Ombuds Office 2014–15 Academic Year Statistics

  • Issues
  • Demographics
  • By Time
  • By Department

What is an "issue" ?

An issue is a description of a problem or concern that a student has come to the Ombuds Office with.

It is used as tag for a student's particular situation. A student's overall problem often was tagged with more than one issue.

Issues – listed individually

In 2014–15, Student Accounting related issues continued to be the top kind of issue brought to the Ombuds Office by visitors. Like the previous year, students, who have unexpected medical issues that cascade into academic and financial problems, were the most numerous single type of issue seen by this office in 2014–15. This is reflected by the Student Accounting, Financial Aid, Tuition Reimbursement, and various Withdrawal issue-tags.

More historically-typical university issues remained steady, like Student-Faculty conflicts which were 9% of all issues brought to the Ombuds Office.

The amount of purely Financial Aid issues had a marked increase from the previous year. Particularly in the summer from students not being offered the same level of aid offered to them in the past. Communication is typically the reason why these issues end up in the Ombuds Office.

When tags are grouped into broad categories: Financial, Academics, and Withdrawals have the same percentage share as last year. Being the top three categories, this reflects the tight relationship between grades, financial aid, and unanticipated withdrawals from school.

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Issues – grouped and categorized

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There are roughly 120 unique issue-tags. Here they are grouped into broad categories and subcategories for practicality.

Who comes to the Ombuds Office?

Gender

The Ombuds Office saw nearly the same amount of male and female students in 2014–15.

In 2014–15 we had a slightly higher percentage of male students than the general student population at Rutgers, being 53% female and 47% male in 2015.

Compared to the previous year 2013–14, the percent of male visitors increased by 3% and female visitors decreased by the same amount.

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Students' classification

The Ombuds Office saw roughly 90% undergraduates, 8% graduate students, and only 2 visitors who were non-current students.

Like previous years, visitors were skewed towards undergraduates compared to the university's general student population.

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School Affiliation

91% of visitors were affiliated with schools or colleges based at the Rutgers–New Brunswick campus.

Within Rutgers–New Brunswick, 68% were affiliated with the School of Arts and Sciences (SAS).

SAS students made up 62% of all visitors, a substantial increase from the previous year, being 54%.

2% of visitor's affiliations were not recorded.

Very few RBHS students came to the Ombuds Office in 2014–2015. Students in an RBHS school or college still have the inherited UMDNJ policy for faculty members acting as ombudspersons for students. This policy has been typically implemented by each school's Student Affairs or Student Services division.

There is no centralized hosting of the actual RBHS Chancellor's office ombuds policy. The current (2015–16) policy document is hosted here for reference.

A the list of RBHS's current ombuds program (as of 2015–16), created by the RBHS Chancellor's office, can be found on this site's problem-resolution resources page for convenience.

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2014–15 academic year stats by month

Total new issues – by month

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137 new issues were brought to and handled by the Ombuds Office in 2014–15.

The beginning and ending of the Fall and Spring semesters are typically when the most new issues are brought to the Ombuds Office, and 2014–15 demonstrates that trend again.

The trend of the Spring semester having more new issues than the Fall continues in 2014–15 as well.

Throughout the Fall and Spring semesters, there was an average of 13 new issues per month. This is the same as the long-term 2005–2015 average, but less than the previous year's average of 16 new issues.

The Fall semester saw an average of 11 new issues per month while the Spring had an average of 14 per month.

The academic year for reference:

Visitors' student classification – by month

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Undergraduate visitors in 2014–15 followed the long term trend very closely.

The amount of graduate student visitors in 2014–15 were too few to determine a trend.

What departments are related to the issues?

For an issue for which a student comes to the Ombuds Office, there may be multiple departments, offices, or divisions within the university that are related to the issue.

Student Accounting, SAS, and Financial Aid remain the most numerous departments involved in a visitors' issues. This reflects the substantial amount of medical withdrawals sent to this office by SAS and Student Accounting themselves.

We saw an increase in issues related to Disability Services, which were a mix of academic accommodations, housing, and dining-services related issues.

The number of issues involving Chemistry, typically exam conflicts, substantially decreased from the previous year from 8 to only 2 (3% to 1%).

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Rank
Department or Office
Percent of Total
Count

Notes about these statistics and numbers

Totals and percentages

Percents are rounded to the nearest whole number and may not total to 100%.

Limitation

This data only represents visitors and issues that were brought to the Office of the Ombudsperson for Students between 2014–15.

This data does not represent Rutgers University as a whole.