At URI, the Ombud is a confidential, objective, last resort for problems with University procedures and processes.
The primary function of the Ombud is to mediate disputes where students, faculty or staff feel they have been treated unfairly by someone in authority at URI. The Ombud cannot alone reverse others’ decisions but can report their refusal to follow Ombud recommendations to their administrative superiors up to the President of the University.
The Ombud is to provide a system for handling individual problems and complaints about University processes.
The Ombud has no authority to reverse or alter decisions by other university officials, for instance to change grades, or reinstate a student.
There are two Ombuds at the University:
Gerry Tyler, Professor Emerita, Political Science
Al Killilea, Professor Emeritus, Political Science
138A Roosevelt Hall
If you think that you have been dealt with unfairly by a faculty member or by an administrator or staff member at URI, you may want to enlist the services of the Office of the Ombud in seeking a remedy.
Normally you should first appeal to the person most directly involved in your complaint and then, if necessary, to his/her supervisor before coming to the Ombud. In the case of a contested grade in a course, for instance, you should first speak to the faculty member and if that is not effective, you should speak to the department chair and then, if necessary, to the dean of the college in which the course is offered.
If you find it especially difficult to undertake this appeal process, you may want to have a preliminary talk with an Ombud, who may suggest an alternative course of appeal. Keep in mind that there are many trained professionals beyond the Ombud at University College, Student Affairs, the Counseling Center, the Affirmative Action Office, and many other offices ready to help students with a grievance.
The Ombud helps the student or other members of the University community solve his or her problem by:
Giving needed advice and direction
Investigating conflicts in confidence
Clarifying matters by interviewing all parties concerned and by researching the problem
Mediating and suggesting solutions or compromises in disputes
Ensuring due process