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  • Ombudsperson for Graduate Students

    Building Cooperative Resolution--Enriching the Educational Experience

    This office was established in 1999 to further the University mission of excellence in graduate education. The Office is available to all students with questions or concerns related to their graduate experience. The University is a large and complex institution; misunderstandings and conflicts can occur easily. The Ombuds Office provides confidential and informal assistance in resolving these conflicts and promotes fair and equitable treatment within the University.

    Role of the Ombudsperson

    The Ombudsperson is an impartial, independent and confidential resource for graduate students at the University who helps to surface and resolve school issues. The Ombudsperson can also help to affect positive change by providing upward feedback on patterns of problems and complaints to appropriate senior officers.

    The word “Ombudsman” originated in Sweden during the 19th Century, when the term applied to a public official appointed to investigate citizens’ complaints against governmental agencies. The Ombudsperson is best described as “the person who has an ear to the people.” The purpose of the Ombuds Office is to insure that the graduate student voice is heard, and that problems can receive impartial attention.

    What can you expect of the Ombuds Office?

    The Ombudsperson listens to your concerns, clarifies procedures, discusses options, and, when requested, may act as an intermediary. The Ombudsperson does not advocate for an individual. Rather, the Ombudsperson advocates for a fair process. The Ombudsperson works to promote the University’s commitment to excellence in graduate education.

    The Ombuds person will:

      * Hear complaints and grievances.
      * Help individuals candidly discuss issues and explore options.
      * Open channels of communication.
      * Serve as a neutral third party in conflict resolution.
      * Work to achieve fair and equitable solutions to problems.
      * Make referrals to appropriate University resources, so that you can go directly to the person who can best address your concerns.
      * Suggest approaches for addressing and managing conflict.
      * Collaborate with other University offices on issues of general concern.
      * Help obtain interpretations of University policies.
      * Offer recommendations for policy and procedure change.