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Ethical Principles & Standards of Practice

Principles

The following principles guide the Ombuds:

Independence
The Ombuds Office is independent in structure, function, and appearance to the highest degree possible within the organization.

Neutrality and Impartiality
The Ombuds, as a designated neutral, remains unaligned and impartial. The Ombuds does not engage in any situation that could create a conflict of interest.

Confidentiality
The Ombuds holds all communications with those seeking assistance in strict confidence, and does not disclose confidential communications unless given permission to do so. The only exceptions to this privilege of confidentiality is where there appears to be imminent risk of serious harm, or if the Ombuds is otherwise required by law to disclose, report or testify. The privilege is held by the office and cannot be waived by others.

Informality
The Ombuds, as an informal resource, resists testifying in any formal proceeding, asserting the confidential nature of communications with the Ombuds Office.

Standards of Practice

The Ombuds will operate under the IOA Code of Ethics, IOA Standards of Practice and IOA Best Practices, all of which are available on the Ombuds Office website at http://www.ombudsassociation.org

Constituents
Access to the services of the UNCSA Ombuds Office is limited to full and part-time faculty, staff and administrators.

Reporting
The Omsbuds reports to the Chancellor for budgetary purposes and administrative purposes only and is limited to summary reports or recommendations that do not include or involve any specific client information.

Qualifications of the Ombuds
The Ombuds must follow the Code of Ethics and Standards of Practice of the IOA.  The Ombuds must participate in continuing professional education during his or her term of office. As a minimum, the person selected as the Ombuds should have good listening and communication skills, be fair-minded, diplomatic, comfortable speaking to people with varying backgrounds, and sensitive to issues of diversity.