Resolving Problems & Concerns | Teachers College Columbia University

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Student Handbook | Teachers College, Columbia University

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Resolving Problems & Concerns

Teachers College provides both informal and formal grievance and dispute resolution procedures.

Responsible Office: Vice President for Diversity & Community Affairs

Teachers College provides both informal and formal grievance and dispute resolution procedures.  

Informal Procedures: The College believes that most individuals with concerns, misunderstandings and disputes are more likely to come forward if informal procedures are available.  In the interests of resolving such matters promptly and efficiently, the College provides numerous options to obtain information and raise concerns about other members of the TC community (or visitors) in an informal manner.  The College encourages individuals to begin discussions and resolutions with people in their departments, programs, and units, if applicable and comfortable.

In general, students with concerns or problems are encouraged to go first to the faculty member, and if the concern is not resolved, contact their program coordinator or departmental chair. If the concern or problem is not resolved at the program or departmental level, students may contact the Office of the Vice Provost at (212) 678-3052 or viceprovost@tc.edu

Formal Procedures & Special Situations: The College maintains formal procedures for the resolution of certain grievances. For the complete and most current version of the policy on Grievance Procedures, refer to the TC Policy Library here.

Responsible Office: College Ombuds

The Office of the Ombudsman is a resource available to students, faculty, and staff for resolving problems and conflicts. Members of the College community should use the services of the Ombudsman when they no longer want to pursue the solution of a problem through formal channels alone. It is important, however, they try to resolve their problems or register their concerns with their advisors, instructors, department chairs, other students, colleagues, or College management and administration.

Anyone involved in resolving a problem is asked to cooperate with the Ombudsman. The use of the services of the Office of the Ombudsman does not substitute for a formal grievance procedure. The Ombudsman adheres to all policies and practices of Teachers College and to standards of professional practice.

The Ombudsman helps to resolve a problem by:

  • Identifying and recommending options.
  • Providing needed information about relevant College policies and practices.
  • Investigating a problem and gathering information.
  • Creating an opportunity for better communication among those involved in resolving a problem, including setting up meetings when necessary.
  • Identifying problems that require changes in College policy and practices.

For the complete and most current version of policy on the Ombuds, refer to the TC Policy Library here.