Über diese Tagung

Social Media, Ombuds Offices and Confidentiality: Friends or Foes?

November 2021
2:00 pm – 4:00 pm Central European Time

Higher Education Ombuds Offices are low threshold institutions easily to be contacted by members of the academic community, in most cases by students, if they have issues or problems which they (think) they cannot address to any other internal facilities.
Formal treatment of cases can be tedious and may not help in the individual situation, which sometimes needs quick responses and/or reactions. In special situations, cases might get out of hand, if details are – on purpose – made public by complainants / visitors themselves either via social media or by launched press stories.

Social media per definition allow the creation or sharing / exchange of information, ideas, career interests, and other forms of expression via virtual communities and networks, but they can also transport fake news and misinformation.

Confidentiality as one of the key features of the working principles of Ombuds Offices does require their employees to neither share information with third parties nor, let alone, contact the media directly. However, what if YOU are contacted by the media, probably because details on a case have already started circulating on the web?

Another side of social media is actually if, and if so, why Ombuds Offices are or are not using or should or should not use them. Four renowned experts within their fields and within their respective environments are going to speak about their personal experiences and want to share them with webinar participants.

Details of the program will follow.

Data saving:
The personal data necessary for the organization of the event will be processed and stored by machine. Likewise, photos and videos will be taken at the event, which will be used for media purposes.


  • drs. E.J. Lies Poesiat
    Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam, The Netherlands
  • Barry McHale
    Student Liaison Officer
    Office of the Independent Adjudicator for Higher Education
  • Ryan Smith, Ed.D.
    Assistant University Ombudsperson
    Office of the University Ombudsperson, Michigan State University, USA
  • Jorge António Ribeiro Pereira
    Provedor do Estudante
    Universidade da Beira Interior, Portugal
  • Jean Grier
    ENOHE Vice President
  • MR Dr. Josef LEIDENFROST, MA (Mediation)
    Leiter der Ombudsstelle für Studierende
    Bundesministerium für Bildung, Wissenschaft und Forschung