What Services does the Ombuds Provide?

The Ombuds will:

  • Listen to you and discuss your problems/concerns, identifying and evaluating options to resolve problems.

  • Provide information on resources within the University that may help you.

  • Open avenues of communication and, while protecting confidentiality, make informal inquiries to gather relevant information.

  • Serve as a neutral party and offer informal intervention upon request.

  • Identify problem areas facing faculty, staff, and students and recommend changes in University policies and procedures.

The Ombuds can provide coaching, mediation, shuttle diplomacy, track problem areas, provide options to whistleblowers or members of the organization with ethics concerns and make recommendations for changes to policies or procedures in support of orderly system change.

In accordance with the International Ombudsman Association (IOA) "Standards of Practice," the University Ombuds is neutral and operates outside of ordinary line and staff structures. The Ombuds practices informally, with no management decision-making power and without accepting "notice" for the University. The Ombuds typically keeps no case records and keeps confidentiality to the extent permitted by law. When an individual provides information to the Ombuds, that information is not disclosed to anyone without permission from the person providing that information. The only confidentiality exceptions are when: 1) there appears to be a threat of serious physical harm to a person; 2) there are allegations of suspected child abuse and/or neglect; or 3) as necessary to defend against a formal complaint of professional misconduct.