Office created to ensure fair treatment for students

    UCSD created the Office of the Ombuds on April 22 in response to a request from a staff commission on diversity. The office is intended to to ensure that members of the UCSD community receive fair treatment in matters of concern or complaint and will provide informal, confidential counseling and evaluations on conflicted issues.

    Courtesy of USD

    According to Judith Bruner, the newly appointed campus ombudsperson, the office assists “”people with concerns about academic or administrative issues and attempt to assist individuals to resolve their concerns fairly, and if possible, informally.””

    The office exists as a supplement for formal agreement and procedure, so many of the services are offered confidentially.

    The Office of the Ombuds will also refer clients to an appropriate office or person if he or she wants a problem to go on record.

    The ombudsman could also act as a mediator. According to Bruner, the mediator’s main task is to ease the communications between the conflicted parties.

    Assistant Chancellor Linda Williams, sees the Office of the Ombuds as a testimony to UCSD’s desire for everyone resolve conflicts.

    “”We have an additional place for people to go … a unique, informal, problem-solving way,”” Williams said.

    Williams noted many obstacles that blocked the creation of such an organization before now.

    “”There are lots of other agencies for resolving conflicts,”” Williams said. “”Staff, students or faculty members might have utilized some other offices in the past to resolve their problem, such as judicial affairs for staff employment relations — academic affairs for students. So there was no quick rush for [setting up the Ombuds].””

    Williams also said researchers had been used to cover issues of the new office’s structure, performing functions and collaboration with the other administrations.

    “”[The Office of the Ombuds] is a safe place to come to ask for advice and evaluations,”” Bruner said.

    The new established Office of the Ombuds is located on the Thurgood Marshall College campus and can also be reached at (858) 534-0777.

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