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Student Ombuds Office

The Student Ombuds Office assists all CMU students, regardless of age, citizenship, disability, economic class, ethnicity, faith, gender identity, gender expression, national origin, race, religion, sex, sexual orientation, social class, and all other identities expressed among CMU’s community of scholars.  

The Ombudsperson, or Ombuds, supports CMU students throughout their university experience and was established to assist students by providing guidance as they seek to resolve university-related questions, concerns or challenges. The Ombuds handles all matters in an independent, informal, confidential and impartial manner; only concerns related to sexual misconduct and imminent threats of harm require formal reporting.

In addition to helping members of the CMU community resolve concerns, the Ombuds works to identify policies that may be in need of review or revision and alerts university administration when there are trends in the concerns surfaced by students.

The Ombuds can advise students who wish to file a formal complaint or grievance, which is often the final step in a student’s effort to resolve a dispute. Although it is not required, a consultation with the Ombuds is recommended before a student submits a formal complaint or grievance; doing so provides a student with an opportunity to ask questions about the formal process and to make an informed decision about whether it is something they wish to pursue. 

The Ombuds can take one or more of the following actions after listening carefully to a student’s concern: 1) explain relevant student rights and responsibilities; 2) review relevant university policies or regulations; 3) suggest fair and equitable options; 4) identify and provide referrals to appropriate university resources; or, 5) investigate, when necessary, to obtain additional information and not to reach an outcome.

The Ombuds does not advocate for any individual or group at the university; instead, the Ombuds advocates for fairness and equity. The Office does not provide legal services, represent students or instructors at academic grievance or disciplinary hearings, mediate disputes between students, faculty, staff and external agencies, or mediate disputes between or among faculty or between faculty and administrators. Consulting the Ombuds does not constitute filing a formal complaint or providing notice to the University, as the Office is meant to provide a forum to review and consider options.

Members of the CMU community may contact the Student Ombuds Office by e-mail (, by phone (989-774-3010), or online at