Frequently Asked Questions
What is an Ombudsperson?
A university Ombudsperson is an independent, neutral third party who assists students, faculty, staff and administrators in resolving problems, concerns and complaints through informal means: counseling, negotiation, and mediation.
What Does an Ombudsperson Do?
An Ombudsperson handles complaints (hears and informally addresses problems, concerns and complaints, opens channels of communication, serves as a neutral third party in conflict resolution, and seeks fair and equitable solutions to problems); provides information (maintains resource files on campus policies, procedures, services, and programs, makes referrals to other campus resources); and serves as consultant (suggests approaches for addressing and managing conflicts, collaborates with other campus agencies in issues of general concern, interprets campus policies, and offers recommendations for policy or procedure changes).
What Doesn’t an Ombudsperson Do?
The services provided by a Campus Ombudsperson do not compromise or replace policies or procedures established under collective bargaining agreements. In addition, UCLA’s Ombudspersons do not provide legal advice or psychological counseling; do not render judgments or make decisions on the issues brought to the office; and do not represent community members or participate in any formal hearings, processes or procedures.
What Are the Ombudspersons’ Qualifications?
The staff of the Office of Ombuds Services are all members of the International Ombudsman Association (IOA) and conform to its Code of Ethics and Standards of Practice. The staff has completed organizational ombuds training programs with the University and College Ombuds Association (UCOA) and The Ombudsman Association (TOA). The ombudspersons are all certificated and experienced mediators. All staff continue to take training courses in the area of dispute resolution and ombudsry.
What Happens When You Go to the Ombuds Office?
An Ombudsperson will: provide a comfortable, confidential environment to air your problems, concerns or complaints; listen to your problem, concern or complaint; develop a list of options for resolving your problem, concern or complaint; provide answers to questions you have regarding a policy or procedure.
What Happens to Information Provided to the Ombuds Office?
As a matter of policy, the Ombuds Office destroys all information regarding a particular matter when that matter is resolved or within one month of no activity. The Ombuds Office does not retain any information that would identify the individuals involved in a conflict, dispute or complaint.
How is the Ombuds Office Able to Help Me?
The Ombuds Office is a resource that helps resolves problems, concerns and complaints informally e.g., through counseling, mediation, and negotiation. The Ombuds Office has the ability to: mediate and/or negotiate settlements in disputes; make recommendations for change in a policy or practice; bring issues to the attention of those with authority to address your concerns; meet with department heads, deans, vice chancellors, and upper level administration; and expedite administrative processes.
What Concerns Are Brought by Student Visitors?
Students are welcome to discuss grade disputes; student/instructor misunderstandings; thesis and dissertation concerns; housing; disciplinary matters; disability issues; harassment; discrimination; interpersonal issues; roommate conflicts; and other concerns.
What Concerns Are Brought by Faculty Visitors?
Faculty members have sought assistance with appointments and hiring; research/ownership of data; academic dishonesty; conflict with student; course assignments; departmental politics; conflict with colleague; disability issues; Faculty Code of Conduct; harassment; discrimination; promotion and compensation; and other concerns.
What Concerns Are Brought by Staff & Administration Visitors?
University employees may bring issues related to conflict and communication with co-workers; interpersonal or cultural conflicts; performance evaluation; discipline; promotion and demotion; and other concerns.
What Concerns Are Brought by CHS Visitors?
In addition to concerns shared by students, faculty, staff and administrators, visitors affiliated with CHS also have raised patient care and billing concerns and other matters.
What if My Concern is Not Listed Here?
Visitors are encouraged to contact the Office of Ombuds Services concerning any matter regarding UCLA and its policies and procedures.