/ Culture and Inclusion

Ombuds & Informal Resolution

An ombuds office helps create and maintain a culture of support, impartiality, equitability and mutual respect.

Having an informal platform where students, staff and faculty can share their experiences and concerns in a confidential setting will help foster a culture of belonging, understanding and grace, give voice to all members of our community and create a culture of mutual support.

Ombuds Standards of Practice

Adapted from International Ombudsman Association Standards of Practice

Independence
  • The services of the ombuds role are conducted separately from management processes
  • The ombuds role has direct access to senior leadership, however: 
    • Leadership doesn’t have access to confidential information about visitors to the ombuds
    • Leadership doesn’t direct the ombuds’ work
Neutrality & Impartiality
  • The ombuds role tries to understand and help to communicate the rights and interests of everyone
  • Therefore, the role of the ombuds does not advocate for particular persons, take sides or try to help anyone “win” or “lose” in a given situation
Confidentiality
  • Visits to the ombuds are kept confidential
  • If you ask or give your permission, the ombuds can contact other specific individuals on your behalf
  • Confidentiality is exempted when there is imminent risk of serious harm to yourself or others
Informality
  • The ombuds is not a formal complaint role
  • The ombuds is an alternative to formal processes or a place where you can help determine next steps or explore your options
  • Use of ombuds services is completely voluntary
  • The ombuds doesn’t determine fault, conduct investigations or compel anyone in any way

If you would like to set up an appointment with a person in the ombuds role, please fill out the Ombuds & Informal Resolution Form.