What We Do

How We Help

We Listen

Some visitors simply want to talk in a confidential and non-judgmental space.  There can be comfort in giving voice to their concerns and in knowing that they retain control over future decisions.

We Coach

Some visitors want to be coached by an Ombuds to have a difficult conversation with the person with whom they have concerns.  Maybe they’ve tried unsuccessfully before or maybe they’re ready for a first conversation.

We Facilitate

Some visitors want to have a direct conversation yet would like another person in the room.  If a conversation is agreeable to both persons, the Ombuds can either help identify who that third person might be or facilitate the conversation themselves where appropriate.

We Bring Issues Forward

Some visitors may want to consider bringing their concern to a local leader—their department chair, for example.  The Ombuds can help think through these options and other potential ways to raise their concerns.

We Educate

Some visitors may want information about options for filing a formal complaint.  The Ombuds can provide guidance about any policies and procedures available and, when requested and appropriate, connect them with the office or individual administering formal complaints.

We Connect

Some visitors may want support services to help with the stress or isolation of their situation. The Ombuds can direct them to mental health services, information about short-term leaves of absence, and other resources.  Exploring how to recommend services to a colleague in need may also be discussed with the Ombuds. 

Typical Concerns

Visitors are invited to bring any issue affecting their work or studies to the Ombuds Office.  Some common concerns include: 

  • Career Management
    Performance Management/Review Process, promotion, future prospects, departure 
  • Work/Academic Environment
    Peer relationships, supervisor/ee relationships, leadership dysfunction, abrasive behavior, workload, group dynamics, unprofessional conduct  
  • Research
    Authorship, proprietorship, conflict of interest, scientific misconduct
  • Fair Treatment
    Terms of conditions of employment or education, failure to follow policy or procedure, retaliation 
  • Discrimination
    Behavior or treatment regarding race, color, religion, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, age, national origin, ancestry, veteran status, disability unrelated to job requirements, genetic information, military status, other related protected status 
  • Other
    Safety, housing, ethical dilemmas not related to any of the above, personal issues not occurring in the workplace, COVID-related, miscellaneous 
  • Sexual Harassment
    Perceived or actual unwanted sexual behavior, inappropriate relationships