Students & Parents

We have compiled the most common questions our office gets from both students and their family members for your convenience.  



Who can access the Student Ombuds Office?
All students -- undergraduate, graduate, professional, non-degreeseeking, etc. -- have access to the Student Ombuds Office. Parents, alumni, and other members of the USF community are also able to schedule appointments with the ombuds, although some information may not be available to them. (Parents and other family members, see Parent FAQ below.) USF faculty, staff and administrators may contact the Ombuds Office for USF employees. 

What kinds of issues can I share with the ombuds?
The Student Ombuds Office can help you when you have any concern about USF (policies, processes, personnel, etc.). We do all of this while maintaining our ethics of informality, impartiality, independence and confidentiality. At USF, confidentiality includes all information except that which may involve an imminent risk of harm. The Student Ombuds Office cannot receive formal notice of concerns.

What will the ombuds do?
The ombuds will listen to your concerns and provide guidance on a continuum of resolution processes available to you. They can clarify policies and procedures, discuss avenues for disputing grades or other decisions, listen when you feel you have been treated unfairly, and help you manage challenging relationships with faculty or staff members. The ombuds also works closely with USF decision makers to address systemic issues affecting students.

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 information about my visit to the Student Ombuds Office?
No third party, not even your parents, can obtain information about your visit without your permission. 

I go to a different campus, is there an ombuds to help me?
The Student Ombuds Office is physically located on the Tampa campus, but there is a campus-based ombuds liaison at USFSP. Students on all three campuses can access ombuds services. You can learn more about scheduling appointments on any campus (or virtually) by contacting the office at 813-974-0835 or ombuds@usf.edu. 

FOR PARENTS or other family members

Does the ombuds meet with parents or other family members?
The Student Ombuds Office is happy to work with parents, although we'd prefer that students are also involved. The ombuds will not disclose any confidential information or confirm/deny that any particular student has visited the office. In an effort to foster problem-solving and  communication skills, the ombuds prefers to work directly with students and appreciates the support of family members.

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

How does the Student Ombuds Office help?
We provide a safe and confidential environment for the student to discuss matters. 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. We also regularly report trends in student concerns to senior administrators without identifying individual visitors.