II. Purpose and Scope of the University Ombuds Office
An Ombuds at the University of Kansas serves as a designated neutral and operates independently of ordinary line and staff structures. The Ombuds Office should not be affiliated with any compliance function of the University. The Ombuds Office shall provide informal dispute resolution, coaching, consultation, and referral services to the entire University community, including faculty, staff, and students, and where appropriate, to others who are associated with the university, i.e. alumni, family members, etc. The Ombuds Office shall be a place where members of the University of Kansas community can seek guidance regarding the addressing or resolution of disputes or concerns through a resource which is confidential, neutral, informal, and independent.
Services of the Ombuds Office do not replace other grievance processes at the University; however, when those procedures have not been utilized or have not been successful, the Ombuds Office works to facilitate communication and assist parties in reaching mutually acceptable, fair and equitable resolutions that are consistent with the ideals and objectives of the University. The Ombuds Office shall also report general trends and provide feedback throughout the organization, and suggest systemic change when appropriate without disclosing confidential communications and information.
The Ombuds Office shall confidentially receive complaints, concerns or inquiries about alleged acts, omissions, improprieties, and/or broader systemic problems. In response, an Ombuds will listen, make informal inquiries or otherwise review matters received, offer options, make referrals, and facilitate communication independently and impartially. In addition, the Ombuds Office shall serve as an information and communication resource, consultant, and catalyst for institutional change within the University community. The Ombuds Office shall also provide a list of available trained faculty mediators per University Senate Rules and Regulations, 188.8.131.52 and 184.108.40.206.
The Ombuds Office, as described in Article VI of the U.S.R.R. (220.127.116.11), shall also make annual reports to the University community at large, summarizing office activity and broadly outlining trends and observations gathered from the year’s activities.