Visits to Klaper rise: UC report


NIU President Doug Baker discusses pension and the statement sent to the Illinois Supreme Court during University Council in May in the Holmes Student Center’s Sky Room.

By Jackie Nevarez

The Ombudsperson Annual Report, which includes details on the 604 individuals who visited the ombudsperson from May 2013 to May 2014, will be presented at University Council today.

The ombudsperson, located on the sixth floor of the Holmes Student Center, hears university-related issues . The office provides information about policies and procedures to assess an individual’s concerns. The annual report includes data of the number of people who go to Klaper within the year and with what concerns they come in to discuss.

The number of people who visited the ombudsperson increased by 145 from May 2013 to May 2014, but Ombudsperson Sarah Klaper said she thinks the number is higher than reported and she is working on a way to track those numbers for the report.

“In my day-to-day work life, I talk with people as I go across campus,” Klaper said in the report. “People stop me in hallways, at receptions, at meetings, at lunch, [etcetera] to discuss pending issues, even very serious concerns that take a significant amount of time to address.”

Multiple visits were tracked, and 78 of the 604 individuals who visited the office with complex issues had visited more than once. A majority of 37 visited twice with the same issues, 26 visited three times, seven visited four times, five visited five times, two visited six times and one visited 10 times.

The report details the demographics of those who visit the ombudsperson, including status, gender and race. Included in the report are the issues presented, with a majority centered around working conditions with 115 cases, poor supervisory skills with 113 cases and personality conflicts with 111 cases.

NIU Progressive Learning in Undergraduate Studies

Anne Birberick, vice provost of Academic Affairs, and general education coordinator Michael Kolb will update University Council on the status of NIU PLUS.

The NIU PLUS Task Force was assembled in spring 2013 and consists of faculty and students who work on adjusting general education and undergraduate requirements.

The NIU PLUS plan decreases the number of credit hours needed to fulfill general education requirements. It would allow students to use credit earned from their general education courses toward major requirements.

The plan is set to be implemented starting fall 2015.