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Guiding Principles


All conversations with Academic Ombud Services are entirely confidential, to the extent permitted by law, and the Academic Ombud does not disclose the identity of visitors or the content of conversations unless the parties involved give permission to share information.


All meetings with Academic Ombud Services are informal and confidential.  The process involves listening, exchanging information, identifying issues, providing guidance and, if appropriate, facilitating resolution. If the visitor would like to make a formal complaint, the Academic Ombud can advise how that can be done.


Academic Ombud Services does not advocate for students or for faculty, but will facilitate the resolution of any issues that may arise, in a manner that is fair and equitable for all parties.


Academic Ombud Services is independent of all University colleges, instructional, and administrative offices.

What does Academic Ombud Services do?

  • Provides a safe, neutral, and confidential setting in which to ask questions, discuss problems and seek assistance with academic-related conflicts and disputes.
  • Explains university policy and procedures and how they apply in particular situations.
  • Works to resolve problems for which no clear procedure exists.
  • Advocates for fair processes and their equitable application.
  • Recommends changes in policies and procedures to better ensure fairness in the teaching and learning enterprise.

What can Academic Ombud Services do?

Academic Ombud Services will:

  • Provide a safe and confidential place to share issues
  • Listen to all concerns and perspectives
  • Remain impartial to all parties involved in a conflict
  • Help explore options for resolution
  • Facilitate communication between parties involved in an issue
  • Provide advice and guidance on academic issues and explain current University policies and practices

Academic Ombud Services cannot:

  • Change a grade or waive a requirement
  • Change policies or rules
  • Release a financial obligation
  • Testify at hearings

Who is the Academic Ombud?

University of Kentucky's Academic Ombud is a tenured member of the faculty, appointed by the University Provost.

What if my instructor is the Ombud or is in the Ombud's home (or related) academic department?

If the Ombud is your instructor, your issue is in the Ombud's home (or related) department, or if working with the Ombud is a conflict of interest, please contact Laura Anschel, the Associate Academic Ombud, via email at

Laura will provide you with an Alternate Academic Ombud.

How much is kept confidential?

University Senate Rule provides that “the Ombud shall not violate the rights of students or other parties involved in cases brought to the Ombud through the disclosure of any information communicated in confidence.”

Academic Ombud Services takes seriously this responsibility to ensure that personal and official information provided by and about faculty, staff, and students is not communicated to third parties without the consent of the individuals concerned. The only exception to this privilege of confidentiality is when there appears to be imminent risk of serious harm, or by court order.

Academic Ombud Services' responsibility to protect confidential information is, however, subject to disclosure requirements imposed by law. Title IX requires that, if Academic Ombud Services receives a complaint related to an alleged violation involving Sexual Harassment and Discrimination or Sexual Assault, Stalking and Relationship Violence, this Office must refer the complaint to the Office of Institutional Equity and Equal Opportunity (IEEO) for investigation. If an individual wishes to make a confidential report that is not required to be referred to the IEEO, the individual may contact the University’s Violence Intervention and Prevention Center (VIP Center), University Counseling Center, or University Health Services (students).