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The national government of Sweden first coined the term “Ombudsman” to designate “the people’s deputy” who was charged with facilitating smooth and fair interactions between individual citizens and agencies of government. The contemporary term “Ombud” or “Ombudsperson,” denotes “a person who is designated within an organization to investigate individual complaints, problems, and conflicts and to mediate their resolution or solution.”
At the University of Kentucky, the Office of Academic Ombud Services is responsible for assisting students and instructors work through and resolve academic related problems and conflicts. The major arenas of activity for UK’s Academic Ombud include both Student Academic Rights and Academic Offenses. The primary focus of Academic Ombud Services is the process by which decisions are made, and the primary task of the Ombud is to ensure fair policies, processes, and procedures that are equitably implemented. Thus, the Academic Ombud is a neutral party working as an advocate for fairness and equity.
What types of problems does the Office of Academic Ombud Services handle?
Issues related to Student Academic Rights and problems concerning the commission of Academic Offenses, including but not limited to:
- Grade disputes
- Admission/registration problems
- Academic issues related to disciplinary matters
- Perceived favoritism
- Fear of retaliation
- Charges of and sanctions resulting from plagiarism or other academic offenses
- Disability accommodation issues
- Cross-cultural misunderstandings & personality conflicts