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What the ombudsman can and cannot do

Ombudsman services are not an alternative to internal complaint resolution mechanisms; the ombudsman allows existing self-regulatory mechanisms to run their course, and intervenes only when existing recourses have been exhausted or cannot be exercised.

The ombudsman can:

  • listen in objectivity and without bias;
  • investigate to hear the different perspectives of information;
  • prevent or resolve a situation in which principles of equity may not have been respected;
  • provide further information on regulations, issues, and implications of different situations;
  • provide references to available resources;
  • participate in the resolution process for mutual satisfaction;
  • facilitate exchanges with faculty authorities;
  • obtain any documentation relevant to the investigation;
  • contact anyone relevant to providing further information on a situation;
  • intervene in trying to resolve disputes;
  • provide recommendations to improve student file management practices;
  • follow up on recommendations with relevant authorities.

The ombudsman cannot:

  • act as a legal representative or advisor;
  • act as a substitute in university administration;
  • intervene in cases involving the application or interpretation of collective agreements or work protocols;
  • intervene when a recourse has not been exercised;
  • intervene when the situation is the subject of legal recourse or when external proceedings have been initiated;
  • act as a court of law or impose a point of view;
  • act as a transmission agent;
  • be involved in administrative and decision-making structures;
  • process requests that are not relevant to the UdeS.