegations in respect of an Issue.

“Human Resources Determination(s)” means any decision or decisions in respect of or arising out of the hiring, discipline or termination of the employment of a University Member.

“Informal Resolution” means a process by which an Issue is resolved without completion of the Decision-Making Process.

“Investigation” means a part of the Decision-Making Process in which the University conducts a systematic inquiry into an Issue pursuant to Investigation Procedures.

“Investigator” means an individual appointed by a Delegated Decision-Maker to conduct an Investigation.

“Issue” is a concern, problem or complaint raised by a University Member under an approved Policy Instrument.

“Party” means anyone other than a Delegated Decision-Maker or an Investigator, participating in the resolution of an Issue and includes but is not limited to a person raising an Issue, Complainants, Respondents, and any persons who are asked to support the resolution processes as Witnesses.

“Policy Instrument” means the different tools and documents that are utilized to provide direction in the governance and administration of the University.

“Process Manager” is a Delegated Decision-Maker delegated with responsibility to manage all or part of a process as described under an approved Policy Instrument and to make Decisions.

“Respondent(s)” means a University Member or Members who is/are implicated in an Issue.

“Review” is an informal process undertaken to assess whether a Decision-Making Process will be commenced.

“University Member” means any individual who is:

  • Employed by the University (“Employee”);
  • Registered as a student, in accordance with the academic regulations of the University;
  • Holding an appointment with the University, including paid, unpaid and/or honorific appointments; and/or
  • Otherwise subject to University policies by virtue of the requirements of a specific policy (e.g. Booking and Use of University Space) and/or the terms of an agreement or contract.

“University Recipient” means the University Member or members designated in a Policy Instrument to receive a Complaint and/or to whom Issues are reported.

“Witness” means a University Member or other individual who is requested to provide information to assist in responding to an Issue.

Scope and authority

This Policy applies to all Decision-Making Processes at the University.

This Policy does not apply to:

  1. Decision-making processes described in and/or governed by any University collective agreement;
  2. Human Resources Determinations.
  3. Decisions that are made in the day-to-day administration and management of University processes or in the normal course of University business.
The General Counsel, or successor thereof, is the Policy Owner and is responsible for overseeing the implementation, administration and interpretation of this Policy.

Policy

The University is committed to Administrative Fairness in all aspects of its Decision-Making Processes concerning University Members. Administrative Fairness is a relative standard to be judged against the importance or significance of the interests at stake and Policy Instruments will identify whether and the degree to which any or all of the following elements of Administrative Fairness are applicable in a given Decision-Making Process:

  1. A Respondent knows what the Issue is and receives enough information to provide a response;
  2. Parties receive adequate notice;
  3. Decision-Making Processes run in a timely fashion;
  4. Decision-Making Processes are managed in accordance with University Policy Instruments;
  5. A Respondent is supported or, where appropriate, has a right to representation;
  6. A Respondent understands the reasons for a Decision.
Delegated Decision-Makers play an important role in ensuring Administrative Fairness in all aspects of a Decision-Making Process. The University requires Delegated Decision-Makers to ensure that Decision-Making Processes are run in accordance with the applicable Policy Instrument.
The failure of a Delegated Decision-Maker to make a Decision with sufficient Administrative Fairness will give rise to a valid ground of appeal or reconsideration in respect of the Decision. Appeals or reconsiderations will be made according to the process specified in the Policy Instrument guiding the original Decision-Making Process. Procedural errors that do not result in a lack of Administrative Fairness will not constitute a valid ground of appeal or reconsideration.
The University authorizes and encourages Delegated Decision-Makers to facilitate and support Informal Resolution of an Issue at any stage in a Decision-Making Process. If an Issue is not resolved at the Review stage and moves into a Decision-Making Process, a Delegated Decision-Maker must approve any Informal Resolution. Only Informal Resolutions approved by a Delegated Decision-Maker in writing will be binding upon the University.
The onus of establishing that improper conduct occurred shall be on the University.
Decisions will be made by a Delegated Decision-Maker on the basis of a Balance of Probability.
Hearings may be held in writing or orally and must be held in accordance with approved Policy Instruments.
A Delegated Decision-Maker has the authority to suspend or discontinue a Decision-Making process where circumstances warrant such suspension or discontinuance.

Monitoring and review

This Policy will be reviewed as necessary and at least every three years. The General Counsel, or successor thereof, is responsible to monitor and review this Policy.

Relevant legislation

University of Ontario Institute of Technology Act, 2002, S.O. 2002, Chapter 8, Schedule O

By-Law Number 1 of the University of Ontario Institute of Technology, as amended.

Freedom of Information and Protection of Privacy Act, R.S.O. 1990, Chapter F. 31

Related policies, procedures & documents

Student Conduct Policy

Policy Against Violence, Sexual Violence, Harassment and Discrimination

General Academic Regulations, Undergraduate Academic Calendar

Policies and Procedures for Graduate Studies, Graduate Academic Calendar

Responsible Conduct of Research Policy and Procedures

Safe Disclosure Policy and Procedures

Investigation Procedures for Allegations of Student Non-Academic Misconduct (Under development)

Student Judicial Committee Procedures (Under development)

Student Judicial Committee Terms of Reference (Under development)

Workplace Violence Procedures (Under review)

Policy Framework