Sept. 30, 1993
Vol. 13, No. 3

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    Frumkin appointed Student Ombudsman

    Peter Frumkin, a graduate student in sociology, has been appointed Student Ombudsman for the 1993-94 academic year. He will be assisted by Emily Rosenberg, a fourth-year College student concentrating in public policy.

    The ombudsman's charge is to facilitate resolution of conflicts that have not been resolved through normal channels and to provide advice about where to turn when a problem arises. Students can discuss with the ombudsman problems ranging from grade appeals to problems in residence halls to questions about financial aid. The ombudsman may then refer the students to the appropriate department or work with students, faculty members and administrators to find acceptable solutions.

    Frumkin, who began his term as ombudsman at the beginning of summer quarter, applied for the position for two reasons. "First and foremost I wanted to contribute something to the University," he said. "I feel that I've been treated well here, and I want to give something back.

    "Second, because I am interested in eventually teaching at a university, I wanted to get a taste for the administrative side of things. This is a good way to understand how things work."

    Frumkin said he tries to approach resolving issues as informally as he can. "My goal is to help people find their own solutions to their problems rather than jumping in and asserting what I think should be done," he said. "I try to get people to talk to each other without formal procedures, because once you start to work through the bureaucracy it slows things down. My style is very pragmatic. Instead of magnifying things, I try to help people find simple solutions."

    As part of his duties, Frumkin meets weekly with Jonathan Kleinbard, Vice President for University News & Community Affairs, and Edward Turkington, Dean of Student Services. The ombudsman also has access to other University officers, including the provost and the president.

    The Office of the Student Ombudsman was created in 1968 by then-Provost Edward Levi. The ombudsman is appointed by the president after receiving the recommendation of a student-faculty committee that interviews candidates. The ombudsman serves for one year and has a secretary and an assistant.

    The ombudsman's office, located in Reynolds Club 001B, is open from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Friday. To make an appointment, call 702-8422. All conversations are confidential.