Acting as Agent
Knowing that it is often important for a student appealing to the Senate Review Board Academic or to other university bodies to have an agent, I agreed to offer coaching and consultation to student appellants and their chosen agents. In addition, I drafted a guide entitled Agents and Colleagues: Students Helping Students. All Ombuds Office guides are available in hard copy and on the web.
Despite the fact that it was a conflict of interest to act as agent, I want to say that my experience with the Senate Review Board Academic was very rewarding and instructive and contributed hugely to my understanding of the academic appeal process. On numerous occasions I have spoken to ombudsman colleagues both in Canada and the States about the importance of having a body like SRBA. The merit of spending many person hours to hear the probably doubtful case of one student may be questioned. But in my opinion, the very existence of the SRBA helps to ensure fair decision making throughout the University, and for all –not just the few students whose appeals reach that level.
Service at Western
In April, Frances was awarded a Certificate of Appreciation by the University and College Ombuds Association for her service to that organization.
Frances and Anita attended the meeting of the Association of College and University Ombudspersons in Montreal in May. That organization awarded Frances the Distinguished Service Award for twenty-five years of service "to ACCUO and other ombuds organizations nationally and internationally." Frances was one of the founding members of ACCUO, and helped to organize the first Canadian conference of academic ombudsman at Concordia University, 1979.
Anita continued to serve ACCUO as Treasurer. She also maintains the ACCUO website.
The Committee provides an important link between the Ombuds Office and the community. Members read and comment on draft documents, plans, the proposed office budget, and promotional activities, and often make helpful suggestions. Anita and I offer our sincere thanks to each for his or her efforts over the year.
The Year Ahead
In addition, in 2004-05, there is a new member of the Ombuds Office
team – Mandy Murray, a King's student, is going to act as King's
Ombuddy. This pilot project is intended to provide a more effective
service to King's students and the King's community.
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