Student Ombuds

The student ombuds is a student-focused resource who provides an independent, informal, and confidential space for students to discuss problems and possible paths to resolution. The student ombuds is a designated neutral who advocates for fairness.

 

The student ombuds is an expert in conflict and communication and can assist with many common problems such as: 

  • Clarifying policies or processes at the university 
  • Guiding students in where to go in the university to resolve a problem 
  • Advising on how to communicate effectively in difficult conversations 
  • Receiving informal information about concerns which may prompt systemic change at the university 

 

The services of the student ombuds are neutral, confidential and designed to empower students. The student ombuds accomplishes this by: 

  • Listening carefully and objectively 
  • Discussing student concerns and options in a confidential space 
  • Helping students explore fair and equitable options for resolving a problem 
  • Answering questions about university policies and procedures 
  • Coaching students in positive and effective communications techniques 
  • Facilitating student communication by contacting other parties at the university (with the student’s permission) 
  • 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. 

  • Training and workshops in conflict resolution and effective, positive communication 
  • Reviewing university policies 
  • Identifying and reporting trends and patterns of complaints at the university 

 

Guiding Principles

The work of the student ombuds is guided by the principles of independence, informality, confidentiality, and neutrality. 

 

The student ombuds is independent of the formal structures of the universityexercises 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, off-the-record 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 counselingStudents desiring counseling should review the information at Counseling and Support Resources (opens new window). 

 

All communications with the student ombuds are strictly confidential. The student ombuds does not reveal details of any issue including the identity of someone seeking services. Any notes taken in the course of providing service are destroyed at the end of the case or after one month of inactivity. Recordings of any kind (by anyone participating in the communication) are strictly prohibited. A student may grant the ombuds permission to share information in the event the student asks the ombuds to take direct action. Some information may be disclosed if the ombuds perceives an imminent risk of serious harm or the information meets mandatory reporter requirements 

 

The student ombuds provides an unbiased analysis of student concerns and advocates solely for the 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).  

 

 

Contacting the Student Ombuds 

You may contact the student ombuds by e-mailing ombuds@wgu.edu 

 

For more information please see the Student Ombuds (opens new window).

 

 

 

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