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The first thing the ombuds will do is take the time to get to know you, learning about your background, your department and the people with whom you work. All discussions with the ombuds are completely confidential, with rare exceptions related to Title IX policies or where there is risk of significant, imminent harm. The ombuds complies with the International Ombudsman Association (IOA) Code of Ethics and Standards of Practice.

Next steps involve exploring your specific situation. This might include reviewing such issues as:

  • A brief chronology of the events that have caused concern
  • Your perspective on this, as well as your sense for the perspective of other involved parties—including the needs and goals of all parties
  • Efforts made so far to resolve the issues
  • Your priorities, both personally and professionally—clarity about these can help you make good decisions about potential actions

Together, we will work to fully understand the important issues present and then brainstorm about options and solutions. In many instances, people benefit from jointly developing a plan for a discussion they will then have with the involved parties. It is not unusual to have more than one meeting about issues that are complex.

The ombuds is not responsible for:

  • Conducting investigations. Any matter requiring investigation should be brought to Human Resources, Legal or other formal channels at the college.
  • Establishing policies. There may be times, however, when the Ombuds may suggest that the college consider a different approach to a policy.
  • Getting involved in formal processes, such as grievance procedures or legal matters.