What is an Ombudsperson?

An Ombudsperson is essentially a problem solver. Ombuds Services is a confidential and independent service that looks into matters when members of the university community do not believe they have been treated fairly.

We work mainly trying to solve student problems – on campus and off campus issues. Problems such as:

  • Academic Complaints
  • Grading Concerns
  • Graduation Appeals
  • Old Rules/New Rules Appeals
  • Fee Disputes
  • Supervisor Difficulties
  • Landlord and Tenant Issues
  • Consumer Issues
  • Legal Referrals
  • Plagiarism/Cheating
  • Financial Aid

How many people use this service?

We deal with about 850 cases per year. With the increase in enrolment there will likely be more people using our service. We try to respond to your concern as quickly as possible. Most days we can see you when you drop by. If we are booked, an appointment can usually be scheduled within two days.

We Listen

Often times it can be difficult to get someone to take the time to listen to your problem. You may want advice on how to handle a situation but you need the right person to listen.

We usually know the short cuts to solving a problem. If you are feeling bounced around from office to office, we may be the place to visit. You may not have a complaint but you need direction on how to solve a problem. Ombuds Services can refer you to the best person with only one stop. Give us a try.

Why is Ombuds Services Different?

This office is an independent service. CUSA and the university signed a contract to share the expenses for this office on a 50/50 basis. The Office is not part of CUSA and not part of the university. Who better to take an independent look at your concern?

Is the complainant always right?

We take an independent look at a situation. If the student claim can not be substantiated, or the student shares some responsibility in solving the problem, our staff will make that clear. We do not always take the side of the student. We will give you an objective review of the complaint.  However, if we think you have been treated unfairly we can be one of your best advocates.

Our Team

Jim Kennelly has a long career in Student Services at Carleton. His training in dispute resolution and his years of working for students help Jim to find the best solution for all parties. If you are having difficulty in some area of your university life, Jim will be able to give you advice on the best way to find a solution. Obviously we want you to focus on your studies and not on obstacles holding you back from your academic work.

Siobhan MacManus is the Assistant to the Ombudsperson – Academic Integrity

John Szczygiel is the Administrative Assistant for the office of the Ombudsperson.