What does an Ombuds do?

The Ombuds provides assistance to help manage and resolve workplace and/or academic issues.  The Ombuds can offer neutral and impartial perspective; provide a respectful, confidential place for individuals to discuss problems; help clarify issues and interests, identify goals and develop and consider a range of options; coach visitors in written and verbal communications; explain relevant University policies and practices; provide referrals to other offices and services; look into problems by gathering data and the perspective of others; assist in resolving interpersonal conflict; engage in shuttle diplomacy; facilitate one-on-one and group conversations, or be present in a discussion as a neutral.  The Ombuds can help the visitor weigh options and develop strategies—but it is the visitor’s decision about what to do next.  A visitor can discuss concerns with the Ombuds without committing to further disclosure, taking action, or seeking formal resolution. 

The Office also provides information to University leadership on general trends and patterns of complaints without breaching confidentiality so that problems may be prevented from escalating or recurring.