11 Policies and Guidelines

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​​​​​​​​​​Important School of Graduate Studies policies and guidelines affecting graduate students are included in the SGS Calendar. However, there are numerous additional policies and guidelines affe​cting graduate studies. These appear on the SGS website.

Furthermore, University of Toronto-wide policies affecting students are posted at www.governingcouncil.utoronto.ca/Governing_Council/Policies.htm.

11.1 University Assessment and Grading Practices Policy​​

The University Assessment and Grading Practices Policy sets out the principles and key elements that should characterize the assessment and grading of student work in for-credit programming at the University of Toronto.

The purpose of the University Assessment and Grading Practices Policy is to ensure:

  • that assessment and grading practices across the University are consistent and reflect appropriate academic standards;

  • that student performance is evaluated in a manner that is fair, accurate, consistent, and objective and in compliance with these academic standards;

  • that the academic standing of every student can be accurately assessed even when conducted in different divisions of the University and evaluated according to different grading scales.

This policy applies to the evaluation of student performance in for-credit programming at both the graduate and undergraduate level within all divisions/Faculties of the University.

For graduate programs and students, any reference to “division/Faculty” should be understood to refer to the School of Graduate Studies, and any reference to department should be understood to refer to the relevant graduate unit.

The School of Graduate Studies is the only division that may develop additional grading regulations and guidelines for graduate studies. Where undergraduate and graduate practices differ, this has been indicated explicitly in the text. Otherwise, all clauses should be understood to apply equally to students at either level of study. Divisions/Faculties may wish to develop procedures for implementing these policies according to their needs. These procedures must be consistent with this policy. In case of conflict or lack of clarity, this policy will be understood to take precedence.

The University Assessment and Grading Practices Policy comprises three parts:

Part A: Grades
Part B: Grading Practices
Part C: Designators and Other Non-Grade Symbols Approved for Use in Reporting Course Results

The full text of the University Assessment and Grading Practices Policy (PDF) appears on the University of Toronto website.

11.2 Academic Continuity Policy

The University of Toronto is committed to fulfilling its core academic mission of educating students. It recognizes that events such as pandemic health emergencies, natural disasters, prolonged service interruptions, and ongoing labour disputes are potential threats to academic continuity. Good stewardship requires that the University undertake appropriate planning and preparation to promote continuity. At the same time, the University must be prepared to respond to extraordinary circumstances in which the normal academic operations of the University may be disrupted.

This policy provides a framework that will guide the University in enhancing its ability to fulfil its academic mission in the face of ​​potential threats to academic continuity. It is intended to apply to circumstances and events that are potential threats to the continuity of the academic operations of the University and relates entirely to the principles and processes that should guide the University in this context. It applies to instances when the academic continuity of one or more programs, one or more departments or Faculties, one or more campuses, or the whole University is disrupted and changes need to be made to the normal academic operations of the University.

The full text of the Policy on Academic Continuity (PDF) appears on the University of Toronto website.

11.3 Intellectual Property​

The University believes that all contributors to the successful realization of new technologies and knowledge should share fairly and appropriately in the benefits. For details and further information, visit www.research.utoronto.ca.

11.4 Research Ethics​

The University's Policy on Ethical Conduct in Research requires each academic division to formulate its own guidelines. The divisional guidelines apply to graduate students enrolled in graduate units within those Faculties. See also Research Involving Human Subjects on the SGS website.

11.5 Policy on Academic Sanctions for Students Who Have Outstanding Obligations to the University​

Academic sanctions are applicable to any student who has an outstanding obligation to the University. Recognized obligations are as follows:

  1. tuition fees

  2. academic and other incidental fees

  3. residence fees and other residence charges

  4. library fines

  5. bookstore accounts

  6. loans made by colleges, Faculties, or the University

  7. health service accounts

  8. unreturned or damaged instruments, materials and equipment

  9. orders for the restitution, rectification, or the payment of damages, fines, bonds for good behaviour, and requirement of public service work imposed under the authority of the Code of Student Conduct.

The following academic sanctions will be imposed on students who have outstanding recognized financial obligations to the University.

