The mission of the Office of the Ombuds is to provide a confidential place for faculty members to voice concerns, develop options, and consider ways to solve problems. The Ombuds also provides information to the Dean of the School of Medicine, on general trends and patterns of complaints to prevent such problems from escalating or recurring.

Through its mission, the Office helps further the School of Medicine’s strategic objectives within a culture that is ethical and civil and in which differences can be resolved and mutual understanding created through respectful dialogue and fair process. In addition, the creation of the Office furthers the School of Medicine’s commitment to diversity by providing an outlet for concerns that might not be voiced in other settings and by facilitating the collection of general information about patterns of complaints.

What we do

The Ombuds performs a variety of functions in carrying out the Office’s duties and responsibilities. They include: listening and providing a respectful, “safe,” and independent place within the School of Medicine’s for individuals (“visitors”) to discuss problems; helping visitors to clarify concerns and develop options; explaining School of Medicine policies and procedures; providing referrals to other offices; coaching visitors on how to help themselves; looking into problems by gathering data and the perspectives of others; engaging in shuttle diplomacy; conducting structured mediations or facilitating conversations; and exploring or pursuing other measures consistent with the mission of the Office.

Next steps

After meeting with the Ombuds, some visitors may give permission to take an action that would reveal their identity. Others, however, may request that the Ombuds not disclose information or take any action that might risk having their identity revealed. Except in very limited circumstances presenting an imminent risk of serious harm, the Ombuds will disclose identifiable information or concerns raised only with the permission of the visitor to the office.

The Ombuds may take any number of steps towards responsibly addressing concerns raised. However, the Office is empowered to provide informal assistance only. Formal actions are the purview of other officers.