January 09, 2007

Microbiology Chair at U Penn Responds to Criticism of Ombuds Office

In a letter to the editors of the University of Pennsylvania Almanac, a microbiology professor complained that he had been unfairly treated and that the ombuds office did not provide a "meaningful response" to his complaint. The professor therefore took issue with the ombudsman's assertion that "Penn is a remarkably caring and supportive institution." Of course, an ombuds cannot respond to public criticism, because doing so would violate the duty of confidentiality. Fortunately, the chair of the microbiology department responded to the substance of the professor's letter (although not on behalf of the ombuds office per se). While it is unclear how the response was orchestrated, this is a clever solution to keep in mind. (UPenn Almanac; see prior Ombuds Blog post.)

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