The Ombuds is first an impartial listener that will confidentially discuss an issue with a concerned community member so that issues can be raised without the fear of loss of privacy. Thus, the Ombuds seeks to resolve problems by serving as an independent resource for listening to complaints, understanding facts, and offering advice and possible solutions. The Ombuds does not make decisions or set policy, but makes suggestions and recommendations. Details of an initial meeting need not be recorded at the request of the community member.
With the approval of the community member, the Ombuds may serve as a mediator to address and resolve issues. In areas that are outside the scope of the Ombuds, he/she can provide guidance on the process for resolution. With the permission of the community member, the Ombuds may present his/her findings and recommendations for resolution to the appropriate person(s) who may be members of the administration, faculty senate, staff, and/or the community at large. In the course of this work, the Ombuds has direct access to the President and all University offices and records germane to the matter being reviewed. Confidentiality is maintained to the extent possible, in accordance with the interests of the community member.
The President of the University appoints the Ombuds, and the Ombuds reports to the President. The Ombuds submits quarterly and annual reports to the President with statistics of types of consultations that were conducted and the results of such activities maintaining confidentiality.
The Ombuds is a tenured full professor appointed by the President. The Ombuds will have undergone training in mediation.
In the event of a real or perceived conflict of interest, the Ombuds may appoint a member of the University Grievance Committee to act on his/her behalf and adopting the procedures of the Ombuds.