Office Of The Ombuds

Welcome to the Office of the Ombuds!

Stephen Peverly profile picture
Stephen Peverly, Ph.D.
Member, International Ombuds Association

Location: Room 280 Grace Dodge Hall 

Office Hours:  The College Ombuds is available throughout the week by appointment.

Office of the Ombuds

The College Ombuds is a confidential and independent resource available to students, faculty and staff for resolving problems and conflicts.  Members of the College community can use the services of the Ombuds Office when they need assistance or advice, or after other efforts have not succeeded.

The Office provides information and explains options for resolving a wide range of problems and rectifying many situations affecting the academic or work life of members of the College community. The Ombuds responds to all concerns and continually works for a satisfactory outcome for all parties involved in a situation.

Operating Principles


Discussions with the Ombuds are confidential as permitted by law, except in matters of actual or imminent physical or mental risk. In such matters the Ombuds considers the interests and safety of the involved parties in maintaining confidentiality.

The Office of the Ombuds does not maintain records of specific complaints or problems.


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


The Office is independent of any organizational unit or group in the College.


The use of the Office of the Ombuds is not a substitute for taking formal action, such as filing a grievance. The Ombuds also does not participate in any formal grievance procedures. If anyone wishes to officially and formally notify the College about a problem or situation, the Office can provide information about how to do so.

Activities of the Office

The Ombuds:

  • Listens to concerns and clarifies the issues in a situation or a problem.
  • Gathers information about the source and conditions of a problem, provides information about other resources for help or makes referrals when necessary.
  • Evaluates a range of solutions and options with the visitor.
  • Offers coaching in how to solve a problem.
  • Provides needed information about relevant Teachers College policies and practices.
  • 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 help for the consideration of the College community as whole. 

The Ombuds does not:

  • Make binding decisions on finding of fact.
  • Mandate policies for Teachers College.
  • Act as an agent of the College.
  • Offer legal advice.
  • Provide psychological counseling. 

Links to Other Student Services

Professor Peverly's Biography

Stephen T. Peverly, Ph.D. joined Teachers College as an assistant professor in 1986. Currently he is a Professor Emeritus of Psychology and Education. He retired in August 2022. He has been Ombuds since 2017, except for a one-year hiatus to prepare an accreditation report for his program. 

Professor Peverly was Director of the Ph.D. and Ed.M. Programs in School Psychology, Chair of the Department of Health and Behavior Studies (2010-2016) and Honorary Professor of Cognition and Education at the Universidad del Norte, in Barranquilla, Columbia. His research focused on cross cultural investigations of the development of young students’ math skills and the cognitive, affective and motivational processes that underlie reading comprehension and studying, especially lecture and text notetaking. His courses included: The Psychology of Memory: Cognitive and Affective Bases; the Development of Reading Comprehension, and the Professional and Ethical Functions of School Psychologists. He is a member of the American Psychological Association, the Association for Psychological Science, and the National Association of School Psychologists. He is a licensed psychologist (New York State). His honors include Fellow of Division 16 of the American Psychological Association (School Psychology), and an elected member of the Society for the Study of School Psychology (SSSP).

Before coming to Teachers College, Professor Peverly worked as a School Psychologist in Massachusetts from 1976 to 1979. He returned to graduate school in 1979 and graduated with a Ph.D. in Educational Psychology from The Pennsylvania State University in 1983. Subsequently, he did a three-year ostdoctoral fellowship at the Learning Research and Development Center at the University of Pittsburgh from 1983-1986.

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