Ethical Principles & Standards of Practice

The University Ombuds is guided by the Code of Ethics (PDF) and Standards of Practice (PDF) established by the International Ombudsman Association with four cornerstone principles: Independence, Neutrality and Impartiality, Confidentiality, and Informality.

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.

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.

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

UNCSA Standards of Practice

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

The Ombuds reports to the Chancellor’s Office for budgetary and administrative purposes only and is limited to summary reports or policy recommendations that do not include or involve any specific client information.

Ombuds Qualifications
The UNCSA University Ombuds must adhere to the Code of Ethics and Standards of Practice of the IOA and pursue relevant professional education opportunities throughout his term of office. 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.