Yesterday I met with David Rasch, the University Ombuds from the Office of the Ombuds in Mariposa House. If you are wondering what an Ombuds is, I bet you aren’t alone. I just learned about the Office of the Ombuds this year. The website describes the Ombuds in the following way: “The Ombuds is an impartial dispute resolver who strives to see that faculty, staff and students at the university are treated fairly and equitably.” This sounded like a great service to the University so I went to learn more about it.
In my meeting I learned that David is a psychologist and has been the University Ombuds for 5 years. He sees approximately 375-400 cases a year of which 30% are students, 20% are faculty, and 50% are staff. The students are split about 50/50 grad/undergrad. After meeting with David I believe the Ombuds is an excellent resource and more students should become aware of the Office. From the Office’s “How We Can Help” page, you can see that the Ombuds is impartial, confidential, and independent. The Ombuds is outside the standard reporting structure, is answerable to the President, and authorized to talk to anyone in the University to resolve a dispute.
Do you have a grade dispute, petition denied issue, research lab issue, work environment discomfort, advisor conflict – basically anything - you should go see the Ombuds and see if he can help!