College Policies and Code of Conduct

Massey College Code of Conduct
February 1, 2019

On Codes and Expectations

An academic community is a complicated social organization. It must abide by the laws of the land, and enjoy social cohesion in order to fulfill its functions in the creation, critique and transmission of knowledge. It has a special regard for its students and the conditions of their learning.

Massey is a unique academic community, made up of different categories of members. At its core are those pursuing knowledge in their degree programs, and those creating knowledge and passing it on to the next generation. Without those groups and those functions, Massey College would not exist. Other members and groups belong to Massey because of their interest in, and support of, those functions. They make important contributions to college life.

At the most general level, then, the members of Massey College must comport themselves so as to enable those functions, and not to interfere with the pursuit of knowledge in a collegial setting.

An effective statement about the conduct of members will set out expectations rather than hard rules, although civil legislation may prescribe and proscribe specific behaviour. It will also be collegial, not assuming the worst of its members. But if there are consequences for misconduct, then the expectations for the behaviour of members must be as clear as possible.

The special nature of Massey College includes its relationship to the University of Toronto. Were there no such relationship, there would be no Massey College. That relationship is direct in the case of junior fellows, who are registered for degree programs in the University of Toronto. It’s also true for the majority of the senior fellows. All those members of Massey are subject to the policies of the University of Toronto.

There is no point, then, in creating new policies for Massey for these members. In fact, there is a risk in requiring a different standard of behaviour for them unless that different standard can be demonstrably linked to the nature of the Massey community.

Is there any need to create new policies for other members? Again, if new policies were significantly different, for a subset of members, from the policies of the University of Toronto, that would pose the risk of unwarranted discrimination.

But: how can U of T standards and expectations apply to members who are not also members of the U of T? By the Governing Board’s agreement that members of Massey should observe the principles and commitments in U of T Statements, and by adopting relevant U of T policies as adapted to Massey structures.

Massey should set out expectations for all members of the Massey community, in statements adopted by the College and implemented by agreement with the U of T, or in an analogous fashion.

There are, of course, standards of behaviour which are set out in contractual relationships for employees, for resident students, for those who rent facilities and so on. These standards are not included in this policy but are dealt with separately.


As an independent academic community closely related to the University of Toronto, Massey College is committed to policies and practices which foster the collegial pursuit of knowledge across diversities of disciplines, professions and cultures.

Massey College has determined that the community will be governed by the principles and practices found in the appropriate statements and policies of the University of Toronto, including but not limited to the following:

Statement on Freedom of Speech
Statement on Conflict of Interest and Conflict of Commitment
Statement of Commitment Regarding Persons with Disabilities
Statement on Equity, Diversity, and Excellence
Statement on Prohibited Discrimination and Discriminatory Harassment
Statement on Human Rights
Policy on Sexual Violence and Sexual Harassment

Members of Massey College who are also members of the University of Toronto are governed by the University’s policies. Conduct expected of other members of the College is no different.

Complaints, Misconduct and Appeals

Any member of the College who is concerned about an issue of application of policy or conduct may address the Principal and seek an informal resolution.

Procedures in the Case of Alleged Misconduct

Misconduct has many forms. Some allegations are disputable, human nature being human, and academic communities being places where free expression is valued. Some cases are minor but require address; others may be serious infractions in need of discipline. The Principal shall first seek informal resolution wherever possible, and the following procedures shall be invoked where such resolution fails or is not possible.

Where sanctions are necessary, the opportunity of restoration should be offered wherever possible.

Investigation, Sanctions, Appeals

In an alleged case of misconduct by a member of the College, the Principal will consult with the Committee on Good Standing and, if an investigation is warranted, initiate an investigation conducted in accordance with the principles of fairness. The investigation will be carried out by a member of the College, or where appropriate, a panel of three members of the College, none of whom has any conflict of interest or commitment in the case. Where the investigation concludes that misconduct has occurred, the Committee on Good Standing will recommend to the Principal an appropriate sanction. Sanctions may include reprimand, reparation, or other measures up to and including loss of membership in the College.

The party sanctioned may appeal to the Principal, who shall strike an appeals panel composed of one member chosen by the Principal, one member chosen by the appellant, and a third chosen by those two. The panel will either uphold the sanction, modify it, or dismiss it. Its decision will be final.

Whether at the investigation stage or before the appeals panel, it shall be up to the investigator and/or panel whether submissions, if any, are in writing or made orally.

Committee on Good Standing

The Committee on Good Standing deals with matters of discipline, and is appointed by the Governing Board on the recommendation of the Governance and Nominating Committee. Membership is confirmed annually. The Committee’s members include a Senior Fellow who has significant administrative experience in the University of Toronto, a Junior Fellow (normally the Don of Hall or designate), another Senior Fellow or member of the College who is legally qualified, and the Principal who shall chair the Committee. Its role is to advise the Principal in matters concerning the conduct of members of the College, in the light of established policies.

Emergency Procedures

If a member of the College acts so as to imperil the safety and security of others, the Principal may enact immediate sanctions appropriate to the situation, provided that the Committee on Good Standing is convened with all reasonable haste to begin the procedures as set out above.


These procedures apply only to members of Massey College. In the case of misconduct by a member sanctioned in another jurisdiction to which the member belongs, the College may impose its own sanctions on the recommendation of the Committee on Good Standing to the Principal. Should an allegation be raised about the Principal, the Principal will recuse himself or herself in favour of the Chair of the Governing Board who will implement this policy, adapted accordingly.

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