The Office of the Ombuds is pleased to welcome Dr. Chiara S. M. Hensley as the new Ombuds for EMU students. She begins her tenure at EMU on October 15th. She can be reached at 734.487.0074 or via email at EMU_Ombuds@emich.edu
Our thanks to Dr. Perry C. Francis who has served as the Interim Ombuds and now returns to the faculty.
We are here to help you
At Eastern Michigan University, the ombuds helps students resolve concerns, problems, or conflicts with regards to University policies, procedures, and decisions. The ombuds provides for a confidential and neutral place for students to come to express their concerns. Students work with the ombuds to identify steps that may be taken to achieve a timely and fair resolution to a problem.
The ombuds may collaborate with others in the University community regarding student concerns. The ombuds is interested in both issue resolution and prevention in resolving both academic and non-academic concerns.
What can the Ombuds do for you?
- Listen and discuss questions, concerns, and complaints of students about the functioning of the university, including policies and procedures, the actions of others, and unfair treatment.
- Help students develop problem solving skills and promote critical thinking so that students will be better able to act on their own behalf in resolving conflicts.
- Assist students in evaluating and assessing a variety of options to address their concerns.
- Answer questions, help students formulate appropriate questions, and find others who can provide the correct answer.
- Identify problems and conflict areas within the University and recommend improvements.
- Make referrals for mediation, counseling, and dispute resolution services, and assists in creating a helping network for students.
- Provide a safe and confidential setting where students feel respected and where they can be candid and forthright.
What the Ombuds can not do for you:
- Take part in any formal grievance process, hearing or judicial process.
- Make 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, as a designated neutral, has the responsibility of maintaining strict confidentiality concerning matters that are brought to his/her attention unless given permission to do otherwise. The only exceptions, at the sole discretion of the ombuds, are where there appears to be imminent threat of serious harm.
The ombuds must take all reasonable steps to protect any records and files pertaining to confidential discussions from inspection by all other persons, including management.
The ombuds should not testify in any formal judicial or administrative hearing about concerns brought to his/her attention.
When making recommendations, the ombuds has the responsibility to suggest actions or policies that will be equitable to all parties.
Confidentiality is a key characteristic of the Office of the Ombuds. The office does not divulge a client's name or the nature of the issue being discussed without the client's consent. With the student's permission, individuals whose help is necessary to resolve a specific problem may be contacted. The office acts only with your permission - except in the unusual situations of imminent risk of serious harm where there appears to be no responsible option except to act without permissioin.
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.
Contact the Ombuds
Dr. Chiara S. M. Hensley
Student Center 240, N & O
FAX (734) 483.6515
Submit Your Questions
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