Don't Leave the Door Open

Don’t Leave the Door Open: Best Practices for Avoiding Student Grievances

Presented by Dr. Robert Caldwell, Dr. Kathy Doig, and Dr. Thomas F. Wolff

Tuesday, September 15, 2015 11:30 - 1:30

1425 Biomedical Physical Sciences Building

Abstract It probably goes without saying that faculty want to avoid having students bring formal grievances against them. In order to avoid grievances, it is useful to understand the sorts of things students actually grieve. Dr. Robert Caldwell, University Ombudsman, will summarize and categorize the course-related situations that result in student grievances. Among the things that Dr. Caldwell will highlight are instances when faculty violations of University policy open the door for grievances. Dr. Thomas Wolff, formerly Associate Dean, College of Engineering, will review University policies that are especially pertinent to preventing the common types of grievances. Participants will then have ample opportunity to pose questions to the panelists, also including Dr. Kathy Doig, former Associate Dean, College of Natural Science, and participate in discussion of best practices that help close the door to grievances and create a fair and comfortable course environment – for students AND faculty.

Robert Caldwell received his BA degree from the University of Rochester, and his MA and PhD in Psychology from the University of Colorado. He has been at MSU since 1982 and is currently MSU’s fifth University Ombudsperson. Previously he was a faculty member in the Department of Psychology, Associate Chair of Psychology, Associate Dean in the College of Social Science, and the Faculty Excellence Advocate in the College of Social Science. His research interests explore effective ways to prevent child abuse and neglect. About the Office of the University Ombudsperson. The Ombudsperson’s office was created in 1967 to protect student rights and help resolve the inevitable conflicts and disputes that arise between students and the faculty and staff of the University. Students accused of academic misconduct can be referred to the Ombudsperson where they learn of their rights and the process they have engaged. Faculty faced with conflicts with students can call the Ombudsperson (353-8830) to get advice on how to handle the situation so that students are treated fairly and respectfully.

Kathy Doig, PhD, MLS(ASCP)CMSHCM , a certified medical laboratory professional, is a long time member of the faculty at Michigan State since completing her doctorate in Adult and Continuing Education at MSU. She has held administrative positions as Block I Director in the College of Human Medicine, Program Director of Biomedical Laboratory Diagnostics and its accredited Clinical Laboratory Science major, and Associate Dean for Undergraduate Education in the College of Natural Science. Her research focused on work force and educational trends affecting medical laboratory professionals. Dr. Doig’s technical specialty is laboratory hematology and hemostasis, which have been her main teaching responsibilities. Her teaching and advising have been honored by the College of Natural Science with the Teaching Prize and Outstanding Academic Advisor Award. She has been a contributing author to four editions of Rodak’s Hematology: Clinical Principles and Applications, and editor of the third edition. Dr. Doig has served the medical laboratory science professional community in numerous roles, but most prominently as president of the National Credentialing Agency for Laboratory Personnel. She has numerous honors for her publications and service that include the highest honors from the American Society for Clinical Laboratory Science - Medical Technologist of the Year, Mendelson Award, and Board of Directors Awards.

Dr. Thomas F. Wolff is serving as Interim Chairperson of the Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering during his consultantship year prior to retirement. From 1998 to 2015, he served as Associate Dean of Engineering for Undergraduate Studies and was responsible for academic administration, first year programs, advising, career services, planning, engineering women and diversity programs and curricular issues. As a faculty member in civil engineering, his teaching includes courses in geotechnical engineering, reliability, and an introductory course in civil engineering. His research and consulting activities have focused on the safety and reliability of hydraulic structures, and he has participated as an expert in three different capacities regarding of levee performance in Hurricane Katrina. He is a three-time recipient of his college’s Withrow Award for Teaching Excellence, a recipient of the Chi Epsilon Regional Teaching Award, a recipient of the Resource Center for Persons with Disabilities Judy K. Gentile Award and a recipient of the U.S. Army Commander’s Medal for Public Service. He also serves as National Vice-President of Chi Epsilon, the national civil engineering honor society.

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