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The SHRS ombudsperson assists students and postdocs with resolving conflicts and issues that arise in the course of their education and training that they believe have not or cannot be addressed within their academic department. The ombudsperson can help mediate conflicts and provides information about institutional policies related to the student’s issues, including the University’s grievance procedures. The ombudsperson directs students and postdocs to further resources on campus as appropriate.

SHRS Ombudsperson
Jessica Maguire, MA
Executive Director of Student Affairs and Ombudsperson

An ombudsperson is not involved in formal grievance procedures but serves to provide guidance to students in managing conflicts/problems and provides information about institutional policies and university grievance procedures that may be related to a student’s conflicts/grievances. An ombudsperson may direct students to other campus resources as appropriate.

The responsibilities of the SHRS ombudsperson include: 

  • Listening to student concerns.
  • Explaining campus policies.
  • Explaining the grade appeal process.
  • Acting as a neutral resource between student and faculty member.
  • Facilitating communication between and among individuals.
  • Counseling faculty to minimize potential conflict.
  • Coaching students on how to talk to faculty and staff.
  • Referring individuals to others as appropriate.
  • Acting as an informal resource to students, faculty, and staff.
  • Keeping information confidential except as required by law.

The SHRS ombudsperson does not:

  • Change grades.
  • Change policies.
  • Take sides, but rather tries to facilitate a mutual understanding between differing points of view.
  • Identify individuals without permission, except as required by law.
  • Take part in formal grievance processes.