Ombudsman provides advice to NIU students

Tim Griffin has been working as NIUs Ombudsman since 1991. The Office of the Ombudsman helps NIU students, faculty and staff with their problems.

Tim Griffin has been working as NIU’s Ombudsman since 1991. The Office of the Ombudsman helps NIU students, faculty and staff with their problems.

By Jacqueline Evans

DeKALB | When problems arise, students may seek out unbiased advice on solutions to problems. The Office of the Ombudsman provides an environment where students and faculty alike can receive options and strategies for a solution.

Located on the sixth floor of the Holmes Student Center, the office has been at NIU since 1969 and continues to serve the community. Tim Griffin is the current Ombudsman and has been since 1991.

The purpose of the office is to provide a neutral line of communication to the administration.

“The Office of the Ombudsman is a safe place to talk out concerns and explore potential solutions,” Griffin said.

According to the 2008-2009 Office of the Ombudsman Annual Report, Griffin, along with two graduate assistants, saw 767 people, which includes students, faculty, alumni and family members.

The major concerns of those who visited the office ranged from financial concerns and student academic conduct, to classroom instruction and employment issues.

The Ombudsman helps many people, with many different problems, issues and backgrounds.

“[I] enjoy helping people and helping to resolve conflict from a neutral perspective,” Griffin said.

Ascenyo Carson, senior business administration major, said the office offered helpful information to its visitors.

“I’ve been to see the Ombudsman twice and got the help and advice I was looking for,” Carson said. “There are a lot of benefits to going to see the Ombudsman.”

Students that are unaware of the help the Ombudsman provides miss out on an opportunity to air out concerns.

“No, most NIU students don’t know exactly what the office does,” Griffin said.

The reason students are unaware of this service is because most don’t have an Ombudsman at their high school, he said.

Issues could arise in the future that may require assistance from the Office of the Ombudsman, said Lucretia Thomas, senior family and social service major.

“I’ve never been to the Ombudsman office,” Thomas said. “But if I had a problem I would definitely go see him.” 

Office of the Ombudsman

6th  Floor,  Holmes Student Center

Mon.- Fri., 8 a.m. – Noon; 1 – 4:30 p.m.

(815) 753-1414