Sept. 22, 2021 The Division of Human Resources & Equity is now called the Division of People Strategy, Equity & Culture.

(2009-2010 HR#31) University of Toronto’s Guideline on Civil Conduct

May 11, 2010
Principals, Deans, Academic Directors and Chairs
Angela Hildyard, Vice-President, Human Resources and Equity
University of Toronto’s Guideline on Civil Conduct

Please find attached a copy of the University of Toronto’s Guideline on Civil Conduct. The guideline can also be found at the following web-link :

The purpose of the guideline is to promote the University’s commitment to providing a safe and inclusive work environment in which people are valued and treated with respect. The guideline is intended to assist you to respond to faculty/staff concerns and enhance good working relationships.

The guideline does not lay out a code of conduct or attempt to define ‘good manners’; it acknowledges that the University is a diverse and pluralistic environment and that people have different individual expectations.

However, the guideline identifies some of the types of conduct that will generally not be viewed as civil. This includes shouting, the use of abusive language, insulting and belligerent conduct, and threats. Generally, these behaviours will be in breach of this guideline if they are part of a pattern of conduct; however, seemingly isolated events of inappropriate conduct should not be ignored in the interest of supporting an appropriate workplace environment and preventing the potential for a pattern of conduct to develop.

As an academic administrator you act for the University, and are responsible for promoting and supporting a positive work environment and responding appropriately to concerns that are brought forward to you. It is important to respond quickly and discreetly to concerns, in order to work towards positive resolutions and minimize opportunities for escalation. YourDivisional Human Resources Office is your first point of contact for assistance with all aspects of applying the guideline. A list of the Human Resources offices is available here: Depending on the particular issue, you may prefer to discuss the matter with me or with Edith Hillan, Vice Provost, Faculty & Academic Life.

The guideline does not apply to concerns of discrimination or discriminatory harassment that are dealt with under the Policy on Discrimination and Discriminatory Harassment, the Policy and Procedures: Sexual Harassment, or the Guidelines on Complaints Regarding Prohibited Discrimination and Discriminatory Harassment, although concepts of civility underlie each of these Policies/Guidelines. If you think that you have such a case, you should contact the relevant University of Toronto Equity Office, which can assist you with such complaints. A list of the equity offices is available here:

Other university offices which may assist you in relation to faculty/staff issues are listed in Appendix A of the guideline.