Office of the Ombuds | Teachers College Columbia University

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Student Handbook | Teachers College, Columbia University

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Office of the Ombuds

The College Ombuds is a resource available to students for help in solving problems and conflicts, and for expressing other concerns that affect their academic or work life in the College. Students should use the services of the Ombuds when they need advice or after efforts to solve their problem have not been successful. They should, however, first try to resolve their concerns through other available channels before seeking the help of the Ombuds.

The Ombuds

  • Listens to concerns and helps clarify the issues in a situation or problem.
  • Evaluates a range of solutions and options.
  • Offers coaching in how to deal with a situation or solve a problem.
  • Gathers information about the source and conditions of a problem.
  • Provides information about relevant Teachers College policies and practices.
  • Identifies other College resources for solving a problem and makes referrals.
  • Creates avenues for communication among those involved in solving a problem, including setting up meetings when necessary.
  • Facilitates a collaboration of the parties involved in finding or mediating a solution.
  • Identifies issues and trends in problems and concerns common to those seeking the help of the Office for consideration by the College community as a whole.

Confidentiality

Discussions with the Ombuds are confidential as permitted by law.  They are not, however, a substitute for taking further action. In matters related to gender-based misconduct, the Office will assist anyone in reporting the misconduct, and identify other available helpful resources.

Impartiality and Independence

The Ombuds is an advocate for the solution of a problem, not for any particular party, and gives equal attention to the position and rights of all concerned. The Office, however, does not have any decision-making authority in the outcome.

Informality

The use of the Office of the Ombuds is not a substitute for formal procedures, such as filing a grievance.  The Ombuds also does not participate in any grievance procedures, although the Office can help the visitor understand the process for filing a complaint or a grievance or for putting the College on notice of a problem.

Office of the Ombuds

48 Horace Mann
(212) 678-4169
flaxman@tc.edu

Ombuds for Gender-Based Misconduct
325 Horace Mann
(212) 678-4016
sandil@tc.edu tc.columbia.edu/ombuds