March 14, 2018

Ontario's Ombudsman Touts Collaboration with University Ombuds

Paul Dubé, the Ombudsman for Canada's most populous province, reports that his office has received more than 500 complaints about universities under his purview. Dubé was appointed to the position in 2016, shortly after the office was granted oversight of public universities, 11 of which had existing Ombuds programs. At the time, there was some concern that the governmental Ombuds would impair or undermine the work of campus Ombuds. It now appears that a collaborative relationship has developed. 

Dubé said he hasn’t yet had to launch a formal investigation into a university-related complaint. Instead, Dubé said that he normally refers complaints to the campus Ombuds. “If the university ombudsman is working on something, then it’s premature for us to get involved.” According to the report in University Affairs, Carolyn Brendon, McMaster University's Ombuds, said the new relationship with the Ontario Ombudsman is a “very positive development.” Nora Farrell, the Ombudsperson at Ryerson University, agreed that having both university-based and provincial Ombuds to respond to complaints offers a good balance. For his part, Dubé said he’d like to see more universities with Ombuds offices. (University Affairs.)

Related posts: André Marin’s IOA Keynote Inspires ColumnistWill the Ontario Ombudsman's New Powers Impact University Ombuds?Ontario Ombudsman Says He May Second-Guess University OmbudsRegistration Opens for Fifth Annual FCO/Osgoode Ombuds Certificate Program

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