institutional rights and responsibilities for staff and students documentation

There is much debate as to whether universities have a duty of care to their students. It’s Alberta’s decision that an employee’s duty to the student can’t interfere with the duty to their office if a situation has a conflict between those duties. A public service employee must always serve their institution first.

But all public post-secondary institution officers have a duty to their office to see an expectation like this is met. Disclaimer — a very good friend works for Capilano University, but their Student Rights and Responsibilities page is very well done:

Employees must provide a compassionate and respectful environment that treats students with dignity. It is a continued job expectation that this expectation be met. Employees have a paid responsibility to serve their institution’s expectations.

I’m not a constitutional scholar, but this language:

should protect the following charter rights students have dealing with a Canadian institution bound by its Charter of Rights and Freedoms:

A student has freedom of expression and the right to procedural fairness, and a timely decision.

In addition, any post-secondary institution learner should have access to:

This creates an institutional responsibility to provide an environment that is free of harassment and discrimination.

This creates the institutional responsibility of creating and maintaining a workable complaint process for the learner to be given a fair hearing and an independent, fair decision.

As a side note, my program asked its learner to evaluate its instructor’s marking while the only grade a learner ever saw throughout the entire class was the final one that came three weeks after the evaluation was due:

It is impossible for a member of an organization to have a right to something without it being the institution’s responsibility to provide and safeguard that right.

These are institutional responsibilities the faculty must agree to as well:

All faculty must sign off annually that they will conduct themselves in a responsible manner in accordance with the University policies and procedures. Every senior institutional officer across multiple institutions assumed they had the discretion to choose which responsibilities they wished to serve.

Officers have a responsibility to communicate with their students as well. Yet the idea of being questioned made two supposed faculty members indignant at the thought. A learner has the academic freedom to freely question or criticize any aspect of their university life as protected abilities:

Instructors also have a responsibility to address a learner’s dissatisfaction before it needs to go through the appropriate university channels:

Faculty also has the paid responsibility to respect the rights of students:

Annual recertification ensures that no employee is more than a calendar year from the last time they were advised how to serve their duties responsibly. But they are a headache from start to finish. I wouldn’t state something needs to be signed off yearly unless it was important enough to be worth the additional headache.

All institutional employees must sign off yearly that they understand they must follow their institution’s policy and procedures or have their action — or lack of action — judged as though they had:

My institution doesn’t just need to clarify its students’ and staff rights and responsibilities. If a policy meant to say “employee” instead of”UBC Person” it would have.

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