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Indiana University Bloomington

Department of Biology

Undergraduate Studies

When you have a grievance about a biology course, there is an...

Ombudsperson for the Department of Biology

How can the Biology Ombudsperson help you?

If you have a grievance about a biology course, the Ombudsperson will try to help you. Your complaint will receive individual attention and will be dealt with non-judgmentally and in confidence.

Examples of services of the Biology Ombudsperson:

  • Assist you in developing a set of options, provide advice and referrals.
  • Clarify university and departmental policies and procedures.
  • Assist you in contacting appropriate parties.
  • Refer disputes between students to the Student Mediation Services.
  • Explain the services of the Student Advocates Office and more specialized conflict resolution offices at IU.
  • Assist in setting up a direct personal meeting between the parties involved.
  • Assist in the preparation of appeals or explanatory letters.

Can the Ombudsperson solve all of your problems?
No. He has no real power. He will be quick to refer you to other people if he is stumped by your case. He will not accompany you to judicial hearings.

What about discussing sensitive issues?
All matters discussed with the Ombudsperson remain confidential unless you request otherwise.

What kinds of problems are appropriate to bring to the Ombudsperson?
The Ombudsperson deals with concerns relating to any grievance a student has that grows out of a course in the Department of Biology. Some examples include:

  • You believe that you have been falsely accused of cheating on an exam.
  • You believe that course assignments or exams are unreasonable, unfair, unclear, or discriminatory
  • You believe that you have been unfairly denied admission to a course.
  • Grade disputes.
  • Teaching quality.
  • Degree requirements.

Should you speak with someone in the Biology Advising Office first?
That's an excellent question and it has no simple answer. Each case is different. Use your own judgement.

Can a faculty member or Associate Instructor initiate a complaint with the Ombudsperson?
Yes.

Whose side is the Ombudsperson on?
Neither. He is neutral. His role is to help resolve conflicts if possible. If this cannot be done, he will refer you to other people.

Who is the Biology Ombudsperson?
Michael Tansey, Associate Professor of Biology. He has been a faculty member here since 1971, and has received departmental, campus, and national awards for his service to students. He is a caring individual and a seasoned (and tenured) member of the university community. He provides a neutral point of view and information about the university and the Department of Biology.

How can you meet with Dr. Tansey?
Call (812) 855-2914, or email Dr. Tansey to make an appointment. His regular office hours (no appointment needed) are posted on his office door and change each semester: A305 Jordan Hall. His mailing address is Dept. Biol., JH142, IU, Bloomington, IN 47405. His fax is (812) 855-6705.

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