Principles

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:

Confidentiality

Visitors can expect any correspondence with the Graduate Ombuds Office to be kept private and confidential. The ombuds 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 if there is a threat of serious harm, or when the disclosure of information is required by law. 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 ombuds is to advocate for a fair process and to promote equity and justice in the academic space. The ombuds 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 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.