Date: November 18, 1974
Senate and Board of Governors
Date: November 28, 2016
Date: October 31, 2022
Office of the Vice-President, International and Francophonie
Proudly Francophone and dedicated to bringing the two official language communities closer since its inception, the University of Ottawa is heir to a long tradition of coexisting multiple identities. The University is known for the unique role it plays in the vitality of French-speaking communities in Canada and continues to expand its influence beyond our borders. Today, the University is the preferred institution for thousands of students who thrive in a bilingual culture as they pursue their studies in either official language.
Thanks to its welcoming community that thrives in a bilingual environment and shapes it through its dreams, differences and experiences, the University remains a vibrant living environment, and promotes personal and professional growth. The potential intersections and dialogues among its language communities, and their respective scientific cultures and traditions, enable the University to offer a unique environment that enriches teaching, the production and dissemination of knowledge inside and beyond its community, broadens its sphere of influence, and makes it a valued contributor among its partners.
Since its creation in 1848, the University has striven to provide education in English and French to residents of Ottawa and beyond, in the harmonious cohabitation of the two linguistic communities.
Section 4(c) of the University of Ottawa Act, 1965 entrusts it with the mission “to further bilingualism and biculturalism and to preserve and develop Francophone culture in Ontario.”
Since January 1, 2016, the University has been designated as a “government agency” under Ontario’s French Language Services Act with respect to the provision of its undergraduate programs and services to students in French.
The University seeks to further progress towards the substantive equality of English and French on its campus, and to support the vitality of the Francophonie and bilingualism, taking into account the minority status of French in Canada and North America.
The University also contributes to the vitality of Ontarian, Canadian and international Francophonie in key sectors, including the arts, culture, education, health, justice, the economy, immigration, science, and technology.
Owing to its diverse community, the University enriches the Ontarian, Canadian and international Francophonie through its affiliations, collaborations, and partnerships in support of learning, scientific research, creation, and innovation.
The University aims to provide innovative and socially engaging programs to meet the specific needs of the two official language communities.
Alongside the affirmation of the status of its official languages and the vitality of the Francophonie as well as bilingualism, the University recognizes the importance of revitalizing and strengthening Indigenous languages.
While recognizing the minority status of the French language in Ontario and efforts to ensure its continuity, the University also believes that bilingualism has educational value, as it creates an academic and living environment that promotes communication and mutual respect between the two official language communities.
The University impels and assists its students and its academic and support staff to become proficient in both official languages to take full advantage of the human, educational, cultural, and artistic resources available to them in the University community.
The University intends to fully respect the rights vested in its academic, administrative, and support staff members, and its current students, upon adoption of this Regulation.
The 1965 Act gives to the Board of Governors under section (j) of section 11, and to the Senate, under section (a) of section 17, the power to make regulations on bilingualism at the University.
The Board of Governors and the Senate of the University adopt the following regulation.
The purpose of this Regulation is to:
a. promote a bilingualism that is vibrant where both official languages are complementary, while promoting an enabling setting for a unique and confident Francophonie, where French is a language of interaction, study, and research, to the same degree as English;
b. promote a frame for the practice of bilingualism while respecting the rights, status, and privileges of the members of the University community;
c. promote progress towards the substantive equality of English and French at the University in fulfilment of its institutional mission;
d. promote the protection, maintenance, and vitality of the Francophonie at the University.
