Confidential | Independent | Informal | Neutral

GVSU Tree with sunset in the background

Our Services

The Employee Ombuds Office offers confidential voluntary services to help faculty and staff create and maintain a positive working environment, including exploring options, communication and conflict coaching, group facilitation and feedback to campus leaders regarding systemic issues. 

Our Resources

No matter your concerns, there are many different resources that can help you at Grand Valley State University. If you’re not sure where to turn, the Employee Ombuds Office can be your first contact or your last resort. We offer a safe place to voice and clarify concerns but you will drive the process and decide what steps or actions you would like to take

Our Commitment 

The Ombuds shall be truthful and act with integrity, shall foster respect for all members of the University community, and shall promote procedural fairness in the content and administration of University policies, practices, and processes. The Ombuds endeavors to be worthy of the trust placed in the Office.

What does an Employee Ombuds do?

In accordance with International Ombuds Association, the Employee Ombuds serves as a neutral independent, informal, and confidential resource to help faculty and staff navigate and address workplace issues. Faculty and Staff initiate the support of the Employee Ombuds and options generated are used at their discretion. The Employee Ombuds Office differs from Human Resources and other conflict resolution services because it is independent of any formal university process. If your concern requires a formal process, you will be referred to other appropriate resources or office(s). The Employee Ombuds can report anonymous trend data and bring systemic concerns to the University for resolution.




The Employee Ombuds empowers individuals to work through conflicts and concerns by acting as a trusted navigator and safe resource for employees


Ombuds seek to help individuals improve their skill and their confidence for effective conflict resolution. 

Reviews and Refers

Ombuds may interpret and explain University policies and procedures. They may refer to formal University resources or help resolve issues between parties through informal mediation. 

What does an Ombuds NOT do?

Due to the neutral, informal, independent, and confidential nature of the Ombuds role, the Ombuds does not

  • Advocate for individuals/take sides
  • Create or maintain records for the organization
  • Provide legal advice
  • Participate in formal investigation or play any role in a formal issue resolution
  • Serve in any other organizational role that would compromise the neutrality of the role
  • Receive notice for the organization
  • Share personally identifiable information without permission
  • Make binding decisions or mandate policies
  • Conduct formal investigations or write formal investigative reports
  • Keep confidential any imminent risk of serious harm or danger as required by law

Visit the International Ombudsman Association for more information.

Why should I contact the Employee Ombuds?

​​​​​​​Support is available to you if you feel any of the following

  • I do not know how to proceed
  • I am trying to avoid escalation conflict
  • I feel unfairly or insensitively treated
  • I believe that my due process rights have been violated
  • I feel subjected to intimidating, bullying, or toxic behavior
  • I feel, I am not being listened to
  • I feel powerless
  • I need coaching on dispute resolution skills
  • I believe the University should improve its policies, procedures, & patterns of treatment
  • I am having an issues with a colleague

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Outside of Lake Michigan Builder

The Employee Ombuds is located in Lake Michigan Hall, Suite 133.  Appointments are available virtually.  Call (616) 331-8009 or use this link to book online at Calendly - GVSU Employee Ombuds Officer.

Appointments are also available at Cook-DeVos Center For Health Sciences, Room 560. 301 Michigan St NE, Grand Rapids, MI 49503.

The Employee Ombuds Office will make every attempt to meet you at a time and location that is secure and accessible for you. 

Parking for Lake Michigan Hall is located in Lot M. Upon entering the doors near the parking lot, turn right. The office is located on the left-hand side. 

Ombuds Curated Library

Feel free to check out available resources at our Allendale campus location in Lake Michigan Hall, Suite #133.

These titles have been picked specifically by our Employee Ombuds as additional information and support for business and personal interactions and relationships. Any of our resources (i.e. books and/or magazines) are available to be checked out through our office. We ask that these materials are returned in a timely manner as to benefit other visitors.  Click on the link below to access our online catalogue:

Land Acknowledgement


The GVSU Employee Ombuds Office would like to recognize the People of the Three Fires: the Ojibwe, Odawa, and Potawatomi peoples on whose land we are gathered. The Three Fires People are indigenous to this land which means that this is their ancestral territory. Every university is built on stolen, native land. We are guests on their land and one way to practice right relations is to develop genuine ways to acknowledge the histories and traditions of the people who originated here first, who are still here, and who tend to the land always. As we make this land acknowledgment, we know it is but an important first step, and that there are many more that we need to take when we decide to engage in the important work of social justice.

Page last modified April 23, 2024