The Ombuds Office is open to all students, faculty, staff, and administrators who are looking for:

  • A neutral, impartial person to speak to confidentially about problems related to work or study at The Graduate Center.
  • Ideas for alternative dispute resolution
  • An advocate for fairness
  • Information about whom to turn to at The Graduate Center

Concerns That People Bring to the Ombuds Office Include:

  • Disagreements about grades
  • Problems with tuition charges
  • Interpersonal conflicts
  • Professional/scientific misconduct
  • Academic dishonesty
  • Safety Concerns
  • Sexual harassment, racism or other kinds of discrimination
  • Ethics and whistle-blowing
  • Working conditions
  • Intellectual property issues

The GC Ombuds Office

The Ombuds Office is located in Room 8108
Phone: (212)817-7191

Ombuds Information Links

Additional information on the Graduate Center's Policies & Procedures


What does "Ombuds" mean?

Ombud, a common word in the Swedish language, means the people's representative, agent, attorney, solicitor, deputy, proxy, or delegate.

What is the Ombuds Office, and what does an ombuds do?

The Ombuds Office is a confidential, informal, impartial, and non-adversarial alternative for the resolution of work-related problems and conflicts. We are a designated neutral in handling such issues.

Who can use your office?

Along with students and faculty, any staff employee, student employee, supervisor, manager or executive can use our services.

What do you mean by conflict and what kinds of issues can you help with?

The Ombuds Office can informally help with many issues involving many kinds of conflict in the workplace. We can provide an outside perspective on a work-related problem, or ust a confidential and informal sounding board to discuss options for handling a particular dilemma. Conflicts between co-workers, between manager and employee, or between managers involving communication problems, treatment issues, job status worries, organizational difficulties and many, many other issues of concern in the Graduate Center work environment can be confidentially discussed in this office.

What exactly do you mean by saying that the Ombuds Office is impartial—doesn't the University pay your salary? How is your office different from other CUNY offices that deal with employee issues?

The Graduate School does pay the Ombuds officer's salary, but it established an Ombuds Office in 1993 as a campus resource for informal resolution of workplace conflicts and concerns, fully understanding that the role requires independence, impartiality, and neutrality. The Ombuds Office remains informal and neutral throughout your relationship with the office. We do not advocate for any one side, but are enthusiastic advocates for fairness, equity, justice, and humane treatment in the workplace.

What if I want to take formal action on my situation?

You should try to resolve your concerns informally through available channels before resorting to the formal. Talking to us, however, does not preclude your using formal complaint and grievance procedures if your attempts at informal resolution don't succeed. Once an employee begins working with a representative in order to invoke a formal process, this office cannot participate, assist, or interfere.

Martin Gitterman

Ombuds Officer, Professor Emeritus
Graduate Center
Room 8108

Phone 212-817-7191