When considering a complaint, the Ombudsman is not limited to reviewing the technical validity of a decision or action. The Ombudsman’s jurisdiction relates to administrative actions, but the Ombudsman can form opinions about processes relevant to administrative actions and the fairness of those actions. For example, the Ombudsman may conclude that particular administrative action by a university was lawful, but that it was still unreasonable, unjust, oppressive, or wrong. The Ombudsman can only form such opinions at the end of an investigation, however, these considerations can guide a case officers’ decision-making.
Case officers generally consider whether the facts of the matter, together with applicable laws, policies and procedures, to ascertain if the university made a reasonable decision. The Ombudsman does not have a specific process for dealing with university related complaints. In some cases, they will consult with other case officers who may have more experience in dealing with higher education complaints.