Office of the Ombudsman

Office of the Ombudsman

Office of the Ombudsman
Ph: (914) 251-6520
Fax: (914) 251-6526
Student Services Building, Room 217

What is an ombudsman? How can the ombudsman help me?

The ombudsman assists students in several capacities, including helping students navigate the campus conduct system, assisting students who are experiencing difficulties using administrative offices, and helping students negotiate the complicated world of higher education finance.

The ombudsman can:

  • Listen nonjudgmentally and discuss questions, issues, and concerns
  • Help evaluate options
  • Explain college policies and procedures
  • Make appropriate referrals when necessary
  • Empower students to address their concerns and problems
  • Bring patterns of problems/complaints to campus administrators

The ombudsman cannot:

  • Make administrative decisions for Purchase College
  • Judge or assign the guilt or innocence of those accused of breaking the community standards of conduct
  • Give legal advice
  • Process work orders on campus residence repairs
  • Get involved in grade disputes

Sometimes a student just doesn’t know where to go for certain kinds of help. Typical issues that our ombudsman assists students with are:

  1. A student has spoken with the offices of financial aid and student accounts but still cannot meet the costs of college.
  2. A student has been accused of breaking the college’s code of conduct and needs an objective professional outside the judicial process to speak with for advice.
  3. A student is treated poorly by a college employee and wants to formally bring it to the attention of college administration.

Our ombudsman, Paul Nicholson has a master’s degree in counseling and has been assisting students at Purchase College since 1991.