Authority of Employee and Student Ombuds Offices

The Ombuds Offices have the authority to contact senior officers and all other members of the University community, to gather information in the course of looking into a problem, to mediate disputes, to bring concerns to the attention of those in authority, and informally to attempt to expedite and resolve administrative processes.

Initiating Informal Inquiries: The ombuds shall be entitled to inquire informally about any issue concerning the University and affecting any member of the university community, but must not divulge the identity of the visitor without the visitor’s consent. The ombuds may initiate informal inquiries into matters that come to their attention without having received a specific complaint from an affected member of the university community, although the participation of others on campus is entirely voluntary. The offices will be entitled to inquire informally about any issue concerning the university, exercising sole discretion over whether or how to act regarding individual concerns or trends. 

Access to Information: The employee ombuds may request access to information related to visitors’ concerns, from files and offices of the university and shall respect the confidentiality of that information. If other departments voluntarily choose to respond to ombuds requests for information, such responses should be handled with reasonable promptness. 

Ending Involvement in Matters: The ombuds may withdraw from or decline to look into a matter if they believe involvement would be inappropriate for any reason. 

Discussions with Visitors and Others: The ombuds have the authority to discuss a range of options available to their visitors, including both informal and formal processes. The ombuds may make any recommendations they deem appropriate with regard to resolving problems or improving policies, rules or procedures. However, the ombuds shall have no authority to impose remedies or sanctions, require certain processes be triggered or utilized or enforce or change any policy, rule or procedure. 

Page last modified April 23, 2021