FAQ and Resources
Frequently Asked Questions
The Ombuds Office is a confidential office. That means that the Ombuds will not reveal your visit or your conversation to anyone unless:
- the Ombuds believes somebody is in imminent danger or risk of harm; or
- you give the Ombuds permission to do so; or
- as otherwise required by law
Please note that email should not be used to discuss confidential or sensitive information.
It means that the Ombuds does not favor any side or position or person in a dispute. The Ombuds is an advocate for justice and fairness and works within existing policies and procedures. If the Ombuds feels that she cannot be impartial or may be perceived as partial, the Ombuds may recuse herself from further participation.
It means that the Ombuds Office will explore with you your concerns “off the record” and not through any formal or official channels or procedures. This allows you to explore your concerns and your options privately and can promote collaborative problem solving.
If, however, you decide to pursue a formal procedure — all procedures ordinarily available to you remain available to you.
Please note that contacting the Ombuds Office does not constitute notice to the university. Be aware that time requirements for filing formal complaints remain in effect.
No. The Ombuds Office is both confidential and informal. Because it is informal, speaking with an Ombuds or sending the Ombuds any sort of communication is not the same as giving notice to the university. The Ombuds does not create or retain personally-identifiable records or documents. Working notes used are destroyed when they are no longer necessary to assist with problem resolution. The Ombuds does not provide testimony in any formal process unless ordered to do so by a court of law.
The Ombuds is not affiliated with any unit on campus and works independently of university management structures. To ensure independence and objectivity, the Ombuds is empowered to conduct informal fact-finding, facilitate conversations, coach, train and mediate resolutions to problems. These services provided by the Ombuds supplement other university resources, policies and procedures. The Ombuds may provide referrals to other offices or work with other offices to help visitors. The Ombuds may also independently bring forward concerns.
You may contact the Ombuds regarding any university-related issue. If the Ombuds cannot assist you with your concern, the Ombuds will refer you to more appropriate resources or offices.
- Performance expectations, position descriptions
- Interpersonal or personality conflicts
- Graduate committee function
- Course assignments
- Promotion and tenure
- Groups and team functioning
- Working conditions
- Workstudy assignments and relationships
- Wages and salary
- Housing issues
- Exam procedures
- Respect, fairness and trust issues
- Health and safety concerns
- Ethical concerns
- Management and leadership concerns
No. The Ombuds does not provide legal advice. If you have questions about your legal rights, please consult an attorney.
Yes. You may call the Ombuds at 111-111-7668 or send the Ombuds an email to find a time to speak by phone or in person if necessary. The Ombuds is also available via Skype at uiombuds.
It is strongly recommended that you make an appointment to meet with the Ombuds. The Ombuds is the only person in the Ombuds Office, and the Ombuds is frequently out of the office. Although it is possible that the Ombuds will be in the office and available to speak with you when you drop by, the Ombuds is frequently unavailable due to confidential meetings and phone calls.
Standards of Practice
For more information about the professional obligations and standards of practice for an Ombuds, please visit the website for the professional membership organization of Ombuds, the .