How Can the University Faculty Ombuds Help You?

The Office of the University Faculty Ombuds is a safe place for you to have off-the-record conversations on just about any kind problem you may have related to life or work at the University. Here is how the Ombuds might be able to help you:

The Ombuds can:
  • Listen to you in a nonjudgmental and objective way and discuss your concerns
  • Answer your questions or refer you to someone who can
  • Explain how University policies or procedures work
  • Help you identify options to resolving a problem
  • Help you evaluate your options and possible next steps
  • Assist you in informally resolving a dispute or conflict by facilitating communication, coaching on conflict resolution, or mediating between willing parties
  • Refer you to the appropriate office should you wish to file a formal complaint
  • Look into perceived procedural irregularities in grievance proceedings
  • Recommend changes to policies/procedures that appear outdated or problematic
  • Inform University officials about significant trends and patterns of complaints or problems that appear to be systemic
  • Provide other forms of assistance to help you resolve a problem informally
The Ombuds cannot:
  • Take sides or serve as an advocate for any party
  • Maintain official records
  • Unilaterally change rules or policies
  • Set aside a decision or supersede the authority of another University official
  • Provide legal advice
  • Provide psychological counseling or therapy
  • Participate in any formal grievance process
  • Conduct formal investigations
  • Provide testimony in any court initiated proceeding

What kind of issues can the University Faculty Ombuds help with?

The scope of the Faculty Ombudsperson’s concern extends to all aspects of University life, both academic and nonacademic, which affect faculty and post-docs.

Here are examples of common problems the Ombuds handles:
  • Concerns about procedural fairness or due process
  • Requests for clarification of a policy or process
  • Advice on how to have difficult conversations and communicate respectfully
  • Help dealing with interpersonal conflicts
  • Help dealing with perceptions of unethical, uncivil, or inappropriate behavior
  • Concerns about office politics, workplace climate, and work equity
  • Help dealing with perceptions of financial malfeasance
  • Questions about intellectual property
  • Problems with institutional non-responsiveness and red-tape