Welcome to the University Ombuds Office!
This office has been created as a service to faculty, staff and students who have questions, concerns or complaints about University policies, procedures and practices and who may have problems or conflicts in the workplace. It provides a place where visitors can have an informal, confidential conversation with a person who is independent and neutral.
Ombuds are not part of the University administration and have no agenda other than to promote conflict management and cooperation throughout the University. We do not serve as an advocate for any individual but rather for fair and equitable treatment. Our role is to listen to you and to ask clarifying questions so that together we can create options for you to consider as possible ways to address your problem. We will take no action without your permission. Anything you tell us will be kept in confidence and not shared with anyone else without your permission.
The exceptions to the rule of confidentiality are situations in which there is a serious
risk of physical harm to you or to others or when we are directed by court order or
subpoena to provide information. Please be aware that email correspondence is subject
to disclosure under Georgia's Open Records Act. Our conversation will be informal
and will not serve as "notice" to the University. We may take notes, but those notes
will be shredded upon closure of your case. No records are kept here other than general
statistics that are not traceable to any individual.
What Is An Ombudsperson?
The term "ombudsman" originated in Sweden in 1809 when an official was appointed to investigate citizens' complaints against the government. The word literally means "commission man." In a number of American colleges and universities in recent years, ombudsperson, or ombuds, have been designated to assist in dispute resolution and to promote conflict management and cooperation throughout the campus community.
What We Do
Ombuds staff operate informally and independent of the formal organizational structure of the University. Professional staff in the University Ombuds office are appointed by, and report to, the President of the University. They work to resolve concerns, complaints and questions about University policies, procedures and practices.
Ombuds may make recommendations for institutional change to the President (or other administrators). They may also provide feedback with regard to trends or issues. Upon request, the Ombuds will design and conduct training programs in conflict resolution and related areas.