  1. Statements of results or official transcripts of record or both will not be issued.

  2. The University will not release the official document (called the diploma) which declares the degree earned, nor provide oral confirmation or written certification of degree status to external enquirers. Indebted graduands will be allowed to walk on stage and have their names appear on the convocation program.

  3. Registration will be refused to a continuing or returning student. Payments made by continuing or returning students shall be applied first to outstanding University debts, and second, to current fees.

The full text of the Policy on Academic Sanctions for Students Who Have Outstanding University Obligations appears on the University of Toronto website.

11.6 Code of Behaviour on Academic Matters

The Governing Council of the University of Toronto has approved a Code of Behaviour on Academic Matters applying to members of the University. The Code of Behaviour on Academic Matters addresses the responsibilities of all parties to the integrity of the teaching and learning experience. It concerns the accountability of faculty members and students as they cooperate in all phases of this relationship. Honesty and fairness must inform these activities, the foundation of which is mutual respect for the aims of education and for those ethical principles which characterize the pursuit and transmission of knowledge within the University.

The code addresses offences, procedures, and sanctions; more information appears in three appendices. The code is enforced by Divisional Deans, the Provost, and the University Disciplinary Tribunal.

In cases involving graduate students, the divisional dean is the Dean of the School of Graduate Studies.

The full text of the Code of Behaviour on Academic Matters (PDF) appears on the University of Toronto website.

11.7 Policy and Procedures: Sexual Harassment

Harassment in any situation is reprehensible. In particular, within the University community it fosters a hostile or unfair environment which counteracts the spirit of cooperation and education. To guard against sexual harassment, the Governing Council of the University of Toronto has approved a Policy and Procedures: Sexual Harassment, which protects students, faculty, and staff from sexual harassment within the University community.

All complaints will be guided by a spirit of fairness to each party and ensures a fair and impartial hearing. Under the policy, complainants have the right to seek a remedy and respondents have the right to know both the allegations and the accuser. The highest standards of confidentiality are maintained in order to protect any party against unsubstantiated claims which might result in harm or malicious gossip.

The full text of Policy and Procedures: Sexual Harassment (PDF) appears on the University of Toronto website.

11.8 Code of Student Conduct​

Students have an obligation to make legal and responsible decisions concerning their conduct. The University has no general responsibility for the moral and social behaviour of its students. In the exercise of its disciplinary authority and responsibility, the University recognize s that students are free to organize their own personal lives, behaviour, and associations subject only to the law and to University regulations that are necessary to protect the integrity and safety of University activities, the peaceful and safe enjoyment of University housing by residents and neighbours, or the freedom of members of the University to participate reasonably in the programs of the University and in activities in or on the University's premises.

Non-academic offences are defined in the University's Code of Student Conduct. The Code addresses offences, procedures, interim conditions and measures, and sanctions.

The full text of the Code of Student Conduct (PDF) ​appears on the University of Toronto website.

11.9 Access to Official Student Academic Records

Academic records of students are ultimately the property of the University; it is the responsibility of the University to establish overall University policy in this area. The Guidelines Concerning Access to Official Student Academic Records establishes University-wide aims, objectives, criteria, and procedures that apply to the academic records of students.

The guidelines ensure that students, alumni, and former students are allowed as great a degree of access to their own academic records as is academically justifiable and administratively feasible. A student's right to privacy in relation to his or her academic records is safeguarded as far as both internal University access and external public access are concerned. The guidelines call for basic University-wide consistency in the kinds of information collected, recorded, filed, and made available.

The full text of the Guidelines Concerning Official Access to Student Academic Records ​(PDF) ​appears on the University of Toronto website.

11.9.1 Refusal of Access to Official Student Academic Records​

The School of Graduate Studies will withhold access to statements of results and transcripts of students, alumni, and former students who have outstanding debts or obligations to the University in accordance with the Policy on Academic Sanctions for Students Who Have Outstanding University Obligations. The School of Graduate Studies will not release the official diploma to such persons nor will it provide written or oral certifications of degree on their behalf.

11.10 Transcript Policy​

This policy sets out the principles that underpin the University’s understanding of its official academic transcript and to describe the minimum information that the transcript must include. The academic transcript is the primary, official, consolidated record of a student’s academic performance and achievement.

