The Ombuds keeps all student information and matters strictly confidential. In short, no one will ever know that you met with and discussed your matter with the Ombuds unless you ask the Ombuds to intervene directly in your matter. Many times individuals find it helpful to explore options and strategies confidentially before taking more formal steps. The Ombuds is easily accessible to voice concerns or ask questions and is an available source of assistance.
The Ombuds helps resolve problems and complaints within the university. The office is neutral and functions independent of the university administration. An Ombuds can be described less as an advocate and more as an advisor in an attempt at achieving fairness and due process for those involved. The Ombuds is non-judgmental, a source of confidential advice, and welcomes all student questions and concerns.
The Ombuds operates informally as the office does not duplicate, but adds to existing processes like procedures for the filing of grievances, faculty administrative hearings, or other formal procedures followed by the university at large. The Ombuds may look into whether proper procedures were followed and bring to the attention of the university administration gaps and/or inadequacies in existing rules and regulations. The Ombuds may attend an appeal but only as an advisor and not as an advocate. The Ombuds is here to insure that your right to procedural fairness and due process is respected.
The Ombuds is directly responsible to the Vice-Provost (Student Experience) and not to any other administrative office. The Ombuds also has an Ombuds Advisory Committee, composed of stakeholder groups on campus, the purpose of which is to ensure that the Ombuds office continues to meet the needs of students. The Ombuds office works hard to merit the trust others place in it.