(50th Anniversary) confidential, neutral, independent

What it is​

  • The Ombudsman’s office is non-disciplinary and exists as a confidential, informal, advisory resource for students, faculty, and staff to guide them through academic disputes and other interpersonal issues.


  • The Ombudsman’s office is independent of the University and is not obligated to share information about the complaints that come through their office. 


  • They will not act in a representative capacity but will guide community members through their complaints.



Example usages of this office

  • Sally Sue is nervous about a grade she received in her economics class. She expresses her concern to the Ombudsman’s office, and they guide and support her through how to discuss her issue with the Professor.


  • Sally Sue is upset about the way that she is being treated in interactions with a Professor (has a fear of discrimination). The Ombudsman’s office is a good resource for her to voice her complaints and create an action plan for future interactions with her Professor.

Examples of common misconceptions 

  • Sally Sue would like the University to take action against her professor for the grade that she received - The Ombudsman’s Office is unable to act in this capacity

  • Sally Sue would like the Ombudsman’s Office to act on behalf of her in interactions with a Professor who she considers is discriminating against her - The Ombudsman’s Office is unable to act in this capacity 


The OSA is made up of undergraduate students acting as caseworkers in different fields to navigate issues including conduct violations, grade disputes, enrollment issues, financial aid problems, residency concerns, discrimination and harassment.

Disclaimer: The Office of the Student Advocate is available as a point of contact to help students navigate Cornell bureaucracy and provide advice but does not guarantee any results.

Photography by Savanna Lim

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