The transcript:

  • should reflect academic history only.

  • should be a meaningful reflection of the student’s academic activity and achievement.

  • must provide the reader with the information required to interpret the transcript.

University of Toronto consolidated transcripts are limited to degree-level studies.

The full text of the Transcript Policy (PDF) appears on the University of Toronto website.

11.11 Policy on Official Correspondence with Students​​

The University and its divisions may use the postal mail system and/or electronic message services (e.g., electronic mail and other computer-based online correspondence systems) as mechanisms for delivering official correspondence to students. Official correspondence may include, but is not limited to, matters related to students' participation in their academic programs, important information concerning University and program scheduling, fees information, and other matters concerning the administration and governance of the University.

11.11.1 Postal Addresses and Electronic Mail Accounts

Students are responsible for maintaining and advising the University—via the University's student information system (currently ROSI)—of a current and valid postal address as well as the address for a University-issued electronic mail account that meets a standard of service set by the Vice-President and Provost.

Failure to do so may result in a student missing important information and will not be considered an acceptable rationale for failing to receive official correspondence from the University.

11.11.2 University Rights and Responsibilities Regarding Official Correspondence

The University provides centrally supported technical services and the infrastructure to make electronic mail and/or online communications systems available to students. University correspondence delivered by electronic mail is subject to the same public information, privacy, and records retention requirements and policies as are other University correspondence and student records. ​​The University's expectations concerning use of information and communication technology are articulated in the guidelines on Appropriate Use of Information and Communication Technology, available on the website of the Office of the Vice-President and Provost.

11.11.3 Students' Rights and Responsibilities Regarding Retrieval of Official Correspondence

Students are expected to monitor and retrieve their mail, including electronic messaging account(s) issued to them by the University, on a frequent and consistent basis. Students have the responsibility to recognize that certain communications may be time ​critical. Students have the right to forward their University-issued electronic mail account to another electronic mail service provider address but remain responsible for ensuring that all University electronic message communication sent to the official University-issued account is received and read.

The full text of the Policy on Official Correspondence with Students appears on the University of Toronto website.

11.12 Policy on the Framework on Off-Campus Safety​

In the normal course of University-related life, University members may participate in a wide range of activities taking place at locations away from the University campuses. Some of these activities include field research, field placements, and internships.

The Policy on the Framework on Off-Campus Safety is designed to provide University staff and faculty involved in the planning and execution of University-related off-campus activities with a set of core planning principles with respect to safety.

The full text of the Policy on the Framework on Off-Campus Safety (PDF) ​appears on the University of Toronto website.

Students are also encouraged to review the Guidelines for Safety in Field Research produced by the Office of Environmental Health and Safety.

11.13 Statement on Appropriate Use of Information and Communication Technology

The University of Toronto provides guidelines on the appropriate use of information and communication technology (ICT) within the University community. ICT resources are made available for all employee​s, students, and other members of the University community, but remain the property of the University. Users are expected to limit their use to the performance of University-related activities, although a reasonable allowance will be made for personal use. Users should not have an expectation of complete privacy in using the University's ICT and related services.

The full text of the Appropriate Use of Information and Communication Technology appears on the Provost's website.

11.14 Statement on Human Rights​

Acknowledging its fundamental and distinctive commitment to freedom of thought, inquiry, and expression, the University of Toronto affirms its commitment to the values of equal opportunity, equity, and social justice. In this affirmation, the University:

  1. acknowledges that it conducts its teaching, research, and other activities in the context of a richly diverse society;

  2. recognizes that the attainment of excellence in pursuit of its mission is furthered by the contribution made by persons reflecting this rich diversity;

  3. acts within its purview to prevent or remedy discrimination or harassment on the basis of race, gender, sexual orientation, age, disability, ancestry, place of origin, colour, ethnic origin, citizenship, creed, marital status, family status, receipt of public assistance, or record of offence;

  4. acts conscientiously in keeping with its own policies and existing legislation related to human rights, such as its Code of Behaviour on Academic Matters, its Policies and Procedures: Sexual Harassment, its Employment Equity Policy, and the Human Rights Code of the Province of Ontario.​​