Services provided by the Office of the Ombuds include consultation, conflict coaching, mediation, and group facilitation.
Consultation: The Office of the Ombuds offers a safe space for all university staff, postdocs and graduate students to voice concerns important to them and identify options and resources available to resolve those concerns. As an informal resource intended to assist individuals in resolving their concerns at the lowest level possible, the Office of the Ombuds supplements but does not replace formal channels or grievance processes here at the university. Use of the office is voluntary and no one can be compelled to visit.
Conflict Coaching: Conflict coaching is a goal-oriented, one-on-one process. The focus of conflict coaching is to support individuals’ ability to productively manage their differences with others. Depending on the nature and complexity of a situation, coaching can entail either one or multiple sessions.
Mediation: Mediation is a form of alternative dispute resolution and is a process that helps two or more people in conflict talk constructively about their differences, identify the issues they hope to address and come up with options that work for them. The ombuds serves as an impartial mediator and does not make decisions about who is right or wrong or how things should be resolved. Any decisions reached during mediation are up to each person. Mediation is voluntary and confidential.
Group Facilitation: Group facilitation is a process of helping people to explore, learn and change. In a group facilitation the ombuds serves as a neutral guide or discussion leader to help groups improve problem solving, share information, generate and organize ideas, make decisions and develop action plans. Facilitation is appropriate when an important issue needs to be addressed, a solution is not readily apparent and buy-in from a number of people is needed for any solution to be successful. As a neutral facilitator, the ombuds has no authority to make decisions on behalf of or for the group.