2. DEFINITIONS AND INTERPRETATION
2.1 In this Regulation:
a. “central administration” refers collectively to the Board of Governors and the Senate, their committees, and the offices of the president, the vice-presidents, and the secretary-general;
b. “bilingualism” refers to the presence, contact between, and alternate use of the two official languages in a common space. Bilingualism is a cultural value in and of itself, and in some disciplines and programs, it is indispensable to academic excellence;
c. “active bilingualism” means the mastery of the active functions of both official languages;
d. “passive bilingualism” means fluency in all the active functions in one official language and in the passive functions of the other;
e. “substantive equality” means equal status, use, access, and quality of the two official languages;
f. “active functions of a language” means the oral and written expression in that language, and “active knowledge” means fluency in those functions such that a professor can teach in the language, and administrative and support staff members can provide services in the language;
g. “passive functions of a language” means oral and written comprehension of that language, and “passive knowledge” means a sufficient level of proficiency in those functions to enable a general comprehension of what is communicated;
h. “official languages” means English and French;
i. “full-time regular professors” means full-time professors, regular librarians, language teachers and professors holding continuing appointments;
j. “designated program” is a program designated under Ontario’s French Language Services Act. Such designation guarantees that students can complete the program in French only, if they so desire.
k. “Scientific knowledge” differs from other knowledge or types of knowledge and refers to all knowledge based on objective and ascertainable realities, which are based on a systematic and critical approach. The fields of this knowledge are very broad and are related to arts, humanities, pure and applied science, as well as social science.
2.2 This Regulation is interpreted in accordance with the University’s objectives under the University of Ottawa Act, 1965 and with the requirements related to the delivery of programs and services to students pursuant to the French Language Services Act.
2.3 This Regulation does not restrict the authority of the University, which may take additional measures to further progress towards the substantive equality of English and French, and to expand bilingualism in its community.
2.4. The provisions of this Regulation shall not cause prejudice to the situations or privileges in effect prior to their coming into force, unless such is clearly indicated.
2.5 The provisions of this Regulation shall take precedence over any other incompatible provision of any other University regulations, policies, or internal directives, excluding collective agreements.
3. CENTRAL ADMINISTRATION, ADMINISTRATIVE SERVICES, AND ACADEMIC UNITS
3.1 Affirmative actions
The central administration, its administrative services, and the academic units have a duty to ensure that affirmative actions are taken to promote the active offer of services in both official languages in order to achieve substantive equality.
3.2 Language of work
English and French are languages of work at the University of Ottawa. All personnel may use the official language of their choice in communications with colleagues, and they have the right to obtain services in the official language of their choice.
3.3 Language of supervision
All personnel have the right to be supervised in the official language of their choice, including in regular interactions, feedback on their work, and in their professional development.
3.4 Language of meetings
a. In meetings of the central administration, administrative services, and the academic units (and their committees), individuals may use the official language of their choice. It is desirable, where possible, to encourage proportionality in the use of both languages.
b. An exception shall be made to the language of meetings in academic units and in centres, institutes, labs, and research groups whose language is related specifically to their mission and vocation.
c. Central administration documents concerning University governance, including regulations, policies, budgets, and proposals that are of public interest, shall be made available simultaneously in both official languages.
d. As a general rule, it is allowed to distribute documents stemming from meetings of the central administration, administrative services, and the academic units (and their committees), such as presentations, in either official language.
e. Minutes of meetings of the central administration, administrative services, and the academic units shall report remarks in the official language in which they were made.
3.5 Language of communications
a. Communications emanating from the central administration, administrative services, and the academic units are produced and distributed in both official languages, respecting the principle of the precedence of French, when such communications are intended for the public, a group, staff as a whole, or students.
b. Subject to section (a), communication may be in a single language if it is specifically related to the mission and vocation of an administrative or academic unit.
c. Advertising, signage, and any other kind of posted material shall be in both official languages, respecting the principle of the precedence of French.
d. The University’s website and related external resources shall be in both official languages, save for the content of some parts of the website, which may be in a single official language when it relates specifically to the mission and vocation of an academic unit or administrative service.
e. This Regulation shall not limit the distribution of communications from external sources, such as emails and attachments from other universities, businesses, institutions, organizations, and partners.
3.6 Language clauses in agreements for the delivery of services by third parties
a. The central administration, administrative services, and academic units shall ensure that all third parties who are contracted to provide services to students on the University’s behalf have the ability to communicate and to provide services to the University community in both official languages.
b. The central administration, administrative services, and academic units, on delegating the delivery of student services to a third party, shall ensure that the third party has the ability to communicate and to provide the services in both official languages, and that language standards are clearly stipulated in the agreement, along with verification mechanisms and measures in the event of non-compliance.
