In 2007, a survey of U of M graduate and professional found that 19% had encountered academic harassment, an offensive and hostile environment. Moreover, students said they did not know where or whom to turn to. In response, U of M Ombudsman Jan Morse helped start the Graduate and Professional Advising and Mentoring Initiative.
“The response has been very strong and positive,” said Morse, who also serves as director of the U of M Student Conflict Resolution Center. Morse said after receiving the data, she and faculty at the Center started identifying best practices of “improving advising and mentoring from a departmental perspective.” A work group was created of staff, faculty and graduate students in order to help the progress of the initiative. Morse now reports that a follow-up survey found that only about 17% of graduate students were being harassed. (Minnesota Daily; U of M Student Conflict Resolution Center.)