April 08, 2015

Kwantlen Polytechnic University Wrestles with Creation of Ombuds Program

The undergraduate school in British Columbia with about 20,000 students continues its efforts to establish an Ombuds office. Most recently, the Kwantlen Student Association put off plans to fund a position in light of budget cuts by the university. The KSA supports an Ombuds office, but not if it is the sole source for the estimated annual cost of $70,000 CDN. 

Steven Button, vice-president of student services for the KSA explained, “Many of my colleagues believe this position should exist. However, an ombudsperson needs to be a joint venture between the association–the KSA–and the university.” A KSA governance committee unanimously recommended changes to the association's bylaws which will be considered at the next annual general meeting. Button hopes that the incoming KSA council will continue to push for an ombudsperson, while being realistic of the financial constraints of the university.  (KSA Runner.)

1 comment:

  1. I think this is the new reality in Canada. Universities are struggling to provide services to a diverse population and Ombuds offices can perhaps been seen as 'non essential' whereas Wellness/ Advising etc are mission critical. My observation is that unless firmly established and well supported we might be seeing a huge shift in the Ombuds role in education.