October 06, 2011

University of Iowa Ombuds Reports Growing Incivility Problem

The annual report from the UI Office of the Ombudsperson shows a slight decrease in the number of cases, but a persistent problem with disrespectful behavior on campus. UI Staff Ombudsperson Cynthia Joyce told the Iowa City Press-Citizen, "A pattern we are very concerned about is the number of visitors concerned about respective behavior that has been inching up over the last number of years." According to the annual report by Joyce and Faculty Ombudsperson Susan Johnson, a quarter of visitor complaints involved disrespectful behavior and another six percent were about about workplace bullying.

The UI Ombuds office handled 501 total matters in the 2010-2011 academic year, a decrease of 3% from last year's record case load. Staff comprised 45% of visitors, students comprised 32%, and 18% were faculty members. (UI Ombuds 2011 Annual Report Summary; Iowa City Press-Citizen.)

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