Resolving Problems & Concerns | Teachers College Columbia University

Skip to content Skip to main navigation

Student Handbook

Skip to content Skip to content

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 procedures for resolving disputes.  

Informal Procedures: The College provides numerous options to obtain information and address concerns in an informal manner.  If applicable and if the individual feels comfortable doing so, the College encourages individuals to initially raise concerns with their departments, programs and/or units.

In general, students are encouraged to initially speak with a faculty member and if the concern is not resolved, to then contact their program coordinator or director, or to contact their department chair.  Students may also contact the Vice Provost for Student Affairs, Tom Rock at 212-678-3083 or tpr4@tc.columbia.edu.  

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

Responsible Office: College Ombuds

The Office of the Ombuds is a resource available to students, faculty, and staff for help in resolving problems and conflicts, and for expressing other concerns that affect their academic, living and work life.  TC community members should use the services of the Ombuds when they need advice or after efforts to personally resolve their concerns are not successful. The Ombuds acts as a neutral party and does not advocate for a particular party, group or the College.  The only advocacy role is for fairness and equity in finding a solution to the problem or concern. Conversations with the Ombuds are confidential, as permitted by law.

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

The Ombuds helps to resolve a problem by:

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


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