At URI, the Ombud is a confidential, objective, last resort for problems with University procedures and processes.
The ombud idea and the name came from Scandinavia in the 18th century. The original ombud was an officer of the parliament who investigated complaints from citizens who felt they had been unfairly treated. If the complaint was justified, he sought a remedy.
The size, impersonality and complexity of modern universities made this type of representative of the individual increasingly desirable on college campuses, and in recent years many universities have adopted the idea of the ombud.
URI has had an Office of the Ombud since 1972 and from the beginning it was apparent that it filled a very real need.
The primary function of the Ombud is to provide a system for handling individual problems and complaints about University processes. The Ombud has no authority to reverse or alter decisions by other university officials, for instance to change grades, or reinstate a student.
The Ombud helps the student or other members of the University community solve his or her problem by:
• Giving needed advice and direction.
• Investigating in confidence conflicting situations.
• Clarifying matters by interviewing all parties concerned and by researching the problem.
• Mediating and suggesting compromises in conflicting situations.
• Ensuring that the student receives due process.
• Recommending to the University administration procedures to prevent the recurrence of academic and administrative problems.
The Office of the Ombud consists of two members:
1. The University Ombud appointed by the Faculty Senate.
2. The Student Assistant to the Ombud nominated by the Student Senate or the Graduate Student Association and appointed by the University President.
The University Ombud is Dr. Vincent Rose. His e-mail address is Rose@egr.uri.edu.
At this posting, no one has been appointed Student Assistant to the Ombud.
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Human Science and Services: http://www.uri.edu/hss/
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University Library: http://www.uri.edu/library/lib120/integrity.htm
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