Climate and Culture Review: Department of Psychology

Hi everyone,


I am pleased to share that the Dean’s Office, together with my office, have retained the services of Rubin Thomlinson LLP, an independent third-party law firm, to conduct a Climate and Culture Review of the Department of Psychology, which will launch this week.


The review is not an academic program review but an opportunity for us to examine issues of workplace climate and culture, civility, and issues such as bullying/harassment, staff morale, mentoring of graduate students and postdoctoral fellows, opportunities for professional growth/development, and the extent to which the working environment for staff and faculty within the department is respectful and inclusive.


Sophie Martel and William Goldbloom of Rubin Thomlinson will lead the process and have extensive experience conducting similar reviews in public and private sector organizations and workplace settings, including within the University of Toronto. As part of the assessment process, Rubin Thomlinson has been asked to reach out to current faculty and staff, graduate students, postdoctoral fellows, and a representative sample of undergraduate students from all three Specialists programs. The review will include a survey (one for staff and faculty and another for students, PDF and alumni) and one-on-one interviews to gather information about our teaching, learning and working environments.


The survey and interview process will provide an opportunity for you to communicate directly with the reviewers, and a way for them to learn directly about the experiences and observations of members of the Department of Psychology.


The reviewers will analyze the information obtained with the aim of identifying overall themes, including an understanding of what is working well, possible root causes of any workplace and learning environment issues, and their impact. They will also provide expert advice and guidance on the options that are available to the leadership of the department to improve relationships, manage issues, and improve the climate and culture.  We have advised representatives from CUPE 3902 and USW, and UTFA of this assessment and its purpose. The review process will include:

  • An online survey available to students, faculty, staff, and post-doctoral fellows asking them to share their experiences in the Department of Psychology.
  • One-on-one interviews with a cross-section of students, faculty, staff, and PDFs
  • At the end of the review process, Rubin Thomlinson will issue a report of their findings and recommendations from the information gathered, including from the survey process and interviews.

I will provide a summary of the findings and recommendations from the report to our community.


Your full participation, openness, and candour will help to ensure that the review is fair, robust, and thorough. All communications will be directly with the reviewers and their team and will be kept confidential. Information that you provide to the review team will not be specifically attributable to you in any report nor will they provide any direct, attributable information to the University.


Any interviews conducted will be for the purposes of obtaining perspectives from our entire community and will not be of a disciplinary nature. We believe that this confidentiality is vital to ensure that our entire community is comfortable participating in the review. Any staff wishing to have union representatives, or any faculty member or librarian wishing to have an UTFA representative, or another support person present during interviews is welcome to arrange this.


During the interviews, an audio recording and notes will be used to document the provided information. The review team will not submit the recording or interview notes to the University. The only exception to this confidentiality is if there is a disclosure of potential risk of physical harm to individuals (either self or others), threats or risk of violence and/or the disclosure of a potential criminal act. You will receive further details before the launch of the Climate and Culture Review directly from Rubin Thomlinson.




Ashley Monks

Professor and Chair Department of Psychology University of Toronto Mississauga