1. Introduction and Mission

    This document defines and clarifies the highest standards and best practices in the Ombuds profession, as they apply within the context of the University of Kansas and its Ombuds Office.  This document is consistent with the International Ombudsman Association (“IOA”) Standards of Practice and Code of Ethics and is not a statement of KU policy or Senate Code.   In this document, “Ombuds Office” shall include professional staff (the University Ombuds, the Faculty Ombuds), as well as any support staff.

     The intent of this document is to: (1) educate the University community about the role of the Ombuds Office; (2) proactively assist the Ombuds Office to operate in a manner consistent with IOA professional standards, code of ethics, and best practices; and (3) discourage activities and actions which do not comply with best practices. 

    The mission of the University of Kansas Ombuds Office is to ensure that all members of the University community receive fair and equitable treatment.  The Ombuds Office carries out its mission by way of two complementary approaches: (1) receiving and attempting to resolve individual grievances on a confidential, informal basis; and 2) supporting procedures that advance the goal of a fair conflict management system. 

    One purpose of the Ombuds Office is to act as “an ear to the people” so every voice at the University of Kansas can be heard and receive impartial attention without fear of retaliation and loss of privacy. In doing so, the Ombuds Office serves as an independent, confidential, neutral and informal resource to the entire university community.

    The terms “ombuds”, “ombudsperson”, or “ombudsman” carry with them certain professional and legal responsibilities, and therefore offices using these terms should follow the longstanding professional tenets outlined in this document; and the University should discourage the use of the title “Ombuds” for those programs which choose not to operate consistently with IOA professional standards.

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