About the Office
Who can use the office?
What kind of disputes does
the Ombuds handle?
When should I use the Ombuds
How does the Ombuds solve problems?
How can the Ombuds
How is my confidentiality
can use the office?
The Ombuds Office is available, free of charge,
to assist all members of the McMaster community.
An Ombuds does not address disputes between
members of the campus community and private individuals, companies
or groups not affiliated with the University. Formal grievances
and legal issues are also outside the jurisdiction of the office.
kind of disputes does the Ombuds handle?
An Ombuds is available to handle university
related complaints and concerns, especially those that have not
been adequately addressed through the usual channels. Students might
visit the Ombuds Office with academic or non-academic problems including:
- grade appeals
- academic misconduct (e.g. plagarism)
- student records and transcripts
- course rules and requirements
- problems with Instructors
- requests to withdraw from a program
Faculty and staff issues might involve:
- fines and refunds
- codes of conduct
- student employment on campus
- promotions and compensation
- departmental concerns
- codes of conduct
- conflicts with a student/colleague
- performance evaluations
should I use the Ombuds Office?
- if the normal channels of redress outlined in your handbook
- if you are unsure how a policy or procedure applies to you
- if you feel a policy or procedure has been applied unfairly
- if you are unsure what options exist to solve a problem
- if you need help pursuing a resolution or facilitating communication
- if you want to discuss a sensitive issue
an Ombuds solve problems?
An Ombuds may: [with your permission]
- initiate problem solving discussions with other parties
- facilitate effective communication
- provide informal third party intervention by acting as a go-between
- mediate a dispute
- collaborate with other offices
- investigate a complaint that is not covered by any existing
policy or procedure
- bring a complaint to the attention of the appropriate individuals
- promote fair and equitable processes and, at times, recommend
changes in policies and procedures
can an Ombuds help me?
An Ombuds will:
- listen to you in an active and respectful manner
- explain University policies and procedures and how they
- advise you about formal and informal methods of dispute resolution
- objectively review your situation
- help you develop a plan of action
- suggest approaches for managing conflicts
- refer you, when appropriate, to other University or community resources
- help you create and analyze workable options
- assist you in pursuing a resolution
is my confidentiality protected?
An Ombuds will not identify you or your confidences or
act on them without your knowledge and permission except where required
by law (Ombuds are required to protect the physical safety
of their clients and the public).
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