Frequently Asked Questions

Results Roll-Out

Results Roll-Out*

Background (Pre-Survey)

About the Survey

The Survey Process

Technical Help

Survey Results

Demographics & Diversity

Results Roll-Out

How do I find out what is happening in my Faculty / Division / Union in regards to the Survey?

To learn about next steps for the Survey at the Faculty / Division / Union level, you are encouraged to contact yourDivisional Representative.
When are items related to the Survey being rolled out?

The institution-wide time can be found on the ‘Speaking Up Advisory Committee Resources’ page in the ‘Survey Timeline’ section. For a timeline at the Faculty / Division / Union level, you are encouraged to contact your Divisional Representative.
Where do I find the high level results?

You can see some of the high level results from the May 15th message that was promoted in the HR & Equity ‘News’. Two high level results included in this message are:

  • 88% of employees indicated that they “feel proud” to work at U of T
  • 87% of employees would recommend U of T as a “good place to work”

More results will be released in the coming months.
Who should I contact if I have more questions?

For more information about the survey, please send your questions to

If you are a member of the ‘Speaking Up’ Advisory Committee, please visit our Core Contacts page.

About the survey

What is the ‘Speaking Up’ survey?

‘Speaking Up’ is the university-wide survey of the faculty and staff working experience. This voluntary and anonymous survey will help the University’s senior administration to better understand employees’ experience of working at U of T, including their perception of areas such as recognition and respect, career development, leadership, resources, community, communication and work-life fit.

You may also see or hear about the survey being referred to as the ‘University of Toronto Faculty & Staff Experience Survey (UTFSES)’.

‘Speaking Up’ is a joint initiative of the Offices of the Vice-President & Provost and the Vice-President, Human Resources & Equity.

When will the survey be administered?

The survey will be open from Monday, October 20 until 5 p.m. on Wednesday, November 19.

Why conduct a survey of University of Toronto faculty and staff?

Surveying staff and faculty is an important means of getting a ‘big picture’ view of how employees experience the University as an employer. The results will help inform the setting of institutional priorities – priorities that will enhance the work experience by identifying and reinforcing areas of strength, as well as working towards improvement in those areas where challenges are identified.

What are the benefits of completing a survey?

The survey is an opportunity to tell U of T how you think it is doing as an employer and to identify areas where you think improvement can be made. Your participation in this survey is vital and will help to ensure that the University’s senior administration receives an honest and accurate account of what it’s like to work at U of T. By sharing your experience, you contribute directly to enhancing your work experience, as well as that of your colleagues, and assist the University in retaining its status as one of Canada’s Top Employers.

What is the connection between the survey and the University’s priorities?

U of T is committed to being an employer of choice. The recruitment and retention of the best staff and faculty is essential to the achievement of the University’s goals. The ‘Speaking Up survey will help the University to identify areas where improvement may be helpful in ensuring satisfying and fully engaged careers for all faculty and staff.

How have the results from ‘Speaking Up’ surveys influenced change at U of T?

As a result of the 2006 and 2010 ‘Speaking Up’ surveys, Divisions across U of T have worked to improve processes, programs and initiatives and the overall workplace experience.

Specific examples include an increased focus on management and leadership development such as the mentorship programs and ‘New Manager’s Academy’ administered by the Organizational Development & Learning Centre.

Enhancing communications has also been a focus. The development of advisory committees for non-unionized staff has improved the opportunities for two-way communications while the development of a faculty newsletter is providing a regular update that is sent directly to the academic community.

The results also indicated that there was opportunity to improve employee recognition programs. And since the last survey in 2010, Divisional programs have been established (Staff Impact Award, Simcoe Hall Vice-Presidents Award) as well as an increased focus on the promotion of existing recognition programs (Excellence Through Innovation Award, Long Service Recognition, Retirement). More information about employee recognition programs is available here.

What employee groups are included in the survey population?

All appointed faculty and staff (full and part-time) at the University, including those who are on contracts of at least one year, will receive an invitation to fill out the survey.

Clinical faculty in the Faculty of Medicine and sessional instructors who are members of CUPE 3902, Unit 3, and staff of the federated universities will also be invited to participate.

How were the survey questions chosen?

Development of the questions was a collaborative effort involving Ipsos Reid, and the survey’s Steering Committee. There were efforts made to make the survey relatively consistent with that administered in 2010 and 2006, in order to be in a position to measure our progress over time. The Committee includes members with expertise in survey development and administration.

In addition to questions custom-developed for U of T, the survey includes a number of questions developed in conjunction with the Association of American Universities Data Exchange (AAUDE) and the Collaborative on Academic Careers in Higher Education (COACHE). Responses to these questions may be used for comparative purposes. As well, some of the questions are derived from the survey consultant, Ipsos Reid, and will be used to compare U of T’s employee experience to that of other clients’ employees.

Who is managing the survey project?

The 2014 Survey is a project managed by a team comprised of members from Human Resources & Equity and the Office of the Vice-President & Provost.

