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Ombuds Frequently Asked Questions

General FAQs

  • What is the role of the Ombudsperson?

    The ombudsperson assists FIU students to explore options to resolve issues or concerns in an informal and confidential setting. According to the Florida Board of Governors:

    The ombudsperson shall not advocate for any individual, but shall advocate for fair and equitably administered processes and shall facilitate discussion to identify best options to resolve problems. A student's use of the ombudsman is voluntary and shall not be a required step in any grievance process.

  • Does the office offer mediation services?

    Yes, the Ombudsperson provides informal mediation services. If interested, please call the office.

  • Who can use the services of the Ombuds Office?

    All members of the FIU community.

  • When should I contact the Ombudsperson?
    • If you are not sure where to go for help with your problem or concern.
    • When you feel stuck "in the system" and have no idea what to do.
    • If you need clarification about university policies and procedures.
    • If you need help exploring what options you have available.
    • When you need a referral to the appropriate channels to address your concerns.
  • Can I file my official complaint with the Ombudsperson?

    No, the Ombudsperson is not an official point of notice for the university. However, the Ombudsperson can listen to your complaint and refer you to the proper point of contact to officially file your complaint.

  • When is it not appropriate to involve the Ombudsperson?
    • If your concerns are not related to FIU.
    • If you are seeking for someone to advocate for you in a dispute, student conduct proceeding, or academic/administrative hearing.
    • If you are seeking legal advice or representation.
    • If you have sought legal representation to settle dispute.
  • What does the term "Ombudsman" or "Ombuds" mean?

    According to the International Ombudsman Association:

    The word "Ombudsman" is Scandinavian and means "representative" or "proxy." The term is gender-neutral in origin and is used by the International Ombudsman Association (IOA) to communicate to the widest possible community. Variations of the term exist (i.e. ombuds, ombudsperson) and are common among those practicing in the ombudsman field.

Academic FAQs

Administrative FAQs