Standards of Practice

The Standards of Practice are in alignment with the IOA Standards of Practice & Code of Ethics ( A summary of the standards of practice are listed below. 

For a comprehensive list, please review the Office of the Ombuds Charter. 


All communication with the employee ombuds is understood to be confidential. The ombuds will not confirm communicating with any party or disclose information without that party's permission, except in cases in which there is an imminent risk of serious harm to self or others. Please note that email is not considered confidential. If you have an interest in ensuring the confidentiality of our communications, be mindful of what information you share via email, and consider using the telephone or having a face-to-face conversation instead.The confidentiality belongs to the ombuds. By using our services, office visitors agree not to record conversation.

The ombuds is neutral and does not serve as an advocate for any members or offices of the GVSU community. As such, the ombuds will hear your concerns and openly explore options with you without bias. The ombuds will not draw conclusions or prescribe particular solutions regarding any situation, but instead will work with you to explore the range of possible approaches. This allows you to remain in control of the approach or option you choose. 

The ombuds program operates informally, has no authority or role in any formal process on campus, and does not accept notice on behalf of the university. You must pursue alternative complaint avenues if you wish to obligate the university to respond in any way. The ombuds is a completely voluntary and off-the-record resource. It is designed to complement other formal and informal services but not to replace or duplicate other processes. 

The ombuds reports directly to the president and works outside of traditional structures and channels to provide information and advice. No employee of the university can compel the ombuds to take action or to release information. The ombuds has a charter that guarantees independence from ties to other university programs or offices. While the ombuds may share information with other important programs and offices, it only occurs with the permission of the visitor.

Page last modified September 21, 2022