This Office and its Charter are based on the Code of Ethics and Standards of Practice developed by the International Ombudsman Association. To the extent possible, the Ombuds will function according to these best practices and ethical principles of confidentiality, impartiality/neutrality, informality, and independence. These principles govern the way in which the Ombuds receives complaints, works to resolve issues, and makes recommendations for the general improvement of the University. The Office strives to operate in a way that serves the best interest of its visitors and the University.
Confidentiality: Confidentiality helps create a safe place for visitors to voice concerns, evaluate issues, and identify options. The Ombuds Office respects the confidentiality and privacy of all persons. The office takes confidentiality seriously. However, exceptions are made with expressed permission from the visitor or as required by law or University policy.
Neutrality: The Ombuds provides impartial and objective assessments of any concern brought to the office. As a neutral third party, the Ombuds is an advocate for equity, fair process, and the fair administration of process, but does not take sides on behalf of any individual or cause. We have no decision making authority and cannot override the decisions of others.
Informality: All conversations with the Ombuds are considered informal and off-the-record. The Ombuds maintains no records (other than statistical data) and does not participate in formal grievances or complaints. Formal investigations and grievances are the purview of other offices. Use of the office is strictly voluntary. Individuals should not be sanctioned for using, or not using, the Ombuds.
Independence: The Ombuds reports directly to the president of the university. This provides the office with an independence to ensure impartiality. The Ombuds neither compels other offices to take specific action nor receives compulsory directions from other offices about how to approach a particular issue.