Office of the Ombuds

We are here to help you

The Office of the Ombuds serves as a resource for students and other members of the university community regarding any complaint, grievance or appeal that may be academic or non-academic in nature. When working with our office, you will receive timely, objective and strategic information in a confidential manner to assist with the interpretation of policies and procedures. The role of the Ombuds is to ensure adherence to EMU policy, confirm due process as it relates to institutional protocol, assist with resolution and prevention of both academic and nonacademic concerns, and to make appropriate data based recommendations to the Office of the Provost.

The Ombuds works directly with faculty and staff, providing consultation related to university policies and procedures. It has established itself as an objective, nonbiased operation that continues to work towards developing a fair and equitable university community.

What the Ombuds can do:

  • Listen, inform and discuss questions, concerns and complaints about the functioning of the university, including EMU policies and procedures.
  • Help develop problem solving skills and promote critical thinking so individuals will be better able to act on their own behalf in resolving conflicts.
  • Assist in evaluating and assessing a variety of options to address concerns.
  • Assist in outlining a plan of action to resolve confltct(s) and/or guide adherence to University policy and protocol
  • Answer questions and help individuals formulate appropriate questions.
  • Identify problems and conflict areas with in the University and recommend improvements.
  • Make referrals directly to the appropriate individuals and/or resources for mediation, counseling, and dispute resolution services.
  • Support individuals by connecting them with internal and external resources to foster a helping network
  • Provide a safe and neutral setting where individuals feel respected and where they can be candid and forthright.

What the Ombuds cannot do:

  • Take part in any formal grievance process, heating or judicial process.
  • Make or change administrative or academic decisions for any other part of the University.
  • Assign sanctions.
  • Give legal advice.
  • Accept official "notice" for the University about issues. If someone wishes to put the University "on notice," that is make the University formally aware of a particular problem, we can provide information on how to do so.

Ombuds Code of Ethics

The Ombuds is designated as a neutral and informal third party with the responsibility of protecting any records and files pertaining to discussions from inspection by all other persons unrelated to the resolution process. The Ombuds reserves the right to discuss cases with university officials with a legitimate educational interest, maintaining limited confidentiality within the scope of conflict resolution and the university personnel involved.

When making recommendations or working to resolve conflicts, the Ombuds has the responsibility to facilitate productive conversations regarding suggested actions, university policies, and resolutions equitable to all parties.

The Ombuds should not testify in any formal judicial or administrative hearing about concerns brought to his/her attention.

Ombuds Intake Form

To submit a question or concern, please fill out our Ombuds Intake Form.

Student Handbook & Policy Guide

2014-15 Student Handbook & Policy Guide (pdf)

Ombuds Bulletins

Fall 2014 Bulletin (pdf)

Ombuds Reports

Fall 2014 Report (pdf)

Contact the Ombuds

Dr. Chiara Hensley
University Ombuds
248 Student Center
Phone: 734.487.0074
Fax: 734.483.6515

Office Hours

Monday - Friday: 9:00AM-5PM
Walk-In Service: 10:00AM-4PM
University Ombuds by appointment only

Contact Us If You...

  • Have a problem or conflict involving the University and don't know where to go to solve it.
  • Feel your concerns are not being heard.
  • Need information about Policies and Procedures Affecting you at EMU.
  • Believe your rights have been violated or you have not been given due process.
  • Need help to resolve or mediate a dispute.
  • Feel you have been treated unfairly or insensitively or that you are being subjected to intimidating, bullying, or emotionally "toxic" behavior.
  • Think that the University has made an error but has not acknowledged it.
  • Have a death in the family or other personal or family emergency. The ombuds can offer guidance as you notify your instructors, and for contacting family members and other appropriate personnel.