Ombuds Program Informally Resolves 90% of Grad Student Grievances at University of Maryland

An article in the UM student newspaper reports that a three-year old grievance procedure for graduate students is rarely used. The procedure was implemented in 2009 for graduate students who felt abused by their supervisors. Despite the extensive work that went into creating the remedy, the vast majority of aggrieved graduate students chose instead to use informal mechanisms offered by the campus Ombuds office.

Ombuds Officer for Graduate Students Barbara Finkelstein said only about one in 10 students who come through her office with complaints choose to file a formal grievance. Finkelstein said she thinks the discrepancy between complaints and the number of grievances filed may have more to do with the nature of the issues students have. "You have thousands of people with different interests and they may just like to complain," she said. "My office is endlessly interesting because of all the different characters coming in from anywhere and everywhere and sideways and upside-down." (Diamondback Online.)

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