Office of the Academic Ombud -- A neutral, independent and confidential resource for UK students and faculty

109 Bradley Hall • 859-257-3737 • Confidential FAX 859-257-5346 • Email: ombud@uky.edu

student with backpack

Questions and Answers For Students

  • Works with all those engaged in the teaching and learning activities of the university, including students in all undergraduate, graduate, and professional school programs, TA's, and RA's, as well as full-time and part-time faculty.
  • Provides a safe, neutral, and confidential setting in which to ask questions, discuss problems and seek assistance with academic-related conflicts and disputes.
  • Explains university policy and procedures and how they apply in particular situations.
  • Investigates student grievances and complaints.
  • Works to resolve problems for which no clear procedure exists.
  • Seeks alternative means to achieve equitable solutions.
  • Advocates for fair processes & their equitable application.
  • Recommends changes in policies and procedures to better ensure fairness in the teaching and learning enterprise.

Issues related to Student Academic Rights and problems concerning the commission of Academic Offenses, including but not limited to:

  • Grade disputes
  • Admission/registration problems
  • 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

University of Kentucky's Academic Ombud is always a respected member of the academic community who holds tenure in the faculty. The Ombud is appointed by and reports directly to the University President. Thus, the Academic Ombud Office functions independently of all colleges and instructional programs throughout the university and works effectively across traditional lines of authority and responsibility to facilitate resolution of the most complex problems.

  • If you suspect, but are not certain, that a problem exists.
  • If you know a problem exists but don't know how to address it.
  • If your efforts to solve the problem have been unsuccessful.

The Ombud Office can:

  • Open new lines of communication.
  • Conduct a thorough investigation.
  • Recommend cases to the UK Appeals Board.
  • Discuss the merits of a case with appropriate officials.
  • Encourage and facilitate use of different perspectives.

The Ombud Office cannot:

  • Change a grade or waive a requirement.
  • Change policies or rules.
  • Release a financial obligation.
  • Testify at hearings.
  • EVERYTHING!!! (Exception: when a threat to harm others or one’s self is made, or when the release of information is approved by the parties involved.) University of Kentucky policy states specifically: "the Ombud shall not violate the rights of students or other parties involved in cases brought before the Ombud through disclosure of any information communicated in confidence."
  • The Academic Ombud staff will NOT act on any issue brought to the office NOR will they use a name or any other identifier without the student’s express permission.
  • UK will NOT tolerate any instructor retaliating against or in any other way penalizing a student for seeking the assistance of the Office of Academic Ombud Services.
  • All Academic Ombud records are strictly confidential and are kept locked. The Office destroys all case records after the problem is resolved, the case is closed, and a period of time (typically three years) has elapsed.

The Academic Ombud Office is dedicated to confidentiality. You need not talk to the Ombud necessarily when calling our office. The Assistant to the Ombud is prepared to handle such cases discreetly and if she cannot help you with your concern, she will assign the case to a "Special Ombud" (often a past Ombud). The present Ombud will not be informed of such inquiries or of the assignment of a Special Ombud, except at your request. When requesting a Special Ombud, you need not give your name necessarily.

Office hours are 8:00 am - 4:30 pm Monday - Friday. Walk-in visits are welcome at any time at 109 Bradley Hall. Call-in and e-mail inquires are encouraged too. Often speaking with the well-qualified and helpful Ombud Office staff can resolve a problem, and an appointment with the Ombud isn't even necessary.