February 10, 2010

University of Pennsylvania Ombuds Offers Dissertation Advice for Chronicle of Higher Ed

The Chronicle of Higher Education runs a regular advice column. This week, graduate students with concerns about about their dissertation advisers get wisdom from Michele Goldfarb, associate ombudsman at the University of Pennsylvania.
People come to her office, Goldfarb said, if they believe they have been treated unfairly in the academic workplace. "With the complainant's permission," she said, "the ombudsman will undertake an independent inquiry into the matter in order to develop an objective, impartial understanding of the situation, and then help develop some method for resolving the dispute. The ombudsman has no power to impose outcomes. Instead, the ombudsman uses a variety of strategies to help resolve conflicts constructively." That could include identifying your options, mediating a dispute, or alerting top administrators to the problems.

Goldfarb provides specific examples of how she might work with grad students in similar situations. (Chronicle Advice.)

Related post: University of Pennsylvania Appoints Ombuds.

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