Cooper Medical School of Rowan Univerisity
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Ombuds

An Ombuds is an individual who functions as a good listener, a confidential information resource, communications channel, complaint-handler, and dispute resolver for the students of CMSRU. The Ombuds is an alternative to the CMSRU formal dispute resolution mechanisms, as outlined in the Student Handbook. The Ombuds role is to augment, rather than supplant, other avenues CMSRU offers for complaints, redress, and feedback.

The CMSRU Ombuds practices in accordance with ethical standards prescribed by the International Ombudsman Association and the University and College Ombuds Association. These principles include:

  1. Independence: The office provides a neutral safe and confidential environment to talk.
  2. Neutrality and Impartiality: The Ombuds does not serve as an advocate for any party to a dispute—neither the student nor the administration or faculty. However, an Ombuds does advocate for productive communication and fair processes and their implementation.
  3. Confidentiality: The Ombuds holds all communication in strict confidence—disclosing only if given permission or unless inaction could lead to imminent harm. The Ombuds does not maintain records that identify visitors to the office. Confidentiality is one of the most important aspects of the work of the Ombuds.
  4. Informality: The office is an informal resource-the Ombuds does not participate in any formal legal or school administrative activities related to the concerns brought by a student.

The Ombuds does not serve as an advocate for any party to a dispute. However, the role of the Ombuds is to advocate for fair treatment and processes. The Ombuds office (CMSRU room 458) is set up to provide students/visitors with a safe place to discuss a problem with the assurance that neither the visit nor anything said during the visit be disclosed to anyone, unless express permission is granted.

The role includes:

  • Providing a neutral and confidential environment to talk
  • Listening to concerns and complaints
  • Helping to evaluate possible options
  • Assisting students to resolve those options
  • Mediating conflicts, convening meetings and engaging in “shuttle diplomacy”
  • Explaining CMSRU policies and procedures and providing information about CMSRU resources
  • Referring students to appropriate CMSRU resources-individuals or offices

The role does not include:

  • Adjudication or participation in formal grievance processes
  • Getting involved in any formal litigation or testifying in any court initiated proceeding
  • Assigning sanctions on individuals
  • Determining guilt of any party in a dispute
  • Replacing any official CMSRU office, department, or process
  • Providing legal advice
  • Keeping records of students and/or conversations

Contact information:
Email: meislich-debrah@cooperhealth.edu
Mobile: 610-574-5126

When contacting Dr. Meislich about Ombuds issues, please identify yourself and state the contact is concerning contacting her in the capacity as the CMSRU Ombuds person. If you are texting, Dr. Meislich will not be able to reply between the hours of 8:30 pm to 5 AM.