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Office of the

Ombudsman

The Office of the Ombuds is a confidential, impartial, independent, and informal resource for students who have encountered university-related issues and concerns.

 

Dear students,

Sometimes in college, you run into situations that you can’t make sense of, feel are unfair, or you just don’t know how to solve, and the traditional paths for resolving these problems are either the exact places that are the source of your trouble or don’t seem like the right place to address it.

That’s where we come in. We’re the generalists of problem-solving.

We work to:

  • Understand the full scope of your situation
  • Provide context, information, and insight to help you formulate options so that you can proceed from a position of confidence and self-reliance.

When you visit us, either in person, by phone, or chat, we set aside our institutional roles and act independently to provide you with impartial, confidential, and informal service in a practitioner-client relationship.

 So, when you find yourself not sure where to go, get in touch with one of us. 

 We are always ready to listen.

All the best,
Tom and Jake

Meet the Team

The Ombuds Office is always ready to listen. We will listen to your concerns, help evaluate your situation, and assist you in identifying ways to resolve conflicts.

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Jake Morrow joined Florida Polytechnic University in 2018. In his current role in the Department of Institutional Research and Effectiveness, Morrow works extensively with the academic catalog, curriculum workflows, approvals and alignment, and manages multiple assessment processes and measures.
Tom Dvorske
Dr. Tom Dvorske brings extensive experience in higher education to his role as the vice provost of academic affairs and university ombudsman at Florida Poly.

 

 

How Can We Help?

The Ombuds Office’s mission is to facilitate fair and equitable resolution processes that promote student success.

The university ombudsman can be the first resource when a student does not know where to get information for a particular situation; or as a last resort, when normal channels of communication have failed to bring resolution to a difficulty.

You should visit the Ombuds Office if:

  • You are not sure where to go for help

  • You have a problem, concern, complaint, or dispute you want to discuss informally

  • You would like to talk to someone confidentially

  • You are unsure of university policies or procedures that relate to your problem

  • You would like to know what resources or options are available to you

  • You feel a policy or procedure is not being followed fairly

  • You have identified issues or trends you would the University to address

We operate according to the Code of Ethics and Standards of Practice established by the International Ombudsman Association (IOA)

  • Independence: The 0mbudsman is independent in structure, function, and appearance to the highest degree possible within the organization.
  • Neutrality and Impartiality: The ombudsman, as a designated neutral, remains unaligned and impartial. The ombudsman does not engage in any situation which could create a conflict of interest.
  • Confidentiality: The ombudsman holds all communications with those seeking assistance in strict confidence, and does not disclose confidential communications unless given permission to do so. The only exception to this privilege of confidentiality is where there appears to be imminent risk of serious harm.
  • Informality: The ombudsman, as an informal resource, does not participate in any formal adjudicative or administrative procedure related to concerns brought to his/her attention.

Visit the IOA website to learn more about the IOA's Code of Ethics and Standards of Practice.

The ombudsman can help students with the following:

  • Listen to your concerns
  • Clarify university policies and procedures
  • Answer questions concerning appropriate channels
  • Assist with problems that have not been resolved by other offices
  • Informally research the basis of your complaint
  • Provide referrals to individuals and/or department to appropriately address your concern
  • Explore and evaluate possible options available to resolve concerns
  • Open avenues of communication or facilitate conversations

The ombudsman cannot help students with the following:

  • Replace or circumvent existing channels
  • Direct any university office to change a decision
  • Offer legal advice
  • Make decisions for you
  • Have a stake in outcomes
  • Exact judgment
  • Impose penalties
  • Set aside rules and regulations

Additionally, the ombuds does not advocate for either party nor can the office assist you if you have sought legal counsel.

To request an appointment, email ombuds@floridapoly.edu or call 863-874-8500. Please note: If you do not want your email address released in response to a public record request, do not send emails to the office.

Confidentiality cannot be maintained by the Ombuds Office if there is an imminent risk of serious harm, suspected child abuse or neglect, or as otherwise required by law. The Ombuds will review exceptions to confidentiality with visitors.

Additionally, Florida has a very broad public records law. As a result, any written communication created or received by University employees is subject to disclosure to the public and the media, upon request; unless otherwise exempt. Please do not include confidential information in emails to the Office. In addition, under Florida Law, email addresses are public records.

If you do not want your email address released in response to a public record request, do not send emails to the office.