Informal:   The University Ombuds office is “informal” and “off-the-record”.  An Ombuds facilitates communication when conflict arises and provides an opportunity for informal dispute resolution.  The Ombuds Office is a supplement, not a replacement for formal channels, and formal complaints are not filed here.  The use of the Ombuds Office is voluntary and no one can be mandated to visit the office nor can someone be mandated not to visit the office.  In fact, telling someone they are not allowed to visit the Ombuds Office may be perceived as a form of retaliation.  An Ombuds does not make judgments, request or enforce disciplinary action, or participate in any internal or external formal proceedings, nor shall Ombuds participate as witnesses with respect to confidential communication.  We also must cease assistance if the visitor is involved in a formal grievance process or an attorney becomes involved in the dispute. As an informal, “confidential off-the-record” resource, conversations with this office do not serve as “notice” to the university.