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How an Ombuds Helps

What an Ombuds Does:

  • Listen, which may be all the visiting faculty or staff member wants or needs
  • Discuss concerns and help clarify the most important issues
  • Help identify and refer to other resources appropriate to the faculty or staff member’s concerns
  • Explain policies and processes
  • Provide a confidential forum where different options may be considered
  • Serve as a neutral party to solve problems and resolve conflict
  • Offer coaching (e.g. help the faculty or staff member prepare for a difficult conversation)
  • Assist in informal resolution of concerns regarding a variety of faculty- or staff-presented issues
  • Initiate informal inquiry for the purpose of clarifying situations and factual details
  • Initiate offers of assistance to faculty or staff members identified by university processes as “in need”
  • Facilitate programming and prevention education, empowering university community members towards successful conflict prevention, management, and resolution
  • Provide the faculty or staff member with information about how a complaint may be made to the University
  • Report trends; make recommendations for institutional improvement
  • Use experience, knowledge, and judgment to assist any NC State faculty or staff

What an Ombuds Does Not Do:

  • Accept formal complaints, or notice for the university
  • Render formal decisions
  • Offer legal advice
  • Alter policy
  • Circumvent administrative procedures
  • Offer psychological counseling
  • Participate in any formal university grievance or hearing
  • Mediate disputes between faculty and staff members or administrators
  • Testify in any judicial or administrative proceeding, unless required by law after reasonable efforts have been made to protect confidentiality
  • Serve as a place to advocate for any individual or entity
  • Address issues involving persons not at NC State University