Graduate School cupola

The Principles of an Ombudsperson

The Ombudsperson adheres to the four core principles of the profession: confidentiality, informality, impartiality, and independence. These principles, along with the standards of practice, provide the ethical guidelines that are important for success in the role of the Ombudsperson[1]. The following is a short overview of the core ethical principles as communicated in messaging describing the office that serves the Graduate School:


Communication shared with the Ombudsperson is confidential. Limited exceptions apply. The Ombudsperson will explain the exceptions at your initial meeting. You may also provide permission for the Ombudsperson to share information when it may help resolve your concern.


The Ombudsperson is impartial. Options and strategies to resolve the concern may be discussed, but you decide what options are most appropriate for you. The ombudsperson is an advocate for fair process and not a direct advocate for students, staff, faculty, or administration.


The Ombudsperson helps individuals seeking to address concerns or resolve conflicts on an informal basis. The Ombudsperson does not participate in any formal processes and does not accept notice on behalf of the University. If you would like to pursue formal options, the Ombudsperson will help you identify the appropriate processes to help resolve your concern.


The Ombudsperson reports to the Vice-President and Dean of the Graduate School, but operates the office independently. The Ombudsperson exercises sole discretion over whether or how to act regarding an individual’s concern, a trend, or concerns of multiple individuals over time.


[1] The International Ombudsman Association (IOA) developed and continues to assess the relevance of the core principles and standards of practice to ensure the continued efficacy of the profession (