The Core Project Team consists of the following individuals:

  • Rosalyn Figov
  • Katy Francis
  • Melanie Grant
  • Cheryl Gibbs
  • Selena Panchoo
  • Stephannie Roy

This group reports into the Project Steering Committee which is comprised of the following members:

  • Angela Hildyard
  • Sioban Nelson
  • Heather Black
  • Allison Burgess
  • Erin Jackson
  • Rosie Parnass
  • Jean Robertson

The Core team and Project team consult with the Survey Advisory Committee and will partner with them on the dissemination of the results. The Survey Advisory Committee consists of representatives from Divisions across the University, as well as union representatives and a representative from  the federated universities.

Who is my Division’s representative on the Survey Advisory Committee?

What is the role of the Divisional Representative?

Divisional designates are:

  • Champions of the survey – encouraging participation in your area.
  • The primary contacts for the development, launch and post-implementation of the survey at the divisional level.
  • Advisors to the project team (primarily in the planning phase)
  • Gatekeepers to divisional results via an online reporting tool
  • Disseminators of divisional results
  • Partners in the development and implementation of initiatives in response to the survey results at the divisional level

The Survey Process

Who is conducting the survey?

A third-party provider is assisting us in conducting this survey. Ipsos Reid – an expert in employee surveys – is providing survey design, development, administration and report services to the University. Ipsos Reid was also the provider used in the 2010 edition of the survey.

You can learn more about Ipsos Reid at

Is the survey confidential?

Yes. The University and Ipsos Reid have taken a number of measures to ensure that the data will remain confidential.

  • The survey is anonymous. Surveys do not have personal identifiers and participants are not asked to provide any personal identification such as name, birth date or personnel number.
  • Only summary data will be reported by the University. Where there are units or groups of fewer than 10 employees responding to a question, data will not be reported. Your manager will not see your responses.
  • Employees will receive a unique web-link to the survey via email. These links are maintained exclusively by Ipsos Reid and are destroyed once employees submit their completed surveys. As each link is unique, employees cannot share their link with colleagues as a way to access the survey.
  • Ipsos Reid will edit the responses to the write-in questions to remove any identifying information, such as names or references to specific work units. Only the edited data will be sent to the University.

The survey and our confidentiality measures have received approval from the University of Toronto Ethics Review Board and is conducted in accordance with the Tri-Council Policy Statement: Ethical Conduct for Research Involving Humans (2010). Seeking approval from the Ethics Review Board demonstrates the Unversity’s commitment to appropriate confidentiality and that the University will treat your responses and participation in an ethical manner.

The University deals with highly confidential information on faculty and staff on a regular basis and has well-established methods of dealing with this appropriately and without the identification of individual employees.

Finally, the raw data itself will only be accessed by the external service provider and four identified staff members, two in the Office of the Vice-President, Human Resources & Equity and two in the Office of the Vice-President & Provost. These individuals will not be senior administrators or individuals who are in a position to make or influence personnel decisions about individual respondents.

Is the survey voluntary?

Yes, the survey is voluntary.

We encourage everyone to participate in order to achieve the best possible understanding of what it is like to work at U of T – both the positive and the negative. A high response rate is important to achieve reliable and representative results and allow for meaningful analysis.

Will this survey affect my collective agreement?

No. The survey in no way interferes with any existing collective agreements or the University’s collective bargaining obligations.

We recognize the certified unions as the sole and exclusive bargaining agents for their bargaining unit members and we recognize their right to bring forward proposals during collective bargaining concerning the terms and conditions of their members’ employment, as well as their right to raise issues or file grievances on behalf of their members.

As a responsible employer, we want to hear from all of our employees about their experience at the University, and we are committed to bettering their experience based on what we hear from the survey. We believe this can only contribute positively to the collective bargaining process.

Can I fill out the survey on work time?

It is expected that all faculty and staff will be afforded time to complete the survey during work hours. If you prefer to complete the survey at home, you are welcome to do so.

If you have any questions in this regard, please contact your HR Divisional Office.

Can I fill out the survey using my smartphone / tablet?

Yes. The online survey can be completed using your smartphone or tablet.

I don’t have regular access to a computer at work. How can I complete the survey?

The survey can only be completed online. It can be completed on a smartphone / tablet. If you do not have a computer available to you in the course of your regular duties, you can access a computer to complete the survey at the following locations:

  • St. George Campus – 256 McCaul Street, Main Floor, Room 109**JUST ADDED: TUESDAY, NOV 18 Between 2 p.m.. and 5 p.m. (no appointment necessary):Between 10 a.m. and 5 p.m. on the following dates (no appointment necessary):Monday, October 20
    Thursday, October 23
    Monday, October 27
    Thursday, October 30
    Monday, November 3
    Thursday, November 6
    Monday, November 10
    Thursday, November 13
  • Scarborough Campus – 1265 Military Trail, Bladen Wing (same building as the Bookstore), 5th Floor, Human Resources Office, BV 527 & 530 HR Testing Rooms.Between 9 a.m. and 5 p.m. on the following dates (please call ahead to Aliyyah Merali at 416.208.4731 to confirm room availability):Monday, October 20
    Thursday, October 23
    Monday, October 27
    Thursday, October 30
    Monday, November 3
    Thursday, November 6
    Monday, November 10
    Thursday, November 13
  • Mississauga Campus –3359 Mississauga Road, Communication, Culture, Information and Technology Building(CCT), CC 1160 (first floor behind the elevators) & CC2160 (second floor behind the elevators). In the same building as the library, but on the other side of the building.Mondays: 10 a.m. – 5 p.m., Room CC1160
    Thursdays: 11 a.m. – 1 p.m., Room CC2160Monday, October 20
    Thursday, October 23
    Monday, October 27
    Thursday, October 30
    Monday, November 3
    Thursday, November 6
    Monday, November 10
    Thursday, November 13

