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Scenes from Faculty Senate

Annual Report of the Ombud

1998-1999

June 21, 1999

Personnel:

Vincent Rose, Ombud
Tobie Young, Student Assistant

Office:

During the summer of 1998 the ombud office was moved from the Memorial Union to 324 Roosevelt Hall. This is a good location since many other student services are housed in Roosevelt Hall. The hours are posted on the door along with the office phone number and the phone number and e-mail address of the ombudperson. The telephone message also gives the same information.

Web Page:

Through the efforts of Sheila Black Grubman a new web site was created that emphasizes the purpose of the ombud office, lists its location and indicates the hours, the telephone number of the office and the ombudperson and the e-mail address of the ombudperson and the student assistant. The site also is linked from both the Faculty Senate and the Student Senate web sites.

Outreach:

Posters have been placed in the Memorial Union and in University College. Both the Student Senate and the Graduate Student Association have been contacted. In addition the Office of the Registrar, Bursar, Student Life, Counseling Center, Campus Ministry and Graduate School have been contacted. The ombudperson has attended parent orientation sessions in the summer of 1998 and 1999. Flyers have been distributed to parents during the 1999 session.

Cases:

Questions have been received from students, parents, faculty, administrators and outside groups. The majority of the problems have involved undergraduate students. Most of the solutions have involved informing people of the appropriate procedures and options.

Multiple cases have involved housing deposits on and off campus. In all cases it has been clearly indicated that the deposit was not refundable. The main issues then were timing and equity. Other housing issues involved roommate conduct and/or changing roommates.

Several instances involved alleged cheating. Primarily this involved questions of the definition of "sole" work. Working in groups with access to each other's computer accounts or discs has complicated this problem, as has the internet. Proper citation also has been an issue.

A case in May 1998 regarding the calculation of honors for graduation led to a proposed change in the regulations in the University Manual. The issue as referred back to the Academic Standards and Calendar Committee at the last Faculty Senate meeting of 1999. The ombud office has resubmitted its proposed wording for consideration this summer and fall. Contact has been made with Deans' offices and the Registrars Office regarding possible wording.

Timing:

Many of the cases reach the ombud office before or at the start of the semester (housing, appropriate registrations, course availability, prerequisite requirements, fees, student payroll etc.) and at the end of the semester (grades, dropping of course, cheating, academic standing, dismissal). Cases involved personal conflicts (student-student, teacher-student, administrative office-student) occur on a random basis.

Future Plans:

Efforts will be renewed to obtain coverage of the office in the Cigar and the Pacer. Contacts will be maintained with the various student service offices. The ombudperson has volunteered to serve on the Academic Standards and Calendar Committee where efforts will be continued to amend the regulations regarding graduating with honors.