Ombudsperson turns students away due to number of academic integrity investigations

University ombudsperson to only provide ‘impartial’ support  

Lavonne Hood, university ombudsperson, defines role.
Journal File Photo
The University Office of the Ombudperson is no longer providing students with direct support in cases of academic integrity investigation. 
“Unfortunately, due to the number of Notice of Investigations that are provided to students across the University, the Office of the University Ombudsperson is unable to provide Faculty Advisors to assist students in responding to a Notice of Investigation,” the Office wrote in an email to The Journal. 
The Office of the Ombudsperson advised that someone trusted should support students under investigation and attend any academic integrity conduct meetings. 
“Students are encouraged to talk through the situation with someone they trust and are welcome to bring a support person along to the meeting,” the email said. 
Lavonne Hood, University Ombudsperson, said their role is to provide impartial support. 
“Our role is not one of advocacy for individuals within any process, including Academic Integrity investigations. Advocates and support persons are permitted and encouraged in the university’s decision-making structures, but given the impartial requirement of our office, we can never play such a role,” Hood said. 
“While we do not provide legal advice or counseling services, we can and do refer people to the appropriate offices for such services.” 

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