Please note that at the St. George and UTSC locations, there will be a University staff member present to answer questions you may have regarding the survey and to assist with any technical issues that you may experience.

I would like clarification on a question before I respond. Who can help?

Please contact

Technical Help

I haven’t received my survey. What should I do?

First, please check your ‘junk’ folder to confirm that it wasn’t accidentally filed there.

Also, if you have more than one work account, please note that the survey link was sent to employees email address so please check that account’s inbox.

If you are still not able to find the message, please send an email to with your name and division and a link will be provided to you (in most cases) within one business day.

Please note that employees who have been with U of T for less than one month will not have received a survey.

I have received my survey, but the link doesn’t work. What should I do?

Please contact Ipsos Reid at

My colleague didn’t get an email. Should I forward mine?

No. Each email contains a unique web link that links to your survey. Your colleague should

I’m having a problem filling out the survey. What should I do?

If there is a technical issue with filling out the survey, please contact Ipsos Reid at

If you do not understand a question, please contact

Can I save my survey when it is partially complete and come back to finish it at a later time?

Yes. You can save your responses more than once and return to complete the survey at a later date, as long as you submit your responses prior to the end of the survey administration period.

Is it possible to accidently submit or complete the survey more than once?

No. If you click on the unique link in your invitation email after you have already submitted your survey, you will be reminded that you have already completed the survey.

Will I be able to access and / or change my answers after I have submitted my responses to the survey?

No. Once you have submitted your response to the survey, you will not be able to access your responses.

What happens if my computer freezes while I am completing the survey?

It depends on your computer and the situation; while some of your responses could be retained, you may need to start over. If you are unable to get back into the survey, please contact Ipsos Reid at

Survey results

When will the results be released?

We expect to release top-level results early in 2015. This will be followed by the rollout of divisional results.

How will the results be released?

The University intends to provide the results of the survey in as open and transparent a manner as possible. Overall results of the survey will be shared with the entire community through a number of means including presentations to relevant divisions and employee groups and through publication in The Bulletin.

Each division (or group of divisions in some cases) has a designated contact (aka Divisional Representative) who is responsible for disseminating divisional results and coordinating implementation of divisional initiatives. If you aren’t sure who your representative is, please contact

Will survey participation rates be reported?

Information regarding participation rates will be reported during the administration of the survey (via The Bulletin and divisional communications), as well as in the final report.

What will be done with the survey results?

U of T’s senior administration is committed to responding to priority concerns raised in this survey. As with the results from previous University-wide surveys, the findings will be used to inform organizational priorities and drive initiatives in response to the survey results at both the institutional and divisional levels.

Accountability at the institutional level will be monitored through the Performance Indicators report made to Governing Council.

Will we compare U of T results with those of other organizations?

Yes. We will be using the results from the 2006 and 2010 survey as a baseline against which we can measure our 2014 survey results, and engage in trend analysis into the future. Also, some of the survey questions developed by the survey consultant, Ipsos Reid, will be used to compare U of T’s employee experience to that of other similar clients’ employees via established benchmarks.

Will we compare our results to the survey conducted in 2010 and 2006?

Yes. We are very interested in measuring changes in employee opinion since the last surveys.

How will the open-ended questions be reported?

There are two open-ended questions at the end of the survey. Ipsos Reid will edit the responses to remove any identifying information, such as names or references to specific work units, and then categorize the comments by theme so that quantitative analysis can be done on qualitative responses.

Demographics & Diversity

Why is U of T asking for demographic information?

We know the experience for employees may differ based on this information and we want to be able to examine results for Divisions, larger units and departments, groups like faculty, staff, librarians, unions or employee groups.  We also want to know about employees’ diverse experiences based on gender, ethnicity, age and caring responsibilities. This information allows us to better tailor programs and policies to the unique experiences of our diverse employees.

What is U of T going to do with the demographic information?

This information will help support U of T by establishing baseline data from which to benchmark U of T against other organizations and their best practices.

It is important for U of T to obtain the engagement levels of employees across a broader spectrum of diversity in order to measure and track the progress toward achieving the diversity goals set by the organization and to help to expand, develop and / or tailor future programs and services. It will help determine strategies, programs and practices that will meet the needs of a diverse university.

Will U of T be setting targets / quotas for diversity?


Will U of T publish the demographic information?

Aggregate level information will be available (for example the percentages of respondents who are women, the age profile of respondents and other high level information). Demographics will be available at the divisional level when response rates are high enough. No record-level demographic information will be published.