Skip to main content
Michigan State University

this site all msu sites

Parents of Students FAQ

My daughter is an MSU student. How can I help her resolve a conflict?

May I call your office to make sure my son made an appointment with you?

Will I encounter any privacy concerns if I try to help my daughter resolve a conflict?

What do I need to know if I intervene on my child's behalf with his permission?

Will you meet with me?

How can I become more familiar with the University?

My daughter is an MSU student. How can I help her resolve a conflict?

The Office of the Ombudsperson is a good place to start.  Simply instruct your daughter to contact us at 353-8830 to set up an appointment.  We will listen to her concerns, help define the issue or problem, recommend various options that might resolve the problem or refer her to an appropriate office on campus for additional help  We'll do all of this independently, impartially and confidentially.  Know, too, that we do not serve as advocates for students--or anyone else at MSU; instead, we advocate for a fair application of MSU's policies and rules.

Return to Top

May I call your office to make sure my son made an appointment with you?

Confidentiality is one of the primary standards of practice for the Office of the Ombudsperson.  Therefore, we will not divulge the names of any individuals who contact us without their permission.

Return to Top

Will I encounter any privacy concerns if I try to help my daughter resolve a conflict?

Yes.  The University must comply with the Federal Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA) and its own student privacy guidelines.  This means that MSU faculty and staff must not divulge any information--other than directory information--about its students to a third party, including parents, without the students' written permission.

Return to Top

What do I need to know if I intervene on my child's behalf with his permission?

First, since the adoption in 1967 of a document called Academic Freedom for Students at Michigan State University, this University has considered its students as adults.  This means that we expect to deal with your son or daughter in resolving his problem.   Second, part of the broader goal of a college education is learning how to manage one's own affairs and to speak for one's self.  It's an important lesson, so don't take charge of the problem for your son or daughter; instead, insist that he or she take the lead.  You can provide support and guidance behind the scenes.

Return to Top

Will you meet with me?

Yes, but only if (a) I have met with your son or daughter and (b) the student has given me written permission.

Return to Top

How can I become more familiar with the University?

Start with the University's main Web site (http://www.msu.edu).  It will take you to all sorts of information about this University.  Note the link to "Visitors."  Other good sites for general information about MSU are those of  the Office of the Registrar and the Office of the Provost

Return to Top

Questions? Contact the Ombudsperson