The University of Western Ontario


Annual Report
of the
Office of the Ombudsperson


Summary of Recommendations and Interventions Made Over the Course of the Year


Recommendations are often verbal, and are often presented as suggestions.

Legend of outcomes:
A = recipient of recommendation or suggestion agreed to consider
C = considered, no change needed
M = considered, made change
Note: Only cases where the Ombuds Office made a suggestion or recommendation to someone in authority at the University are coded as above. In other situations (where no A, C or M are shown), suggestions or recommendations may have been made to the enquiring student, or the intervention may have been purely mediative or facilitative.

Recommended review of decision re individual student (usually to Dean or Associate Dean)
Admission scholarship - M
Merit awards in case of midyear transfer student - M
Appeal for academic accommodations in view of an injury - M
Special exam appeal - M
OSAP for student with disability - M
Dean's waiver - M (two cases)
Fees issue - M
Late fee penalty - M

Recommended substantive decision or procedural change re individual student
Set up procedures to ensure fair, timely decisions re student with a disability - A
Provide documentation requested by former student for OSAP loan forgiveness - M
Provide alternate process for grade appeal, given perceived conflicts of interest - M
Change penalties in scholastic offence situation - M (penalty reduced)
Change decision in scholastic offence situation - M (charge dropped)
Show Letter of Permission course with grade between 50 and 60 on academic record in light of new policy - M
Provide adequate reasons for denial, or else grant Letter of Permission to fourth year student - M
Provide special exam - M
Provide alternative approach in a parking ticket situation - M
Student requested special exam; evidence not verified: encouraged program to follow up, take evidence seriously and try to verify - M
Consider putting student back on a waiting list - M
University to refrain from initiating any contact with a graduate - M
Penalty fee issue: after investigation, recommendations made to both parties - M
Increase funding for a graduate student because of misleading information - M

Investigated situation of individual student but found university's decision fair (so no recommendation to decision maker).
Specifics of program's commitment to a student who withdrew for health reasons.
Funding provided to a graduate student (4 different situations).
Decision regarding student's scholastic offence.
Denial of permission to withdraw late from courses.
Decision not to grade work submitted late.
Denial of admission because application incomplete.
Effective date of withdrawal for student who withdrew because of illness.
Denial of permission to withdraw late without academic penalty.
Scholastic offence penalty - student abandoned appeal.
Appeal to remain in a graduate program - student abandoned appeal.
Scholastic offence - student abandoned appeal.
Student believed decision maker was biased / no evidence found in support.
Denial of request for special exam.
Individual not hired; claim that previous investigation inadequate not sustained.
Program requirements - an irregularity lead to confusion - decision stood, but authority apologized for irregularity.

Considered situation presented by student and declined to investigate or declined to recommend.
Degree designation: university already providing only possible remedy.
Student let go from volunteer position.
Student banned from a facility for a period of time.

Facilitated an outcome or process (made no suggestions or recommendations).
Special exam to replace allegedly unfair exam.
Appeal of penalty fee.
Sorting out confusion regarding program requirements.
Resolving OSAP situation.
Correction of error on academic record, paving the way for student's readmission.
Worked with student charged under Student Code of Conduct; student allowed to remain academically active.
Understanding regarding need for particular textbook.
Complex grade appeal involving a student with a disability.
Tuition reimbursement allegedly outstanding after several years.
Communication between student and authorities after property stolen.
Communication between students and instructor.
Communication between student and a support service.
Grading situation.
Status in a graduate program.
Student and merchant difference of opinion resolved.
Deletion of courses after student suffered head injury, leading to refund.
Residence discipline situation.
Communication regarding a safety issue.
Communication re request for relief.
Getting final grade for course completed in past.
Graduate student situation.
Attempted to facilitate communication between two students re outstanding bills.
Communication regarding program requirements.
Student transfer to another faculty.
Financial aid request.
OSAP situation.
Required to withdraw.
In course problems.
Code of Student Conduct issue.

Watched process - no need to intervene actively.
Request for special exam - resolved.
Request to delete course from record - resolved.

External situation involving child - suggestions led to temporary solution.
Staff issue - findings accepted.

Recommended change to policy, procedure or practice (to a Dean's Office or other unit or to SCAPA) These recommendations usually came about because of specific cases, but were independent of those cases.
Clear rules for participation on teams - A
Consider how to create welcoming environment for international students - A
Revisions to policies, procedures for granting special exams, INC grades - M
Recommendations to a Dean's Office - A:

  1. encourage student to submit form promptly if decision has been made
  2. keep up practice of making notes of counselling interviews
  3. keep up practice of providing concrete document to student, e.g., copy of record with instruction re next step
  4. flag response pending files, and follow up as needed
  5. provide information about how to complain if student appears dissatisfied
  6. keep up practice of calming distressed individuals by reflecting feelings or using other techniques
  7. initiate practice of case conferencing in challenging situations
  8. continue to keep up-to-date regarding campus services
  9. treat all persons with respect regardless of shortcomings in their own behaviour
Policy and practice re admissions with advanced standing in a specific program - C
Assessment of and communication re fees, concurrent programs - A
Interpretation of full-time requirement for scholarship eligibility (two different situations) M
Job-related: review rules regarding attendance at training A
Review a charge for an evaluation tool to ensure compliance with Ministry guidelines on fees: A (program found in compliance)
Keep individual student health information in locked cabinet - M
Review supports in place for students with psychiatric disabilities - A

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