4. LANGUAGE SUPPORT FOR THE EQUAL PRACTICE OF BOTH OFFICIAL LANGUAGES
4.1 The substantive equality of English and French at the University is a transversal responsibility and is demonstrated, among other ways, in the high-quality standards equally applied to both languages in communications, hence the importance of translation and revision.
4.2 The central administration, administrative services, and academic units shall maintain a superior level in the practice of the official languages and shall take the necessary steps to provide appropriate language support to all staff members.
4.3 Because of the essential role of translation, revision and language services in achieving the University's bilingual mission, particularly when it comes to the sustainability of the French language, all sectors must have access to the tools and resources essential to carrying out their mandates according to their needs and areas of intervention.
5. HUMAN RESOURCES
5.1 Senior management positions
Given the fundamental value of both official languages at the University, active bilingualism is a prerequisite for the appointment of any person holding the position of president, vice-president, secretary-general, associate vice-president (and equivalent) and dean, except when that person is filling in temporarily or serving in an acting capacity, in which case language support in the other language shall be provided.
5.2 Administrative and support staff members
a. Human Resources shall oversee the development of position-related language requirements, in accordance with the provisions of this Regulation.
b.Human Resources and the manager to whom the position reports shall determine, based on the nature of the position and the related duties and responsibilities, the level of language proficiency of administrative and support staff, given that every person in a supervisory role must be able to communicate with their staff in both official languages. The level of proficiency and the language requirements of the position shall be clearly specified in the job advertisements.
c. Managers of general services and the academic units may award a position after verifying, prior to hiring, that the applicant meets the language requirements of the position and this Regulation.
d. The University offers language courses to facilitate official language proficiency among its administrative and support staff.
5.3 Regular full-time professors
a. Progress towards the substantive equality of both official languages at the University is demonstrated, among other things, by the bilingualism of its regular full-time professors.
b. The provost and deans shall establish the language requirements of positions held by regular full-time professors.
c. The offer of employment shall clearly stipulate the level of bilingualism required for hiring and tenure.
d. The position shall be awarded to the candidate after verifying, prior to hiring, that they meet the language requirements of the position.
5.3.2 Language proficiency
a. As a condition of their initial hiring at the University, candidates applying for a regular full-time faculty position shall have an active knowledge of English or French. In addition, it is possible to require that the candidate demonstrate a level of active or passive bilingualism in the other official language.
b. Obtaining tenure or promotions shall be conditional upon meeting the language requirements of the position.
c. The faculties shall provide regular full-time professors with the support needed to comply with students’ language rights, particularly with regards to the marking of assignments and exams submitted in the other official language.
d. When renewing a contract or granting tenure, the language skills of the regular full-time faculty member must be assessed through a test provided by the Official Languages and Bilingualism Institute or through another officially recognized language test, if there are no diplomas in both languages or any other objective measure that can demonstrate bilingualism skills.
e. When deciding on tenure for regular full-time professors, the Joint Committee shall consider, among other tenure-related requirements, bilingual proficiency as set out in the offer of employment.
5.4 Part-time professors
a. Part-time professors shall have active mastery of the functions of the language in which they teach. If active bilingualism is also required for course delivery, it shall be clearly stipulated in the job advertisements. An assessment shall be conducted prior to hiring to determine if the applicant meets the language requirements of the position.
b. The faculties shall ensure that newly hired part-time professors are aware of this Regulation and with the academic regulation governing the right of students to submit their assignments in the official language of their choice, except in programs and courses to which this provision does not apply.
c. The faculties shall provide part-time professors with the support needed to comply with students’ language rights, particularly as regards the marking of assignments and exams submitted in the other official language.
