Our Key Principles

The Graduate Ombuds Office adheres to the Code of Ethics and Standards of Practice of the International Ombuds Association (IOA). Based on these standards, four key principles are central to the ombuds role:


The ombuds operates independently from other university offices or departments. The office is not affiliated with any specific college or school at Northeastern.


The ombuds serves as an impartial resource in all situations, and does not take sides or advocate for a specific outcome or agenda.


Conversations with the ombuds are off the record. Reaching out to the Graduate Ombuds Office is entirely voluntary and is not equivalent to providing formal notice to the university regarding a particular concern.


All communication with the ombuds are private and confidential. The ombuds will only share information when explicit permission is provided by the visitor. The only exceptions to confidentiality include if there is a threat of serious harm, or when the disclosure of information is required by law.