What Is An Ombuds?
An Ombuds (also "ombudsman" or "ombudsperson") is a designated neutral or impartial conflict resolution practitioner who provides confidential and informal assistance to visitors on a variety of issues and concerns. The Ombuds office operates independently and has no formal decision-making authority or disciplinary responsibilities. Ombuds do not act as advocates for any one position in a dispute; rather they strive for fairness of process and healthy campus conflict resolution. An Ombuds is someone who helps people to informally resolve conflict by facilitating communication to help all parties reach mutually satisfactory solutions. Ombuds may also provide coaching and education to help their visitors effectively manage conflict over time.
What are some of the benefits of speaking with the University Ombuds Office?
- If you aren’t sure where to take your concern, the Ombuds is a safe place to start
- They provide visitors with the ability to speak and be heard by a neutral listener
- The University Ombuds Office helps visitors explore options; however, visitors choose the path of
the overall process
What are some examples of issues which are brought to the University Ombuds Office?
- Miscommunication between supervisors, coworkers, employees, and/or students
- Interpersonal, intercultural, and group conflicts
- Confusion around policies and/or procedures
- Perceived ethical dilemmas
- Perceived unfair treatment or bullying
- Managerial effectiveness