The independent newspaper of the University of Iowa community since 1868

The Daily Iowan

The independent newspaper of the University of Iowa community since 1868

The Daily Iowan

The independent newspaper of the University of Iowa community since 1868

The Daily Iowan

UI Office of the Ombudsperson sees drop in new visitors during last school year

The office saw a decline of almost 200 visitors.
The+Old+Capitol+Building+is+seen+in+Iowa+City+on++Tuesday+April%2C+25%2C+2023.
Cody Blissett
The Old Capitol Building is seen in Iowa City on Tuesday April, 25, 2023.

The University of Iowa Office of the Ombudsperson released its annual report on Wednesday. The annual report showed that the office received 468 new visitor appointments, a significant drop from the 2021-22 report. 

The majority of those helped by the office were staff, making up 49 percent of visitors. Professional and scientific staff resulted in more than 40 percent of the total visitors in 2022-2023 and the new appointments, 57 percent were follow-up visits. In total, there were 265 revisits from the previous fiscal year, 2021-22.

The report found the vast majority of visitor concerns were in evaluative relationships, with a total of 723 persons, or 41 percent. The second highest concern was in career and academic progression and development, with a total of 237 persons, or 13 percent. 

According to the report, these concerns were made across four sessions allowed per visitor.

The top concerns related to evaluative relationships were the quality of communication, job/academic performance, respect/treatment, and the effectiveness of addressing specific issues.

In the case complexity and analysis portion of the report, it noted that loss of productivity was the highest risk, accounting for 33 percent of visitors’ appointments, and is “the largest perceived risk on campus.”

The top themes and actions collected by the UI Office of the Ombudsperson were workplace dynamics, interpersonal conflicts, and DEI concerns.

Actions taken by the office included consultation and problem-solving, discussion of applicable policies, listening, coaching, and referral to resources.

The Office of the Ombudsperson also offers 84 additional services, which 1,430 individuals received in the past year. 

In terms of visitor satisfaction, the report stated that 84 percent of visitors were satisfied by their visit with 87 percent of visitors saying they would contact and refer others to the Office of the Ombudsperson in the future.

RELATED: UI Office of the Ombudsperson sees decline in number of visitors from 2020 to 2021

The report also identified three pressing issues: discrepancies in how the Clarification of Expectations and Performance Improvement Plan documents are being used, the reviewing process of staff members, and respect and treatment in the workplace.

Recommendations were then made to resolve these issues, such as providing feedback on performance reviews, working with the Office of the Ombudsperson to work through interpersonal conflict in the workplace, and pursuing additional opportunities to provide individuals in the workplace ways to combat their concerns.

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About the Contributors
Shreya Reddy, News Reporter
she/her/hers
Shreya Reddy is a freshman at the University of Iowa. Coming from a small town in Kansas, Shreya is double majoring in English and Political Science on the Pre-Law track. Before coming to the Daily Iowan, she has written for her neighborhood magazine and her schools literary magazine as well as writing an investigative journalism piece.
Cody Blissett, Visuals Editor
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Cody Blissett is a visual editor at The Daily Iowan. He is a third year student at the University of Iowa studying cinema and screenwriting. This is his first year working for The Daily Iowan.