Operating Principles

The University faculty ombuds is a member of the International Ombudsman Association (IOA). The office operations are consistent with the Code of Ethics and Standards of Practice of the International Ombudsman Association.


Confidentiality

Confidentiality helps create a safe place for visitors to voice concerns, evaluate issues, and identify options. It is essential to the ombuds' function. The faculty ombuds will not disclose the name of any individual who has visited the office or issues that were discussed with anyone unless permission to do so has been given by the individual. The only exception to the promise of confidentiality is when the ombuds has a reasonable concern about possible violence or physical harm.

Neutrality

The faculty 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.

Informality

All conversations with the faculty ombuds are considered informal and off-the-record. The ombuds does not make decisions on behalf of the institution or override the decisions of other officials. 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 cannot be sanctioned for using, or not using, the ombuds.

Independence

The ombuds exercises autonomy regarding responsibilities. The office is independent and is situated outside of the University’s normal administrative structure to better ensure impartiality. The ombuds neither compels other offices to take specific action nor receives compulsory orders from other offices about how to approach a particular issue. The ombuds reports directly to the provost of the University.