6. OFFICIAL LANGUAGES AND BILINGUALISM INSTITUTE
Because of the essential role of language training, language services and language assessment in achieving the University's bilingual mission, all sectors must have access to the services and resources provided by the Official Languages and Bilingualism Institute that may be useful in carrying out their duties and meeting the needs of their areas of intervention.
For the purposes of this Regulation, the Official Languages and Bilingualism Institute shall be responsible for:
a. developing language tests that staff must successfully complete to meet the language requirements of their position;
b. developing, overseeing, and administering language tests that students must successfully complete to meet the language requirements of their programs of study, from admission to graduation;
c. preparing and delivering language courses and other language services to academic, administrative, and support staff, as well as students.
7.1 To gain admission to the University, students shall be proficient in the official language(s) of their programs of studies.
7.2 The University shall take active measures to enable interested students to acquire or improve their skills in the official language in which they have limited or no proficiency.
8. PROGRAMS OF STUDY
8.1 The University shall offer the provision of undergraduate programs in French as per its designation under Ontario’s French Language Services Act, by scheduling mandatory and elective courses, in accordance with its mission and objectives.
8.2 Students enrolled in a program designated under Ontario’s French Language Services Act must be able to complete their studies within the prescribed timeframe by taking courses in French exclusively, if they so desire.
8.3 New courses and programs
When designing and approving new courses and programs, the faculty and Senate committees shall ensure that the provisions of this Regulation are applied.
8.4 Program assessment
As part of the periodic review of programs, the Senate and its subcommittees shall review whether the program complies with the provisions of this Regulation. The Senate and its subcommittees shall take the bilingualism of reviewers into account, based on the nature of the programs being assessed.
9. RESEARCH AND PUBLICATION
9.1 The offices of vice-presidents, particularly the Office of the Vice-President, Research and Innovation, and the faculties, through their respective research structures, shall recognize the importance of scientific knowledge in French, which they shall value to the same degree as scientific knowledge in English. This applies to hiring processes in the case of research chairs, applications for internal grants, knowledge mobilization, and the awarding of distinctions and honours.
9.2 The offices of vice-presidents, particularly the Office of the Vice-President, Research and Innovation, and the faculties, through their respective research structures, shall take affirmative actions to increase the production and dissemination of scientific knowledge in French, to the benefit of bilingualism.
10. OFFICE OF THE VICE-PRESIDENT, INTERNATIONAL AND FRANCOPHONIE
10.1 The Office of the Vice-President, International and Francophonie, upholds the University’s vision of the Francophonie and bilingualism. Consequently, this office is responsible for:
a. coordinating and implementing University strategies setting out institutional priorities for the maintenance and vitality of the Francophonie and bilingualism, and for advancing progress towards the substantive equality of the official languages at the University, in cooperation with the offices of the president, the other vice-presidents, the deans, and all administrative and academic sectors. This office is supported by the Council on French Services and Programs with respect to the planning and implementation of Francophonie-related initiatives.
b. Managing complaints concerning application of this Regulation on Bilingualism.
The Office of the Vice-President, International and Francophonie, shall ask the offices of the vice-presidents and their respective units to produce the documents, data, and other materials it deems necessary to ensure that the University meets its language obligations.
11. REVIEW, IMPLEMENTATION, AMENDMENTS, AND EXCEPTIONS
11.1 The vice-president, International and Francophonie, is responsible for ensuring that this Regulation is reviewed every 10 years or as needed.
11.2 The vice-president, International and Francophonie, is responsible for implementing and interpreting this Regulation.
11.3 The vice-president, International and Francophonie, is responsible for recommending amendments to this Regulation for approval by the Senate and Board of Governors.
11.4 No amendments to this Regulation shall have the effect of limiting or impeding progress towards the substantive equality of both official languages or of curbing the vitality of the Francophonie or bilingualism at the University. Amendments must be approved by a qualified majority, i.e., by at least two-thirds of the members of the Senate and the Board of Governors.
11.5 No exceptions to this Regulation shall be made without the written approval of the vice-president, International and Francophonie.