Are you navigating a challenge or experiencing conflict in your graduate education at UNC Charlotte? The University Ombuds is a resource that can provide help to graduate students.
As of August 2023, graduate students will receive services through the University Ombuds. The ombuds is an advocate for fairness who listens to graduate students’ concerns and helps students achieve a greater understanding of the problem and possible solutions, and looks for information and resources applicable to the situation.
What is an ombuds?
The ombuds program is an independent, informal, impartial, and confidential* resource for new and continuing graduate students to raise questions or concerns about any aspect of their graduate experiences. The Ombuds does not advocate for any individual point of view, and does not participate in any formal grievance process, but works to promote a fair process for all.
* The University Ombuds is designated as a confidential resource for the purposes of Title IX, and shall not disclose confidential information in any matter to the maximum extent permitted by law, unless the matter involves imminent risk of serious harm to self or others. Please review the full confidentiality provisions in the ombuds charter.
What concerns can you share with the Ombuds?
Students share concerns about conflicts or communication with major professors, conditions with graduate student appointments, and academic difficulties. Here are some examples of concerns shared with the ombuds:
- Perceived irregularities with academic policies and practices
- Concerns about fairness of process
- Disrespectful or inappropriate behavior
- Interpersonal disputes or conflicts
- Stressful academic/assistantship conditions
- Financial distress
- Personal or family problems impacting academic progress
What help can the Ombuds provide?
The University Ombuds can help graduate students in a variety of ways including:
- Listening to graduate student concerns
- Explaining policies and their application to specific cases
- Helping graduate students identify and consider options for resolving conflicts with colleagues and advisors at the University
- Strategizing about a conversation with a student-colleague or supervisor
- Referring graduate students to formal complaint or appeal procedures when warranted
- Referring graduate students to other resources available on campus.
When should I contact the Ombuds?
Students should contact the ombuds as soon as a concern develops. Concerns can include almost any issue arising within the university setting, including personal and academic concerns. It’s easier to address concerns and resolve conflict successfully early on than later. Once a problem has entered a formal University process, it is more difficult for the Ombuds to advise a student.
How would a graduate student contact the University Ombuds?
Discussions with the ombuds are kept confidential, to the extent possible. Appointments can be arranged directly by contacting Scott Deyo, University Ombuds, at 704‑687‑5518. You may also book a time directly using Calendly by clicking HERE.