Ombuds Office

What We Do

Through an independent university office, the ombuds provide confidential and impartial conversation, problem-solving, and referral in a safe, informal environment for any student, staff or faculty member, or administrator. Using the services of the Ombuds Office is strictly voluntary.

Our approach is tailored to the specific needs of the visitor and is governed by the Code of Ethics and Standards of Practice of the International Ombudsman Association: International Ombudsman Association’s Code of Ethics (PDF) and Standards of Practice (PDF). (If you need special accommodation to access these external documents, please contact the Office of Accessible Technology and Services.)

Through this process we may

  • listen and discuss your concerns and questions
  • act as an impartial party to resolve conflicts
  • gather information to best understand a situation
  • assist with identifying and evaluating options to resolve an issue
  • help visitors develop new ways to solve problems on their own
  • facilitate conversations with individuals or groups
  • coach visitors to enhance communication skills
  • refer to appropriate campus or community individuals, offices or other appropriate resources or processes
  • clarify university policies and procedures
  • promote fair and equitable processes and resolutions
  • identify and communicate trends to various units
  • recommend changes in policy/practices to appropriate university units

We will not

  • investigate formally
  • advocate on any party’s behalf
  • report visitor information to anyone
  • keep records other than statistical data on visitors and trends
  • judge the merit of a complaint
  • suggest disciplinary actions
  • participate in formal grievances or follow formal processes, or supplant existing grievance, unless required to do so by court order and/or subpoena
  • provide legal advice
  • provide psychological counseling
  • make binding decisions for individuals or the university
  • override or change policy, decisions, rules
  • work with CBA issues or interpretation
  • accept “notice” of claims against the university