The top-tier public research university in Kingston, Ontario is proposing to redefine its Office of Dispute Resolution as the Office of the Ombudsperson. The proposed change aims to clarify the role of the office and give it increased independence from administrative structures.
“Repositioning the Dispute Resolution Office as an Office of the Ombudsperson would elevate the visibility of the service and better support Queen’s commitment to the just, fair and equitable treatment of each and every member of the university community,” says University Secretary Lon Knox.
Queen's is one of the few Canadian universities without an Ombuds program, though the Office of Dispute Resolution largely performs the same work.
The Queen's Ombuds Office would be founded on the principles of independence, impartiality, confidentiality, informality accessibility and the ability to investigate. It would serve as a resource to the entire university community, including a student body of nearly 24,000.
The office would would be accountable to the Board of Trustees and the Faculty Senate, and would receive guidance from an Advisory Committee. The university is seeking comment on the proposal through March 7. (Queen's News.)
Related posts: Association of Canadian College and University Ombudspersons Publishes Standards of Practice; ACCUO Chronicles Three Decades of Ombuds in Higher Education.