AS&E Staff Ombudsperson
Role of the Ombudsperson
The ombudsperson (or ombuds) serves as a neutral resource who provides confidential and informal assistance to members of the campus community. The goal of the office is to provide staff with voluntary, informal, neutral, and confidential assistance in resolving University-related issues or concerns. Ombudspersons follow the International Ombudsman Association Standards of Practice and Code of Ethics
Ombudspersons listen impartially to staff concerns and offer an environment that is conducive to problem solving. In addition, they discuss multiple options for conflict resolution, including appropriate resource referrals and applicable University policies. The ombudsperson is always an impartial third party and cannot provide legal advice or representation at any grievance, disciplinary, or judicial procedure.
- Offer an environment conducive to problem resolution and impartially listen to concerns or problems
- Maintain confidentiality
- Gather information with specific permissions
- Discuss options for resolution of your problem or concern
- Discuss University policies and procedures that may be applicable to your problem or concern
- Make referrals to appropriate resources
- Facilitate difficult conversations
Ombudspersons will NOT:
- Provide legal advice or representation
- Represent or advocate for you at any grievance, disciplinary, or judicial procedure
- Testify in a formal grievance or legal proceeding
- Assist with non-University-related issues
As AS&E continues to work toward being an inclusive and welcoming community, we are developing processes that enable communication and dialogue. The ombuds program will offer suggestions to those who seek assistance on effective ways to handle problems that are often unavoidable.
The ombuds promotes an environment that will offer members of the staff community a venue for dealing with conflict that, if left unattended, can interfere with one’s ability to perform their work-related responsibilities.
Once an ombudsperson is made aware of issues, they bring those issues forward to the administration for potential change, in no way revealing the person who brought forward the issue but bringing the issue to light so that institutional change may happen.
A Letter from the AS&E Staff Ombudsperson
I am honored and excited to be your ombudsperson. As an AS& E staff member myself, I had long hoped that we would have this resource available to us and am humbled to now be serving in this capacity.
For those who do not know me, I am a lifelong Rochesterian and an attorney by training (though I am not practicing law in my roles at UR and cannot give legal advice). In addition to being AS&E Staff Ombudsperson, I am also the LGBTQ Coordinator located in the Paul J. Burgett Intercultural Center.
I look forward to chatting with all of you and am here to answer any and all questions you might have. You can email me or schedule a zoom meeting with me directly. Please note that you need not input your name on the scheduling form if you are concerned with privacy (the information that you place on the form will appear in your calendar) – you can choose other words like “private” and “matter” in the name field or not include your UR email address for scheduling.
Below my letter you will find some information regarding the role of an ombudsperson as shared by my colleague and mentor, John Barker.