What We Do (and do not do)

What does an Ombuds do?

  • Provide a safe place to share thoughts and discuss concerns
  • Listen non-judgmentally
  • Help identify and evaluate options
  • Offer coaching (i.e. help a visitor prepare for a difficult conversation)
  • Advocate for fair process
  • Serve as a supplement (not replacement) for formal channels
  • Collaborate with other campus offices on issues of general concern
  • Gather information and provide referrals to other resources
  • Discuss rights and responsibilities
  • Provide University policy consultation
  • Facilitate communication
  • Identify trends and systemic issues to promote positive change
  • Operate under the Standards of Practice & Code of Ethics of the International Ombudsman Association


What does an Ombuds NOT do?

  • Advocate for specific individuals and outcomes
  • Conduct formal investigations
  • Make decisions on issues brought to the office
  • Breach confidentiality
  • Determine "guilt" or "innocence"
  • Participate in the University's grievance process or any other formal process
  • Make or change administrative decisions or University policy
  • Give legal advice
  • Make judgments about a person or a situation
  • Provide psychological counseling
  • Assign sanctions or discipline
  • Accept or provide notice of an alleged violation on behalf of the University