Ombuds Frequently Asked Questions
Q: What is the role of the University Ombuds?
A: The Ombuds’ role includes: listening to concerns; when possible, providing information about relevant resources, offices, and procedures; anonymously tracking trends, issues, and concerns in the community, and reporting these to the president.
Q: Who can access the services of the Ombuds Office?
A: The Ombuds Office is available to faculty, staff, administration, and graduate students.
Q: When should I contact the Office of the University Ombuds?
A: Any University-related problem may be brought to the Office by any member of the SCSU community. You might want to contact the Ombuds when:
- You need an impartial and confidential sounding board;
- You think you have been treated unfairly;
- You are not sure where else to turn for help and need guidance.
Q: What are the confidentiality guidelines?
A: Confidentiality of communication is consistent with the International Ombudsman Association Code of Ethics and Standards of Practice. Conversations with the Office of the Ombuds are privileged. This means that we are bound to maintain and protect the confidentiality of all visitors. The only exception to this is when a visitor gives permission to the Ombuds to make disclosure, or when the Ombuds determines that there is an imminent risk of serious harm.
Q: What are the guidelines around the work of the Ombuds Office?
The Ombuds Office DOES
- Serve as a skilled listeners and a place to discuss concerns outside of formal channels
- Maintain confidentiality
- Report to the President
- Accept appointments from any member of the university community (except undergraduate students)
- Help identify options towards resolution of a problem
- Facilitate dialogue between parties when all parties voluntary agree to participate
- Recommend changes to policies/procedures that appear outdated or problematic while maintaining confidentiality
- Identify trends or patterns of complaints or problems that might be systemic
- Provide other forms of assistance to help you resolve a problem informally.
The Ombuds Office DOES NOT
- Offer representation to parties
- Provide legal advice or act as substitute for union representation
- Require or share identifying information
- Testify in formal grievance or legal proceedings
- Keep formal notes/notes that can be summoned in a legal proceeding
- Encourage visits by individuals who feel compelled to visit by another party
- Make or change University decisions, rules, or policies
- Conduct formal investigations.
Q: How are concerns received?
A: If you have a concern you would like to share with us, we invite you to contact us by email at email@example.com