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What an Ombud Can Do

  • Listen to you in a nonjudgmental and objective way
  • Answer your questions or refer you to someone who can
  • Explain how University policies or procedures work
  • Help you identify options to resolving a problem
  • Help you evaluate your options and possible next steps
  • Assist you in informally resolving a dispute or conflict by facilitating communication, coaching on conflict resolution, or mediating between willing parties
  • Refer you to the appropriate office should you wish to file a formal complaint
  • Look into perceived procedural irregularities in grievance proceedings
  • Recommend changes to policies/procedures that appear outdated or problematic
  • Inform University officials about significant trends and patterns of complaints or problems that appear to be systemic

Example of Issues that are commonly received by an Ombud:

  • You have experienced Bullying
  • Have a question or a complaint about an office, service, or decision at the University
  • Need a mediator or help facilitating communication
  • Perceived inequities in work or pay; treated unfairly
  • Believe a University policy or practice is unfair or confusing
  • Perceived unethical or inappropriate behavior
  • Interpersonal conflicts and problems with workplace climate
  • Concerns about career advancement & job satisfaction or security
  • Concerns about Promotion, Tenure and Evaluation processes
  • Advice on having a difficult conversation
  • Problems of institutional non-responsiveness and red-tape
  • Need an impartial and confidential sounding board
  • Are not sure where else to turn for help

TEDx on Ombuds Services

What an Ombud CanNOT Do:

  • Take sides or serve as an advocate for any party
  • Maintain official records
  • Unilaterally change rules or policies
  • Set aside a decision or supersede the authority of another University official
  • Provide legal advice
  • Provide psychological counseling or therapy
  • Participate in any formal grievance process
  • Conduct formal investigations
  • Provide testimony in any court initiated proceeding
  • The office has no authority but does have the power of persuasion available to it
  • The Ombud's Office is not an "office of official notice" for the University.  If you would like to make a complaint officially, please consult the office of the President, Provost or other Vice President, Equity and Diversity/EEO, Legal Counsel, or other offices. 

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Last Updated: Friday, January 20, 2017 10:09:35 AM
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