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Ombuds Office

Ombuds Office

Overview

Confidential

All students, staff and faculty, and others who may be experiencing difficulties of any nature at the University may contact the Ombuds Office. The Ombuds Office will not reveal confidences and the identities of those who consult with this office without the express permission to do so.

The Ombuds Office does not keep written records. All communications with the Ombuds Office are privileged, and others cannot waive this privilege. The only exceptions to this policy would be those circumstances where the Ombuds Office believes there is an imminent threat of serious harm.

Please note that recordings of any kind are strictly forbidden.

Informal

Use of the Ombuds Office is voluntary for all members of the University of Denver community. The office keeps no records and has no institutional authority to make decisions on behalf of the University.

Speaking to the Ombuds Office about a concern does not constitute legal "notice" to the institution that a problem exists. Anyone wishing to create a record or put the institution on notice may contact any administrator or use formal grievance procedures. The Ombuds can provide referral information about who to contact for anyone seeking to use administrative or formal grievance options, or for making official complaints to the University.

The Ombuds cannot assist in any formal grievance processes or any type of sanctions. The Ombuds will not participate as a witness nor does she agree to be subpoenaed in any type of legal proceeding.

Assistance

Consultation
The Ombuds can hear individual complaints and help sort out and identify options for resolving those concerns. The Ombuds can listen to the complaint, identify the problem and options for resolving it, explore strategies, advise on procedures, review letters and rehearse approaches.

Intervention
A trained and experience mediator, the Ombuds can provide structured mediation or less structured third-party assistance, to help disputing parties resolve their differences in mutually satisfactory, do-able and durable agreements. The Ombuds can also facilitate meetings, making it easier for meeting participants to focus on the substance and content of their meeting than if they had to run the meeting themselves.

Recommendations 
The Ombuds can track patterns of complaints about University policies and procedures and may recommend changes to University policies and/or procedures.

Presentations and Training
The Ombuds welcomes opportunities to speak with individuals and groups about the Ombuds Office and its services. She can also provide workshops on communication, conflict prevention and conflict resolution skills upon request.