There are two Graduate Student Ombudspersons for Arts, Sciences
- Ombudsperson for the Humanities and Social Sciences
- Professor Laura Smoller
457 Rush Rhees Library
- Ombudsperson for the Natural Sciences and Engineering
- Professor Kara Bren
448 Hutchison Hall
Phone: (585) 275-4335
Each of these ombudspersons is a faculty member who can provide confidential, impartial and independent advice to help graduate students address their concerns. The Ombudspersons provide a resource for and information about institutional policies and act as facilitators to help students resolve their problems, connecting students with those who can help, accompanying the student in discussions of problems or issues with faculty or administrators, and acting as an informal mediator between the student and faculty or administrators. The Ombudspersons can also help to effect positive change by providing feedback on patterns of problems and complaints to appropriate administrators.
Students can contact either Ombudsperson for general questions. For questions related to the student’s particular field of study, students are encouraged to contact the appropriate Ombudsperson for that discipline. Discussions with the Ombudspersons can be through email, phone or in-person.
Confidential. Discussions with the Ombudsperson will normally operate under a rule of confidentiality. It should be understood, however, that if an Ombudsperson believes a person is a danger to themselves or others, the Ombudsperson is required to disclose this to the University Counseling Center and Public Safety.
Impartial. The Ombudsperson considers the interests and concerns of all parties to disputes, with the goal of achieving fair outcomes. The Ombudsperson does not participate in any formal grievance process.
Independent. The Ombudsperson is independent of the academic administration and only reports on patterns of problems to administrative officers in order to effect positive change for graduate students.