University staff visit the ombuds for many reasons. Some people just want someone to listen. Some want someone to serve as an objective sounding board who can help them think through a situation. Some want information about whether and how a university policy or practice applies to them. Some are uncertain about how to navigate a difficult situation and don’t know whom to ask for help. And some have tried other avenues to address their concern but haven’t found the help they needed.

Reasons people visit the ombuds include, but are not limited to:

  • Interpersonal conflicts
  • Administrative roadblocks
  • Disciplinary actions
  • Performance appraisals
  • Washington University policies and practices
  • Ethical dilemmas
  • Compensation, benefits, retirement
  • Abrasive conduct, incivility, or problematic behavior
  • Career questions
  • Unfair treatment
  • Harassment or discrimination
  • Health and safety
  • Threats or retaliation
  • Work-life balance

What to Expect

The ombuds will listen to your concerns, help you think through your situation, and, together with you, identify and evaluate possible options for moving forward. At all times, you retain control over how your concern will be addressed.