Guiding Principles

The Faculty Ombuds Office is guided by these four principles as inspired by the International Ombudsman Association.  We consider these principles essential to our success and we review them with each visitor prior to discussing an issue.

INDEPENDENCE

The Ombuds is independent in structure, function, and appearance to the highest degree possible within the organization. The Ombuds Office reports to the Provost and Vice Chancellor for Academic Affairs. 

NEUTRALITY AND IMPARTIALITY

The Ombuds, as a designated neutral, remains unaligned and impartial. We do not advocate for any particular individual or group.  We do, however, advocate for improved understanding, respect for the views of others, and equitable resolution of disputes. The Ombuds does not engage in any situation which could create a conflict of interest.

CONFIDENTIALITY

The Ombuds holds all communications with those seeking assistance in strict confidence, and does not disclose confidential communications unless given permission to do so. The only exceptions to this privilege of confidentiality are where there appears to be imminent risk of serious harm, or if the Ombuds is otherwise required by law to disclose, report or testify. The privilege is held by the office and cannot be waived by others.

INFORMALITY

The Ombuds, as an informal resource, resists testifying in any formal proceeding, asserting the confidential nature of communications with the Ombuds Office. The Ombuds Office can assist those interested in making formal complaints through referrals to other offices or channels at the University, but the Office is not designed to receive formal notice of complaints on behalf of the University and should not be used in that way.