Student Ombudsman

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Student Ombudsman


About the Student Ombudsman

The Student Ombudsman impartially reviews student grievances referred to the Student Ombudsman as part of USC's established student complaints and grievances policies and processes.

The Student Ombudsman is impartial and is not an advocate for either students or for the University.

If you have taken all reasonable steps to resolve your grievance within your faculty or department and remain dissatisfied, you may lodge a complaint using USC's established student complaints and grievances policies and processes.

The Student Ombudsman has authority to consult with staff, inspect documents and obtain independent legal advice. Following a formal investigation the Student Ombudsman will provide a report to the Senior Deputy Vice-Chancellor.

The Student Ombudsman may also make recommendations for changes in university practices to prevent recurrences of similar complaints and grievances. The Student Ombudsman reports annually to the Senior Deputy Vice-Chancellor and Vice-Chancellor on types of student complaints and grievances and on the overall operation of the grievance policy and procedures. The Senior Deputy Vice-Chancellor will then report to the University Council.

The role and powers of the Student Ombudsman

The Role of the Student Ombudsman provides details of the functions, powers of inquiry and limitations of the types of matters referable to the Student Ombudsman.

The Student Ombudsman:

  • may be appointed as the Investigation Officer for any formal grievance.
  • when appointed, has broad powers of investigation.
  • may make recommendations to the Senior Deputy Vice-Chancellor independently of any formal grievance process.

The Student Ombudsman cannot:

  • investigate matters in relation to persons who are not a student of USC.
  • force a faculty or department to change a decision or to adopt a recommendation.
  • take on a request to investigate a complaint until all other USC grievance procedures have been completed.
  • investigate complaints about discrimination or harassment, equity, procedures or decisions made by the Student Appeals Committee. These matters are dealt with under their own separate polices and procedures.
  • provide advice to students as to the merit of their case.

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