U of T Context
The University of Toronto is an internationally recognized research university, with undergraduate, graduate, and professional programs of excellent quality.
U of T’s statement of institutional purpose commits the University to “fostering an academic community in which the learning and scholarship of every member may flourish” and notes that within the University context “the most crucial of all human rights are the rights of freedom of speech, academic freedom, and freedom of research.”
As a broader public sector organization in Ontario, the University also receives public funds and is committed to accountability and transparency and to serving the public interest.
University of Toronto Communications (UTC) builds and shares the University’s brand and communicates what makes us unique and worthy of support to generate awareness, excitement and trust. Our work fuels the University’s reputation for excellence and creates the conditions for success that help build and sustain relationships with current and future students, employees, donors, and industry partners, while also driving others to share our story.
UTC considers its owned-media channels and its publications (e.g. U of T/UTM/UTSC websites, U of T/UTM/UTSC social media accounts, U of T/UTM/UTSC News, The Bulletin Brief, Express [UTM’s newsletter], the UTSC newsletter and U of T Magazine) to be a critical part of this work. These channels and publications are part of the public record, and as such, we strive to maintain the highest standards of accuracy, quality and transparency.
UTC adheres to the principles of practice established by the Canadian Public Relations Society (CPRS), the Council for Advancement and Support of Education (CASE), the Institute of Public Relations (IPR) and the Arthur W. Page Society (AWPS). These bodies recommend that institutional communications should be:
- aligned with the vision, mission, and values of the institution
- created to support corporate strategy/business goals
- centred on building lasting relationships with stakeholders
- focused on bridging the needs and interests of key constituents with the institution
- evidence-based and measurable
- two-way communications
- professional and ethical
- authentic and transparent
UTC’s principles of practice guide our approach to content integrity. UTC sets stringent standards to ensure our content is consistently of the highest quality, accurate, professional and trustworthy. Our standards are articulated in the University’s brand guidelines (which include an inclusive language guide) and in the following practices:
UTC verifies the factual accuracy of all content it produces before publication. UTC will take reasonable steps to contextualize content, confirm its veracity and will secure permission from the content creator prior to publishing. UTC will check U of T attribution/connections prior to publication.
UTC will correct errors to content promptly, with notifications if applicable.
New information may be added to update content at the discretion of the content owner/publisher/editor.
UTC reserves the right to delete and unpublish content. These situations are typically restricted to egregious errors (e.g. a breach of ethics, the discovery of fabricated information), a situation in which there is a demonstrable threat to the safety or reputation of an individual or group and other special circumstances. Editors and/or channel managers will consult with an AVP and/or VP, Communications prior to taking any action. In the event of safety or life-threatening concerns, UTC will contact search engines such as Google or Bing to request that the content be cleared from search caches.
Content on institutional social media accounts is subject to the retention schedule of the platform. Content on a website, including U of T News, is retained as per University of Toronto standards.
While UTC upholds the institution’s commitment to free speech, published content should not be gratuitously offensive, profane or aim to sensationalize. UTC content is not intended to create shock in order to draw attention. Humour is used judiciously and with care and intentionality.
UTC will strive to give credit where credit is due. UTC will provide photo and authorship credit to content appearing in its newsroom. For social media content, UTC will tag authors/photographers when possible or practical.
Updated July 28, 2023