Language Services

Approved Administrative Committee 2029.3



1. The purpose of this policy is to establish a framework for:

     a. providing language support services in relation to the University’s official communications;
     b. fulfilling the University’s commitments under the Regulation on Bilingualism relating to official communications; and
     c. providing language resources to the University community .


2. This policy applies to all academic and administrative units of the University.


3. For the purposes of this policy, the expression “official communications” refers to messaging or other informational content, regardless of its format, that is sent, issued, posted or otherwise published by any academic or administrative unit of the University and intended for a general audience either within or beyond the University community.

Subject to the foregoing, examples of official communications include, but are not limited to:

     a. material for the media, the general public or the University community (press releases, advertisements, emergency advisories, etc.);
     b. University academic or administrative policies, regulations or procedures;
     c. course and program descriptions, including calendars for current or potential students;
     d. home pages and top landing  pages on academic and administrative unit websites;
     e. form letters and mass mailings for donors and alumni;
     f. health and safety instructions or messages;
     g. standard form contracts and standard form official agreements to which the University is a party;
     h. reports or summaries required by law or regulation to be bilingual;
     i. building names and official campus signage (directional, identification, regulatory); and
     j. biographical profiles of professors and administrative staff.

For greater clarity, official communications for the purposes of this policy do not include, among others: 

     a. material for courses, internships, programs of study and research in general (syllabi, course notes, textbooks, manuals, examinations, laboratory instructions, internship supervisors' guides, research documents, etc.);
     b. individual communications between professors or support staff and any administrative or academic unit;
     c. documents from or related to conferences, colloquia and seminars, on or off campus;
     d. internal reports and newsletters, discussion papers, working documents, agendas and minutes;
     e. daily calendars or listings of University news and events;
     f. job descriptions (except position summaries) and performance evaluations;
     g. documents prepared or intended for use by individual members of the student body or faculty or staff in connection with their teaching, research or administrative activities;
     h. software packages and their user manuals, other than those specifically produced by or for the University generally.

Roles and Responsibilities of Language Services

4. Reporting to the Vice-President, External Relations, Language Services:

     a. provides translation, editing, usage expertise and proofreading services and support in relation to official communications;
     b. provides advice on matters of style, grammar, terminology and translation project management to academic and administrative units in relation to all their communications;
     c. provides online language resources to the entire University community, including: a writing guide, a terminology bank, and a Compendium of Online tools and resources;
     d. promotes linguistic quality and consistency in the University’s official communications; and
     e. provides, where appropriate, recommendations to members of the University community on external firms or freelancers which may provide additional language services.

5. For greater clarity, the mandate of Language Services does not extend to providing services or support in relation to professors’ teaching or research materials or requests from University or affiliated research centres and institutes.

Responsibilities of Academic and Administrative Units

6. Academic and administrative units shall respect the roles of Language Services as defined in sections 4 and 5 of this policy. Without limiting the generality of the foregoing, academic and administrative units shall:

     a. ensure that official communications from their units comply with the requirements of the Regulation on Bilingualism;
     b. consult Language Services before outsourcing translation, editing or other language service needs; and
     c. cover the cost from their own budgets of outsourcing translation, editing or other language service needs in relation to communications that (i) are not official communications or (ii) are official communications but where the requested service exceeds the Service Standards (for example size of text and/or turnaround time) published by Language Services.


7.  No exceptions may be made to this Policy without the written consent of Language Services.

Review and Amendment

8.  This Policy shall be reviewed periodically by the Office of the Vice-President, External Relations, in consultation with the Office of the Secretary. Amendments shall be approved by the Administration Committee.

Revised September 27, 2017 (Administration Committee)