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Our Role

by UofL Ombuds Office last modified Dec 12, 2012 10:24 AM

The Ombuds Office at the University of Louisville provides informal, impartial, and confidential dispute resolution services for staff and faculty. (Students should consult the Office of the Student Advocate 852-8113 or by e-mail) We assist people with interpersonal misunderstandings or disputes as well as those with concerns about academic or administrative issues. We attempt to help individuals resolve their concerns fairly and, if possible, informally. The Ombuds Office operates independently as a supplement to existing administrative or formal grievance procedures and has no formal decision-making authority. We do not act as advocates for either side in a dispute. Perhaps most importantly, we operate confidentially, which means we do not acknowledge who has--or has not--used the Ombuds Office without the permission of the individual (In some cases, even if we have permission, we do not acknowledge this information.). We report administratively to the Provost.

The Ombuds Office deals with a wide range of conflicts and disputes every year.

What the Ombuds Office Does

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

What the Ombuds Office Does Not Do

  • Participate in formal grievance processes
  • Make administrative decisions for UofL administrators
  • Determine "guilt" or "innocence" of those accused of wrong-doing
  • Assign sanctions to individuals
  • Receive official "notice" for the university about issues
  • Give legal advice
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