In accordance with the Statutes for Safeguarding Good Academic Practice, an ombudsperson has been appointed at Darmstadt University of Applied Sciences. The following is an excerpt from the statutes, which covers this function, its requirements, tasks and rights:

§ 7 Ombudsperson

(1) The university shall appoint an ombudsperson and a deputy ombudsperson.

(2) Academics shall be appointed as ombudspersons who are members or affiliates of the higher education institution, have extensive experience in the academic field as well as national and international contacts and are not already obliged by virtue of their position to prosecute misconduct. Ombudspersons shall not be members of a central governing body of their institution while holding this office.

(3) The President shall propose suitable persons within the meaning of paragraph 2 to the Senate. The Senate shall elect the ombudsperson and the deputy ombudsperson by a majority of its members in separate ballots for a term of three years; the election shall require not only a majority of the Senate but also a majority of the professors belonging to it. Re-election shall be possible.

(4) The President shall appoint the elected persons as ombudspersons and oblige them to comply with these Statutes. The university shall announce the appointment of the ombudspersons in an appropriate manner and publish the names and contact information.

§ 8 Tasks of the Ombudsperson

(1) Ombudspersons work independently and are not bound by instructions.

(2) The ombudsperson has the following tasks:

- She advises as a neutral and qualified contact person in questions of good scientific practice and in suspected cases of scientific misconduct and contributes, as far as possible, to solution-oriented conflict mediation. The ombudsperson accepts enquiries while maintaining confidentiality.

- She takes up relevant information of her own accord, of which she becomes aware directly or indirectly through third parties, and tries to clarify them.

- She examines whether the allegations are plausible in terms of concreteness and significance as well as possible motives, and clarifies whether the allegations can be dispelled.

- If necessary, it forwards suspected cases of scientific misconduct and applies for the proceedings to the investigative committee.

- After the conclusion of a formal investigation procedure, it looks after the persons involved and informing them.

- It shall be obliged to document its actions, taking into account the protection of the personality of informing and affected persons.

(3) Every member and former member as well as every member and former member of the university has the right to speak to the ombudsperson personally within a short period of time.

(4) The ombudsperson shall be represented by the deputy ombudsperson in the event of his/her bias or prevention.

Prof. Dr. Nicola Erny was appointed as ombudsperson for good academic work at h_da. She is a professor in the Faculty of Social Sciences and Head of the Language Center. You can find her contact details in the box on the right.