How the University Ombuds Office Works
You're not alone. Come to us for any university-related question, concern or challenge. Together we'll discuss, brainstorm and come up with solutions. We'll even discuss the next steps, so you can decide whether you want to take them. Our conversations are private, and you will be empowered to decide how you want to move forward. You can learn more about how the University Ombuds Office works by taking a look at the information below.
What is an Ombudsperson?
An Ombudsperson, or Ombuds, is a confidential and off-the-record resource for students, faculty and staff. Ombuds assist with the resolution of disputes, conflict management and problem-solving.
How can the Ombuds help?
Think of the Ombuds as your non-biased best friend. We can help with conflicts, provide general information, or just by lending a listening ear. You can also meet with us if you:Do not know how to proceed;
Believe you have been treated unfairly;
Are unsure of which policy or process might apply in your situation;
Would like help facilitating communication;
Are having a difficult time resolving a problem or finding an answer to your question;
Would like help navigating university-related concerns;
Are unsure of where to go, who to talk to or what options exist at CMU to address your situation; or,
Believe the University should review, revise or improve policies and procedures.
What types of things would I talk with the Ombuds about?
You may contact us with any concerns related to CMU. We've discussed a variety of topics, including:
Final course grades and the Grade Grievance Policy;
Misunderstandings involving an instructor, staff member or peer;
Concerns related to graduation eligibility;
Matters related to accessibility and accommodations;
Situations involving alleged harassment or discrimination.
When should I contact the Student Ombuds Office?
No matter where you are in your process, we're here to help. Whether you've just started looking for information or a solution to an issue, or when you feel like you've exhausted all of your options and need a place to turn, turn to us.
What should I expect when working with the University Ombuds Office?
Your Ombuds will spend some time explaining the role of the office and address any urgent questions you have. After that, your Ombuds will:Listen intently and without judgment to understand and discuss challenges, complaints and concerns about the University, including its policies and procedures, the actions of others and unfair treatment;
Offer information about relevant policies and procedures;
Help you identify and evaluate different options to address your situations and decide what steps to take, if any;
Provide a safe, confidential space where you feel respected and can speak openly to share your thoughts, concerns and questions;
Answer questions or consult with others who can answer them;
Connect you with offices, resources and services to create a more robust network;
Coach on conflict resolution skills;
Facilitate communication between parties finding it difficult to solve a problem.
The Ombudsperson will not:
Participate in formal grievance processes, hearings or investigations;
Establish, change or override policies or academic or administrative decisions;
Provide legal advice or serve as a substitute for anyone's lawyer;
Provide clinical mental health treatment;
Serve as an advocate for any person or party;
Serve as an agent of notice for Central Michigan University;
Keep official University files and records.