May 20, 2015

Ombuds at the University of Stuttgart Provides Insights on her Work

The Stuttgarter Zeitung recently profiled Ursula Meiser, the Ombudswoman at the University of Stuttgart since 2011. Her descriptions will resonate with other Organizational Ombuds, especially those in higher education. 

"People come to me who have a real problem," Ursula Meiser said about her work. "Crying and screaming happens often, but only at the the beginning and then we get it out of the way," she said of not only students, but also professors. ... "I try to motivate people and get them to be constructive. Sometimes you have to get them out of their passive attitude, "says Meiser. "Sometimes the students are also confused because they do not realize the differences between (high) school and university. Some come and say, 'Tell me, what should I do now.' But my job is not to give advice." [¶] Meiser focuses on the individual responsibility of young people - and believes in their abilities. 
Meiser reports to the University Rector, but is funded by the federal Teaching Quality Pact until September 2016. She hopes that the Ombuds Office can be continued through at least 2020. (Stuttgarter Zeitung.)

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