Ombuds Services

FAQ

STUDENTS Frequently Asked Questions

What kinds of issues can I share with the Ombuds?
The Ombuds Office can help you when you have any concern or complaint about USF. We can clarify policies and procedures, discuss avenues for disputing grades, listen when you feel you have been treated unfairly, and help you manage challenging relationships with faculty or staff members.

What will the Ombuds do?
The Ombuds will listen to your concerns, without being judgmental, and provide guidance on the resolution processes available to you. She may also discuss various outcomes and the impact of each.

Will the Ombuds give specific advice on the action to be taken?
The Ombuds will not tell you what to do; instead, based on the options discussed, you will determine how to proceed. The Ombuds is an informal resource and does not advocate or adjudicate on behalf of students or the University.

Can my parents request details of my issue?
No third party, not even your parents, can obtain information about your visit without your permission. The Ombuds encourages parents and families to support students' development of communication and problem-solving skills. While parents will find the staff friendly and helpful, it is best if the student contacts the office directly. 

I go to a different campus of USF.  Is there an Ombuds to help me?
Each campus in the USF System has its own Ombuds Office. Visit the Ombuds website for the St. Petersburg campus or the Sarasota-Manatee campus for more information. 


PARENTS Frequently Asked Questions

As a parent, will the Ombuds meet with me?
The Ombuds receives calls from parents often. She will gladly meet with you, but only if the student is also involved. If your student were to contact the office first, the Ombuds would not disclose any confidential information or confirm/deny that the student visited the office. In an effort to foster problem solving and appropriate communication skills, the Ombuds prefers to work directly with students and appreciates parental support.

May I contact the Ombuds Office to confirm my child made an appointment?
Due to the confidential nature of the Ombuds Office we cannot divulge any information without the specific permission of the student.

How do I intervene on my child's behalf with his/her permission?
We respect the concerns of parents; however, it is our expectation that we will deal with the student as an adult in resolving his/her problem. The office would therefore ask that you provide guidance to your son or daughter without taking control. This will allow the student to learn how to self-advocate, communicate, and problem solve effectively. 

How does the Ombuds Office help?
We provide a safe and confidential environment for the student to discuss matters. We will help the student explore the available options for the particular issue. Due to our knowledge of the University, we can talk to the appropriate persons to get more specific information which the student can use to pursue a feasible resolution. Depending on the situation, our staff can communicate with University officials on behalf of students, refer students to appropriate campus resources, facilitate conversations between students and USF personnel, or approach resolution in a number of other informal ways.