Principles

Our Key Principles

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

Confidentiality

Visitors can expect any correspondence with the Graduate Ombuds Office to be kept private and confidential. The Graduate Ombudsperson will only share information when explicit permission is provided by the visitor. Any informal notes taken by the Ombudsperson are shredded following the conclusion of a case. The only exceptions to confidentiality include imminent risk of serious harm to the visitor or others, and any concerns discussed that are subject to Title IX reporting. General data related to utilization of the Graduate Ombuds Office may be collected, however this information is maintained and reported in a manner that does not identify individual visitors.

Independence

The Graduate Ombuds Office operates independently from other university offices or departments.

Neutrality

The objective of the Graduate Ombudsperson is to advocate for a fair process and to promote equity and justice in the academic space. The Graduate Ombudsperson does not represent a specific side or agenda, as a designated neutral unaligned with any particular entity or position at the University.

Informality

Conversations with the Graduate Ombudsperson 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.