The Ombuds Office is a place where members of the Michigan Technological University community can go for informal conflict mediation services.. In order to afford clients the greatest freedom in using its services, the Office is independent, neutral, and confidential.
The Ombuds Office at Michigan Technological University provides informal mediation services for members of the MTU academic community.. The Ombuds Office provides services to help individuals resolve their concerns fairly and informally. Informal conflict resolution services are intended to be employed prior to initiating any formal grievance procedures. The Ombuds Office does not involve itself in issues specifically addressed by collective bargaining agreements for employees who are represented by labor unions.
The Ombuds Office operates independently as a supplement to existing administrative or formal grievance procedures and has no formal decision-making authority. The Ombuds Office does not act as an advocate for either side in any dispute. Perhaps most importantly, the Office operates confidentially, which means it does not acknowledge who has--or has not--used the Ombuds Office or its services without the permission of the parties requesting services.
The Ombuds Office keeps no formal written records. The Ombuds Office does not "accept notice” of problems for the University. Consulting the Ombuds Office does not, therefore, constitute making formal notificaion to Michigan Technological University of alleged violations of policy, procedures, or laws. Faculty, staff, or students seeking to formally notify Michigan Technological University of a concern or a complaint must 1) make notice to another unit or office charged with receiving formal notice of complaints or concern, or 2) request and grant written permission that the Ombuds Office make the appropriate office or unit aware of the complaint or concern being raised. The Ombuds Office does not participate in any succeeding formal grievance procedures.
William A. Kennedy Ph.D., is presently serving as the Ombuds Officer for Michigan Technological University. Dr. Kennedy has provided Ombuds services for Michigan Tech since 2005 and served as ombuds officer at another educational institution prior to his service at Michigan Tech. He has also published in the area of informal dispute resolution. He serves at the request of the president and periodically makes policy and procedural recommendations to the president based on his experiences as Ombuds Officer.
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