What is an Ombuds?
Ombuds provide confidential, impartial and informal assistance to individuals and groups to help prevent problems from arising and to facilitate fair and respectful resolution of problems that do arise. That means that the ombuds won’t tell anybody that you visited or what was discussed unless the ombuds believes somebody to be in imminent danger or risk of harm or unless the visitor gives the ombuds permission to share that information.
Ombuds are independent and are not affiliated with any department or unit on campus. Ombuds do not represent individuals in any formal procedure and they cannot change or reverse decisions. They do, however, advocate for respectful, fair and equitable treatment for all who make up the campus community.
Ombuds serve as information and referral resources and facilitate communication between individuals and among groups. They offer conflict coaching to help individuals better manage their own disputes and provide dispute resolution services, such as workshops, trainings, mediation and informal explorations of culture within units and departments.
The Ombuds Office also recommends constructive changes to university policies and procedures by providing feedback on systemic issues to promote transparency, clarity and fairness.