Student Ombudsman

Mission Statement

The Marymount University Ombuds Office is an independent, neutral, and confidential resource dedicated to promoting fairness, equity, and constructive conflict resolution within the university community. Our mission is to assist students in addressing concerns, resolving disputes, and improving the university’s overall climate and culture.

I. Purpose and Scope:

  • The Marymount University Ombuds Office serves as an informal, independent, and neutral resource for all members of the university community.
  • The Ombuds Office helps individuals address a wide range of issues, including interpersonal conflicts, academic disputes, ethical concerns, and policy or procedural questions.
  • The Ombuds Office operates independently of existing administrative structures and does not make binding decisions, render legal advice, or substitute for formal grievance or appeal processes.


II. Principles and Values:

The Marymount University Ombuds Office is guided by the following principles:

  • Confidentiality: Conversations with the Ombuds are confidential, with exceptions only as required by law or when there is a risk of imminent harm.
  • Independence: The Ombuds Office is independent and impartial, operating outside formal lines of authority and reporting directly to the highest university leadership.
  • Neutrality: The Ombuds remains neutral, does not take sides, and works to ensure all parties have an equal voice in resolving their concerns.
  • Informality: The Ombuds Office employs informal, non-adversarial, and collaborative approaches to conflict resolution.
  • Accessibility: The Ombuds Office is accessible to all members of the university community and strives to be a welcoming and inclusive resource.
  • Accountability: The Ombuds Office may make recommendations for systemic change or improvement to the university leadership while respecting confidentiality.

III. Services and Activities:

  • Informal Consultation: The Ombuds Office provides a confidential and safe space for individuals to discuss their concerns, seek information, and explore options for addressing issues.
  • Conflict Resolution Assistance: The Ombuds Office assists in identifying and evaluating options for resolving disputes, including facilitating discussions, mediations, and other collaborative processes.
  • Systemic Feedback: The Ombuds Office tracks trends and emerging issues and may provide anonymous, aggregated data and recommendations to university leadership for systemic improvements.

IV. Limitations:

The Ombuds Office does not have the authority to change university policies, make binding decisions, or intervene in formal legal processes.  Conversations with the Ombuds Office are not a substitute for legal advice, therapy, or other professional services.

V. Reporting:

The Ombuds will provide an annual report to the university leadership that outlines the activities, trends, and systemic recommendations made by the office while protecting the confidentiality of individuals served.

VI. Ombuds Office Leadership:

The Ombuds Office will be led by an experienced, trained Ombuds who adheres to the International Ombudsman Association (IOA) Standards of Practice.

VII. Review and Revision:

This charter will be reviewed periodically to ensure its continued relevance and effectiveness in serving the needs of the university community.


Common Concerns

Academic Issues:
  • Grade disputes
  • Academic misconduct allegations
  • Concerns about teaching quality
  • Incomplete or unfair course policies
Policy and Procedure Questions:
  • Clarifications regarding university policies
  • Questions about academic or workplace procedures
  • Appeals for policy exceptions
Financial Concerns:
  • Tuition disputes
  • Financial aid or scholarship problems
  • Billing errors or disputes
Student-Student Conflicts:
  • Roommate disputes
  • Interpersonal conflicts among students
  • Group project disputes
  • Bullying or harassment
Discrimination and Harassment:
  • Cases of discrimination based on gender, race, religion, etc.
  • Sexual harassment or misconduct
  • Microaggressions or subtle bias concerns
Campus Climate and Culture:
  • Concerns about the overall campus environment
  • Issues related to diversity, equity, and inclusion
  • Suggestions for improving the university’s climate
Faculty-Student Issues:
  • Advisor-student conflicts
  • Mentorship problems
  • Concerns about unfair grading or evaluation
  • Allegations of academic misconduct
  • Employment Matters:
Procedural Fairness:
  • Concerns about the fairness of university processes
  • Grievances related to admissions, disciplinary actions, or promotions
  • Violations of due process
General Complaints and Feedback:
  • Suggestions for improvements in university services
  • General complaints or grievances
  • Seeking guidance on how to navigate university processes
Ethical Dilemmas:
  • Violations of academic or research integrity
  • Unethical behavior by students, faculty, or staff
  • Ethical concerns related to research
Accessibility and Accommodations:
  • Concerns related to disability accommodations
  • Accessibility issues on campus
  • Requests for reasonable accommodations

Link to Form:

Think you have a case that the Ombuds can assist with? Then please fill out this intake form. The Student Ombudsman will reach out within 48 hours/2 business days to schedule a meeting with you.