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Whether you are a student, faculty member, or staff, the Office of the University Ombudsperson offers a confidential place to discuss both academic and nonacademic concerns including, administrative issues, workplace issues, or any concern that may relate to Michigan State University students. We also interpret and explain university policies and procedures. Here, you can speak freely because the Office of the University Ombudsperson offers an environment where you can talk with a confidential and impartial resource about a complaint, conflict or problem. We are not part of any formal University process. We do not take sides in disputes. We operate independently of the University. Contact us at any point in your academic journey and together we will define the problem, explore options, outline strategies, review policies, inform you about applicable resources, and manage expectations while upholding the values of respect, integrity, diversity and freedom from bias or harassment. While keeping strict confidentiality, the Office of the University Ombudsperson further provides University officials with general information about trends and emerging student needs to assist the University in proactively improving its policies and practices.
The Office of the University Ombudsperson also is committed to providing unbiased, fair, and equitable services and support to all members of the Michigan State University community regardless of color, disability, familial status (i.e., having children under 18 in a household, including pregnant women), sexual orientation, gender identity, citizenship status, national origin, race, religion, class, sex, and any other identities the constituent may hold.
Our office operates pursuant to its Charter Agreement with the University, the International Ombudsman Association Standards of Practice and Code of Ethics, and the American Bar Association’s Standards for the Establishment and Operation of Ombuds Offices. Ombuds services are confidential, neutral, informal, and independent.
STANDARDS OF PRACTICE
- Independence: The Office of the University Ombudsperson officially reports to the President but is independent of any University administrative structure.
- Neutrality: We seek processes that are fair and equitable to all parties. The Office provides an impartial and objective resource for the University community.
- Confidentiality: Information concerning any visit will not be disclosed without the visitor's permission, absent compelling reasons (e.g., a court order or potential risk to safety). On occasion, the Ombudspersons may, at the request of the visitor and if appropriate, contact another party and seek additional information or clarification to better understand the nature of the problem.
- Informality: The University Ombudspersons listen, seek to understand, and provide information to help solve problems. The University Ombudspersons do not participate in the formal grievance process.
To learn more about the Office of the University Ombudsperson from the ombuds themselves, please take a few moments to watch our introductory video.