Frequently Asked Questions

Frequently Asked Questions

If you've never worked where you had an Ombuds office, you may be wondering what an ombuds does and doesn't do. Listed are frequently asked questions about an ombuds role at the unversity.

What is an ombuds?

We all have times in our professional lives when we face complex situations. Often the complexities and entanglements make it hard to know how to move forward. The University

Ombuds serves as a neutral and confidential co-navigator to help you clarify your concerns and discern healthy next steps.

The Ombuds Office provides a safe environment where faculty, staff and administrators may speak in confidence about issues of concern related to their work at UNCSA.

What does an ombuds do?

  • Listen, with respect and without judgment, to your concerns.
  • Help you to navigate complex situations by clarifying issues and considering options for response and resolution.
  • Empower you to decide what action, if any, you want to take in your situation.
  • In some instances, facilitate conversations between individuals.
  • Identify trends or systemic patterns and recommend institutional improvements to administrators.
  • Provide referrals to other services.
  • Consult with groups on development of policies and procedures.
  • Review drafts of employment-related documents.
  • Operate under the code of ethics and standards of practice of the International Ombuds Association.

What the Ombuds not do?

  • Participate in formal grievance processes.
  • Make administrative decisions.
  • Give legal advice.
  • Offer psychological advice.
  • Keep records on behalf of the institution.
  • Advocate for any individual or entity (though does advocate for fair processes).

Why and when should I talk with the ombuds?

If you are not sure where to go, reach out to the ombuds. Our goal is to provide a safe place for people to think through situations and develop options. Because contact is confidential (with a few exceptions), you maintain control of the information shared and get to decide what you will do next.

Will my supervisor know that I have visited the Ombuds Office?

Visits to the Ombuds Office are confidential and off the record. Your supervisor will only know about the visit if you choose to share that with them or if you and the ombuds determine a next step that involves your supervisor.

Do you keep a record of my visit and concern?

No. To maintain confidentiality, the UNCSA Ombuds Office is not an office of record. We do maintain limited and non-identifiable information to track trends and patterns and provide feedback to leaders about opportunities for improving the overall health and well-being of the UNCSA community

How to meet with the Ombuds