Confidentiality: Confidentiality helps create a safe place for visitors to voice concerns, evaluate issues, and identify options. Confidentiality is essential to the Ombuds function. The 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 believes disclosure is necessary to address imminent risk of serious harm to one’s self or others.
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 exercises autonomy regarding responsibilities. The office is independent and is situated outside 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 president of the University.
These principles are in adherence to the International Ombudsman Association Code of Ethics and Standards of Practice. Those who use our office agree to respect these principles.