A supervisor or Human Resources consultant often can address employee concerns, but sometimes people prefer to speak with someone who is separate from administrative structures. The Ombuds Office was created in 2007 to give employees another place to receive help in preventing, resolving and managing conflicts.*
The Office was also created to ensure that staff at all levels know whether to bring a formal grievance to Human Resources or to Equal Opportunity and Affirmative Action. After exploring options with you, the Ombudsperson can refer you to the appropriate office.
The goal of the Ombuds Office is to assist people who are troubled by a workplace or campus issue. Sometimes people need to practice before they feel composed enough to raise a difficult issue with someone else. The Ombudsperson helps people resolve conflicts as early as possible by identifying a range of possible actions. She maintains neutrality in listening to and mediating complaints about colleagues, supervisors, supervisees and policies. She facilitates conversation and calls attention to issues without being an advocate, decision-maker or source of reward and discipline.
* Union members will continue to consult with shop stewards, Human Resources and Equal Opportunity and Affirmative Action, depending on the nature of the issue. Faculty generally consult with their chairs, associate deans and deans.
Last Updated: 4/26/10