The Ombuds Office accomplishes this by serving as a confidential, informal, neutral, and independent resource that promotes constructive problem-solving, effective communication, mutual respect, fairness, and increased organizational capacity for conflict management. As the Ombuds Office provides a neutral and confidential channel of communication, it supplements rather than replaces existing formal channels of communication (e.g., HR, Compliance). Moreover, the Ombuds Office not only assists visitors in resolving conflict or surfacing issues, but it also helps the University administration operate in a manner consistent with the mission and ideals of the University.
In pursuit of its mission, the Ombuds Office regularly assists faculty, staff, graduate students, medical students, and postdoctoral scholars in recognizing, preventing, and managing academic- or work-related concerns or conflicts. In addition, the Ombuds Office supports the growth of conflict competence by offering education and training on conflict management matters. Finally, the Ombuds Office collects and shares anonymized and non-confidential data and information regarding visitors, concerns, and trends both through annual and special reports as well as through upward feedback to the administration as appropriate to support positive systemic change.
The Office's work is informed by many of the same core values that guide the University's work, including the values of integrity, fairness, diversity, equity, inclusion, and excellence.