Office of the University Ombudsperson

'graphic of the fairness triangle, with words on each plane - situational, relational, procedural"]

Situational Fairness
" What was decided?"

Relational Fairness
"How were you treated?"

Procedural Fairness
"How was it decided?"


What Does Fairness Mean?

Fairness does not require that we all be treated the same, in fact, inequity can arise if we treat everyone the same all the time. Consideration must be given to the nature of the situation, the impacts on the individual and level at which the decision is being made.

Fairness is not about getting the outcome you want. Fairness means that the process should be consistently applied, you should be heard and treated with respect.

Procedural Fairness

Helping to ensure procedural fairness in decision making across the University is one of the central roles of our office. It relates to the steps taken by the decision maker before and after deciding or responding to a complaint.

There are four major components:

1. The right to know the case against you
2. The right to an impartial decision maker
3. The opportunity to be heard
4. The right to a decision and the rationale for that decision


Advance notice of consideration of a decision must be given to the student.


Student must have access to the information that is being considered.

Right to Respond

Student must be given a meaningful opportunity to have their opinion heard and considered.


The decision maker must be impartial and unbiased.


The decision maker must give meaningful reasons for the decision or the outcome.

*Information has been adapted from the ACCUO Fairness Guide 2015