Ombuds Office

The Ombuds Office is open to all students, faculty, staff, and administrators who are looking for:

  • A neutral, impartial person to speak to confidentially about problems related to work or study at The Graduate Center.
  • Ideas for alternative dispute resolution
  • An advocate for fairness
  • Information about whom to turn to at The Graduate Center

Concerns that may be brought to the Ombuds Office include:

  • Disagreements about grades
  • Problems with tuition charges
  • Interpersonal conflicts
  • Professional/scientific misconduct
  • Academic dishonesty
  • Safety Concerns
  • Sexual harassment, racism or other kinds of discrimination
  • Ethics and whistle-blowing
  • Working conditions
  • Intellectual property issues


Ombud, a common word in the Swedish language, means the people's representative, agent, attorney, solicitor, deputy, proxy, or delegate.

The Ombuds Office is a confidential, informal, impartial, and non-adversarial alternative for the resolution of work-related problems and conflicts. We are a designated neutral in handling such issues.

Along with students and faculty, any staff employee, student employee, supervisor, manager or executive can use our services.

The Ombuds Office can informally help with many issues involving many kinds of conflict in the workplace. We can provide an outside perspective on a work-related problem, or just a confidential and informal sounding board to discuss options for handling a particular dilemma. Conflicts between co-workers, between manager and employee, or between managers involving communication problems, treatment issues, job status worries, organizational difficulties and many, many other issues of concern in the Graduate Center work environment can be confidentially discussed in this office.

The Graduate School does pay the Ombuds officer's salary, but it established an Ombuds Office in 1993 as a campus resource for informal resolution of workplace conflicts and concerns, fully understanding that the role requires independence, impartiality, and neutrality. The Ombuds Office remains informal and neutral throughout your relationship with the office. We do not advocate for any one side, but are enthusiastic advocates for fairness, equity, justice, and humane treatment in the workplace.

You should try to resolve your concerns informally through available channels before resorting to the formal. Talking to us, however, does not preclude your using formal complaint and grievance procedures if your attempts at informal resolution don't succeed. Once an employee begins working with a representative in order to invoke a formal process, this office cannot participate, assist, or interfere.

Contact the Ombuds Officer

Martin Gitterman

Professor Emeritus, Speech-Language-Hearing Sciences; Ombuds Officer, Ombuds Office