Ombuds Principles and Practices

 

The NC State Faculty & Staff Ombuds Office adheres to the highest standards and practices within the ombuds community as promulgated by the International Ombudsman Association. The core tenants are that the office is confidential, independent, impartial, and informal.

Confidential –

Communications with the Faculty & Staff Ombuds Office are confidential to the fullest extent of the law. The Faculty & Staff Ombuds Office will not confirm that communications with any visitor took place or disclose any confidential information without the visitor’s express permission and at the discretion of the Faculty & Staff Ombuds. Exceptions to confidentiality that allow disclosure include permission of the visitor, where there is an imminent risk of serious harm, where abuse and neglect are suspected, or where otherwise required by law.

The Faculty & Staff Ombuds Office shall not participate in any internal NC State formal process. The Faculty & Staff Ombuds is not a designated responsible employee as contemplated under Title IX. Further, the Faculty & Staff Ombuds Office is not a campus security authority as outlined in the Clery Act and the VAWA.

Independent –

The Faculty & Staff Ombuds Office is independent in structure, function and appearance to the highest degree possible. It operates independent of ordinary line and staff structures and exercises sole discretion over whether and how to act regarding individual matters or systemic concerns.

The Faculty Ombuds Office makes periodic administrative reports to the Chancellor and Provost. The Staff Ombuds Office will make periodic administrative reports to the Associate Vice Chancellor for Human Resources.  These are reports of aggregate data to document the number and type of visitors and the categories of issues while maintaining the confidentiality of all identifying information. The reports may also include trend data as well as recommendations from the ombuds.

Impartial –

The Faculty & Staff Ombuds Office is impartial in all activities, and does not take sides in any conflict, dispute or issue. The Faculty & Staff Ombuds Office supports fair processes. The Faculty & Staff Ombuds will impartially consider the interests and concerns of all involved in a situation.  Goals will be to help people generate options, connect with existing University resources, and help those involved to reach mutually acceptable agreements that are consistent with the mission and policies of the University.

The Faculty & Staff Ombuds avoids involvement in matters where there may be a conflict of interest. A conflict of interest occurs when the Faculty & Staff Ombuds’ private interests, real or perceived, supersede or compete with dedication to the neutral and independent role of the Faculty & Staff Ombuds. When a conflict of interest exists, the Faculty & Staff Ombuds takes all steps necessary to disclose and/or avoid the conflict.

Informal –

The Faculty & Staff Ombuds Office shall be an informal issue or dispute resolution resource and shall not formally investigate, arbitrate, adjudicate or in any other way participate in internal formal process or action. Use of the Faculty & Staff Ombuds Office will be voluntary and not a required step in any grievance process or University policy and faculty and staff members shall have the right to consult with the Faculty & Staff Ombuds Office without retaliation.