Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

What does the Ombuds Office Do?

  • Listen and discuss concerns, issues and questions
  • Help evaluate various options to address concerns
  • Answer questions or help find others who can
  • Explain University policies and procedures
  • Facilitate communication between people
  • Advise individuals about steps to resolve problems informally
  • Advise individuals about formal and administrative options
  • Seeks to negotiate "win-win" resolution of problems
  • Make appropriate referrals when informal options don't work
  • Point out patterns of problems to administrators

What Does the Ombuds Office Not Do?

  • Participate in formal grievance processes
  • Particpate in formal mediation processes
  • Make administrative decisions for University of Louisville administrators
  • Determine "guilt" or "innocence" of those accused of wrong-doing
  • Assign sanctions to individuals
  • Acknowledge who used - or did not use - the office without the consent of the person in question

When should I go to the Ombuds Office?

  • When you feel you have been treated unfairly
  • When you have a situation requiring negotiation or help in facilitating communication
  • When you are unsure which policies, procedures, or regulations apply in your situation
  • When you feel a policy, procedure, or regulation has been applied unfairly or erroneously
  • When you have a concern about an office, a service, or a decision at the University of Louisville
  • When you want to discuss a sensitive question or issue
  • When you are unsure of where to go or what options exist to solve a problem

How can the Ombuds Office help me?

  • By carefully listening and helping to analyze the situation
  • By researching and explaining relevant university policies, procedures, and problem-solving channels
  • By helping you to identify and evaluate options
  • By assisting in the informal resolution of disputes (only with your permission)
  • By initiating non-adversarial, problem-solving discussions with other involved parties (only with your permission)
  • By making referrals to other campus and community resources
  • By striving to help faculty and staff receive fair and equitable treatment within the University system

Can the Ombuds Office give me legal advice?

  • No. The Ombuds Office will advise you of your rights within the university but does not provide legal advice.

Are there disputes the Ombuds Office does not address?

  • The Ombuds Office does not address disputes between members of the campus community and private individuals, companies or organizations not affiliated with the University of Louisville. Additionally, the Ombuds Office does not handle formal grievances, or legal issues of any kind. (You may use the Ombuds Office either before or after using a formal grievance procedure.)

What will I gain by coming to the Ombuds Office?

  • Insight into a complicated situation
  • A clearer perspective on your issue or concern
  • Enhanced ability to deal effectively with a problem
  • Identification and clarification of options
  • Effective communication skills to resolve interpersonal issues

What other services does the Ombuds Office provide?

  • Suggests changes in university policies and procedures
  • Conducts Conflict-related workshops
  • Conflict-related consultation with supervisors, faculty, departments, etc.