February 28, 2013

Sexual Assault Report from University of Michigan Reaffirms Ombuds' Confidentiality

The 2011-12 annual report from the UM Office of Student Conflict Resolution outlines how the university helps students manage and resolve conflict. The report notes that one of the most significant recent events has been a shift in the procedure for responding to reports of student sexual misconduct as prompted by the the U.S. Department of Education’s Office for Civil Rights “Dear Colleague Letter.” In spite of the procedural changes, the University reiterated that confidential assistance is available from the Office of the Ombuds and University Faculty Ombuds.

According to the Office of Student Conflict Resolution report:
Confidential Assistance: Information about or assistance with sexual misconduct issues may be obtained from a variety of University resources. Prior to or concurrent with any review or investigation process, students may find it helpful to consult with a counselor or otherwise seek assistance. The following offices can provide advice and support. All information shared with these offices will remain confidential to the extent permitted by law and University policy. Discussions with representatives of these offices will not be considered a report to the University regarding the problematic behavior and will not, without additional action by the Complainant, result in sanctions or intervention.
(UM OSCR 2011-12 Report, see Appendix, p 17.) 

Related posts: Yale President Rejects Proposal for Ombuds Office; Lessons From a Case of Sexual Harassment; Cal Poly San Luis Obispo Ombuds Offers Confidentiality for Sexual Assault Victims; Alumnus Criticizes Yale's Refusal to Create an Ombuds Office; Havard Law Case Study Focuses on Ombuds and the 'Dear Colleague Letter'; Updated Sexual Misconduct Policy at University of North Carolina Reaffirms Ombuds' Confidentiality; IOA Posts 2013 Conference Agenda, Opens Registration.

Tom Lehker is the Ombudsman for students and Michael Welch is the Ombudsman for staff.

Related posts:  University Of Michigan Names Ombuds for Students; University of Michigan Opens Search for Faculty Ombuds.

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