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Ombuds Office

The Ombuds Office is available to assist in the resolution of University-related problems and grievances which have not been redressed through normal channels. Among the problems the Ombuds Office handles are interpersonal disputes, academic disputes, administrative matters, personnel issues, and ethical concerns. Some of the problems on which the Ombuds Office can offer advice or assistance to students include course/degree requirements; academic disputes; grading policy and practice; allegations of academic dishonesty; harassment; delays in services or decisions; conflicts with instructors, employers, or administrative offices; and conflicts arising with roommates or co-workers, or in the classroom. The Ombuds Office can frequently secure needed information and reasonable outcomes where delay or disagreement is the problem. A member of the Ombuds staff can function as a neutral intermediary in disputes and can often facilitate informal settlements where formal procedures fail. The Ombuds Office can also provide mediation when appropriate.

In addition, the Ombuds Office can answer general questions about the University or provide referrals to the appropriate person or agency for further information. Records, contacts and communication are normally confidential.

Although appointments are not required, it is best to call to arrange a convenient time to meet with a member of the Ombuds staff. For information, or to arrange an appointment, please contact Kay Politella, support staff, Room 823, Campus Center, or telephone (413) 545-0867. The Ombuds Office can also be contacted by email: ombuds@ombuds.umass.edu