Ombuds Role

A. The Ombuds:

  1. Listens, which may be all that the individual needs.
  2. Discusses concerns and helps clarify the most important issues.
  3. Helps identify and evaluate options.
  4. Gathers information, explains policies, and offers referrals to other resources.
  5. Makes recommendations for improving University procedures as appropriate to any part or level of the organization.

B. The Ombuds does not:

  1. Make decisions for anyone.
  2. Conduct formal investigations.
  3. Serve as an advocate on behalf of any party.
  4. Offer legal advice or psychological counseling.
  5. Offer mediation or arbitration services.
  6. Enforce or modify policies, regulations, or rules.
  7. Participate in the grievance or any other formal process.
  8. Testify in any judicial or administrative proceeding, unless required by law after reasonable efforts have been made.
  9. Serve as a place to put the University on notice of claims
  10. Address issues involving persons not at UNCSA.

C. Additional aspects of the Ombuds role:

  1. The use of Ombuds services is strictly voluntary.
  2. The only exceptions to confidentiality are (a) when the Ombuds is given permission by the individual to do so and (b) where there appears to be an imminent risk of serious harm to oneself or others.
  3. The Ombuds does not formally receive reports of possible violations of law or policy on behalf of UNCSA.
  4. The Ombuds may discontinue providing services to an individual at his or her discretion.
  5. The Ombuds is independent in function and appearance to the highest degree possible within UNCSA.

D. Competencies:

  1. Current knowledge and understanding of applicable UNCSA policies, processes, and procedures, and of the complexity and diversity of UNCSA.
  2. Effective communications skills.
  3. The capability of maintaining a balanced and objective approach.
  4. Completion of formal training through an appropriate professional organization such as the International Ombudsman Association.

E. Ethics:

  1. The Ombuds shall be truthful and act with integrity at all times.
  2. The Ombuds shall foster respect for all members of UNCSA.
  3. The Ombuds is a designated neutral that remains unaligned and impartial.
  4. The Ombuds does not engage in any situation that could cause a conflict of interest.