Do you have questions related to an academic concern, conflict, or disciplinary proceeding regarding your student? Are you unsure where to go for information? The Office of the Student Ombuds can help. The Ombuds office provides information and referrals, and is happy to speak with you regarding you and your student’s concern.
What do you help with?
The Ombuds office helps with a variety of University-related issues, both academic and non-academic in nature. If you have a concern regarding your student, give us a call. We will listen to your concerns in order to direct you or your student to the organization on campus that can meet the needs of your student. If the concerns fall under our umbrella, we can provide you with the information on how your student can connect with our office.
How do you help?
The Ombuds office offers students (and parents) unique insight into University policies and procedures. We provide clarity, connectivity, and experience.
- Clarity – University policies can be opaque. In many situations we may be able to help explain and clarify University policies and procedures.
- Connectivity – To ensure that students in need connect with someone who can help, we are knowledgeable about available student services on campus. If you have a concern, we can tell you who can best address it.
- Experience – We have years of experience dealing with a wide variety of student concerns. We use this experience to provide you with reliable information.
Can you discuss my student’s concern with me? Can I call to make sure my student has scheduled an appointment?
All services provided by the office are confidential. For this reason the Ombuds office is unable to discuss case-specific concerns related to your student, and is unable to discuss whether your student has used our services.
Can I schedule an appointment for my student?
The Ombuds office strives to give students the tools needed to solve their own problems, and for this reason we prefer that students schedule appointments themselves. Please let them know that we are available to talk.
Can I accompany my student to their meeting with the Ombuds office?
The Ombuds provides informal services, and students are encouraged to bring support persons as they see fit, including family or friends.
Is it possible for a parent to meet with the Ombuds?
Yes, we will schedule both in-person and phone consultations with parents. While we cannot discuss your student’s particular concern, we can explain policies and procedures and provide information and referrals. As we tell students, we cannot we cannot advocate or take formal action for you.
What can I do to help?
Remember that your student’s transition to college is a major step, and that attending the University can be an important developmental step toward full adulthood for your student. With this in mind, here are some ways to support and guide your son or daughter should they encounter difficulty:
- Stay in touch – While we encourage parents to allow their students to independently resolve conflicts, having a support network is very important.
- Be realistic – Speak with the Ombuds to discuss likely outcomes from various policies and procedures, and encourage your student to do the same.
- Encourage your student to take advantage of the numerous available services at the University – Simply reminding your student that there are resources available on campus can be very helpful. For a list, click here.
For more information and ideas, the UT Counseling and Mental Health Center has an excellent guide for parents, available here.
What is FERPA?
FERPA, the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act, is a law that protects the privacy of student education records. You may encounter difficulties while trying to resolve a dispute for your student due to federally mandated University privacy requirements. We encourage you to call the office if you have questions.
Do you have a list of available resources for students?
Yes, we do! We encourage you to call our office if you are unsure who you should contact regarding your concern.