The student ombuds is a student-focused resource who provides an independent and informal opportunity for students to discuss concerns and paths to resolution.
The services of the student ombuds are designed to empower students. The student ombuds accomplishes this by:
Listening carefully and objectively
Discussing student concerns and options
Helping students explore fair and equitable approaches for resolving a concern
Answering questions about university policies and procedures
Coachingstudents in positive and effective communications techniques
Facilitatingstudent communication with the university
Conducting informal investigations to provide clarity to students on the issues involved
Beyond direct assistance to students, the student ombuds offers services to the entire university community including:
Training in conflict resolution and effective, positive communication
Consultation on university policies
Identification of trends and patterns of complaints at the university
The work of the student ombuds is guided by the principles of independence, informality, neutrality and confidentiality.
The student ombuds is independent of the formal structures of the university, exercises sole discretion in responding to student needs and has access to all university officials and records as needed to carry out the functions of the office.
The student ombuds provides informal assistance to students and does not accept formal notice on behalf of the university, conduct formal investigations, make decisions or commitments on behalf of the university, adjudicate cases or advocate for any individual or entity. The student ombuds cannot provide legal advice or counseling. Students desiring counseling should review the information at Counseling and Support Resources.
The student ombuds provides an unbiased analysis of student concerns and advocates solely for fairness in the application of policies and processes.
The student ombuds takes the rights and interests of all parties into consideration and avoids anything which would lead to a conflict of interest (actual or perceived).
At the request of the student, communications with the student ombuds can be made confidential. When confidentiality is invoked, the student ombuds does not reveal details of any issue including the identity of someone seeking services. Regardless of a request for confidentiality, information may be disclosed if the ombuds perceives an imminent risk of serious harm or the information meets mandatory reporter requirements.