October 10, 2017

University of Pennsylvania Ombuds Notes Rise of Disrespectful Treatment in 2017 Annual Report

In her latest annual report, UPenn Ombudsman Lynn Hollen Lees said that the Office of Ombuds saw a slight rise in the number of visitors in 2016-17.  Although the total visitor count was essentially flat, Lees noted that:

[T]he office has seen significant shifts in the types of issues that have been brought to our office. The proportion of complaints that concern academic matters—denials of tenure, procedural irregularities, disputes over particular decisions, etc.—has decreased from 30 percent to 25 percent, when 2016-2017 is compared with the period 2011-2016. At the same time, grievances relating to individual behavior—disrespectful treatment, bullying, abusive language, or other inappropriate comments and actions—increased from 16 percent to 23 percent during the same period.... During the past several years, more and more of our visitors have complained about the way they were treated by other members of the Penn community. When an adverse decision is made or there is a disagreement about a policy, what we hear about is not the substance, but rather the manner in which it was communicated and implemented.
(UPenn 2016-17 Ombuds Report.)

Related posts: Profile of University of Pennsylvania Ombuds
Ombuds at University of Pennsylvania Now a Confidential Resource for Title IX; Ombuds at University of Pennsylvania Reports Caseload Increase in 2015.

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