OCAD University prides itself on fostering and promoting effective teaching, learning and artistic creativity. OCAD U encourages its students to push the boundaries of their creativity, to take risks and seek innovation. OCAD U believes that all research and creative pursuits require students to hold themselves to the highest standards of ethical conduct, honesty and academic integrity.

Academic freedom is a fundamental right in any institution of higher learning. Honesty and integrity are necessary preconditions of this freedom. Academic integrity requires that all academic work be wholly the product of an identified individual or individuals. As per the Academic Misconduct Policy, ethical conduct is the obligation of every member of the University community and breaches of academic integrity constitute serious offences. 


OCAD University is committed to supporting equity, diversity, inclusion and dignity of all people. The University promotes equity and inclusion in its learning and working environment and in the conduct of the University’s affairs. As noted in the Respectful Work and Learning Environment Policy, OCAD U will not tolerate harassment of or discrimination against any community member. Harassment and discrimination violate an individual’s human rights and run contrary to the University’s fundamental values. OCAD U will act promptly and efficiently to address this conduct.

The University will endeavour to ensure that individuals who believe that they have been subjected to harassment or discrimination are able to express concerns and register complaints without fear of retaliation or reprisal. The University will exercise care to protect and respect the rights of both the complainant and the respondent.

OCAD U recognizes the importance of certain rights and freedoms at a university dedicated to intellectual inquiry and creative practice. The University is committed to upholding all fundamental human rights, including freedom of association, freedom of conscience, opinion and belief, and freedom of thought, inquiry, artistic and creative expression.


The institution, as well as the visual and design culture in Canada, has benefited from the growth and development of degree programs and research/creation programs in art and design disciplines at OCAD U. The benefits include the advancement and dissemination of knowledge, the enrichment of undergraduate and graduate training programs, and the examination of social and cultural phenomena in relation to art and design disciplines. These benefits are counterbalanced by academic obligations that require artist-researchers in the visual and design disciplines to demonstrate the highest level of integrity and ethics in pursuit of scholarship and research.

OCAD U’s Research Ethics Policy is based on the “Tri-Council Policy Statement: Ethical Conduct for Research Involving Humans” (Version Two), Canadian Institutes of Health Research, Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada, and Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada, December 2010. OCAD U supports and promotes ethics review for research/creation involving human participants, and endorses the Tri-Council Policy Statement.

Graduate students will receive general information regarding the conduct of ethical research with human participants in their research methods courses. Graduate students who conduct research that involves human participants will likely require the approval of the Research Ethics Board (REB) prior to the initiation of any such research. Please allow up to twenty working days from the submission of your completed REB application until you receive either review comments and/or approval.

For more information, on the REB process, including the form for Application for Ethical Review and answers to Frequently Asked Question, please visit the OCAD U REB page, or contact:

Greg Singer, Manager, Research Ethics Board at

The Research Ethics Board includes one graduate student representative. This representative has been established for the current year.


OCAD University has a bicameral governance structure where the responsibility for academic matters is assigned to the Senate and the responsibility for administrative and financial matters is assigned to the Board of Governors.


The Senate is responsible for the establishment and regulation of academic policy, standards and procedures at OCAD University. In particular, the Senate and its many committees are in charge of all matters pertaining to OCAD University’s academic resources, academic programming, academic strategic planning, student affairs and any other such matters relating to academic issues.

The Senate is primarily composed of senior faculty, academic administrators as well as undergraduate and graduate student representation.

Senate membership includes one (1) Graduate Student Senator, elected by and from those students of the University enrolled in a full or part-time graduate program. Senate Elections are managed centrally by the Chief Electoral Officer via an electronic voting process.


The Senate Graduate Studies Committee (SGSC) reports to Senate and comprises the following members:

  • The Associate Vice-President, Research and Dean, Graduate Studies, who will serve as Chair.
  • The Associate Dean, Graduate Studies
  • Three (3) Deans/Designates
  • The Chairs/Directors of all Graduate Programs or Designate
  • The Associate Vice-President, Students or Designate
  • The Chief Information Officer or Designate
  • The University Librarian
  • The University Registrar
  • The Director, CIADE or Designate
  • Three (3) graduate faculty members
  • The Manager, Graduate Studies, ex-officio, non-voting
  • Two (2) graduate students

The SGSC has the following responsibilities:

  • Oversees and makes recommendations on all matters directly related to graduate academic programs and related policies.
  • Acts as the Principal Advisor to the Associate Vice-President Research and Dean, Graduate Studies and Senate on academic priorities and the implementation of policies and procedures related to graduate studies.
Makes recommendations to Senate regarding:
  • Proposals for graduate curriculum including course changes, additions and deletions, taking into consideration the academic philosophy of the institution, its planned directions, the coherence of proposed programming changes, and the relevant internal and external criteria for the evaluation of such curriculum.
  • Principles, policies and priorities for the development of graduate studies at the University and concerning the conduct and regulation of graduate students in their studies.
  • Proposals for the introduction of new graduate programs, taking into consideration Faculty academic priorities, the coherence of the proposed programs, the criteria appropriate for the evaluation of such programs, and the resource base they require.
  • The establishment of graduate program priorities and relationships between existing or proposed programs of study, admissions policies, and standards for all graduate programs.
  • The termination, suspension, or combination of existing graduate programs.
  • The introduction of new categories of graduate degrees and diplomas.
  • The development of teaching and learning initiatives, policies and regulations as they affect graduate students.
  • The development of quality assurance standards for graduate programs.
  • The development of graduate student training programs in academic integrity and the responsible conduct of research.
  • Annual updates to the graduate calendar, including improvements in format and organization, changes to program requirements, regulations, and graduate course bank (additions, deletions and changes in designation); and identification of curricular changes leading to duplication.
  • The impact of proposals and planning of external bodies such as the Council of Ontario Universities (COU) and the Ontario Ministry of Training, Colleges, and Universities (MTCU) on OCAD U graduate programs.
  • The impact of initiatives and changes at other institutions in the areas of new programs, procedures, policies, tuition changes, etc., on OCAD U graduate programs.

The Senate Graduate Studies Committee includes two (2) graduate student representatives. Nominations and elections usually take place in September of each year.

See the complete Senate Bylaws for more information.


As noted in the Ontario College of Art and Design University Act, 2002, (amended 2010), the Board of Governors is responsible for governing and managing the affairs of the University and has the necessary powers to do so.

The Board of Governors consists of members from the external community, including six individuals appointed by the Ontario government, two elected by the OCAD U Alumni, and nine by the Board itself. There are also eight internal Board members drawn from the OCAD U community, elected by staff, management and student representatives as well as faculty members cross-appointed by the Senate. The President and the Chancellor are ex-officio voting internal members. This includes one (1) Graduate Student Governor, elected from and by those students of the University enrolled in a full or part-time graduate program. 

The Board establishes policy and institutional priorities for the University. It makes major operating decisions and receives reports from the President; Vice- President, Academic; Vice-President, Development; Vice-President, Finance and Administration; Associate Vice-President, Research and Graduate Studies; Associate Vice-President, University Relations; the Senate; Chairs of standing and ad hoc committees; and representatives of academic and administrative areas at the University, as needed.

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