Frequently Asked Questions

What IS an Ombuds?

Ombuds (or Ombudsperson) is a word, borrowed from Scandinavia, which originally meant “representative,” and identified an individual appointed to investigate complaints by individuals against government officials and agencies.

The Student Ombuds at Kent State University assists students, parents, faculty and staff in navigating the policies and procedures of the university, usually in response to a concern or complaint, and assists in exploring options for possible resolution.

What is the Student Ombuds ABLE do for me?

  • Offer a safe, confidential, and neutral setting to discuss concerns, or complaints.
  • Listen intently and empathically and ask clarifying questions.
  • Consult with visitors, helping to identify, develop, analyze and evaluate options available to them.
  • Make appropriate referrals when applicable.
  • Explain university policies/processes.
  • Assist in navigating bureaucratic obstacles and “red tape.”

What is the Student Ombuds UNABLE do for me?

  • Conduct investigations.
  • Determine the outcome of a complaint or require academic or administrative units to reach a certain decision for a student.
  • Give legal advice or provide mental health counseling.
  • Serve as the official record-holder for formal complaints.
  • Serve as an advocate for any one individual or office.

Who can use the Student Ombuds Office’s services?

Any member of the university who has a student-related concern may seek the assistance of the office. Parents, family members, and alumni are also invited to contact the office for assistance. Faculty or staff who have university-related concerns not involving students should contact their academic department, Human Resources, or other applicable offices, e.g. Title IX, EOAA.