The current Ombudsman, Dianne Bouvier, is an accomplished mediator, trainer, researcher, coach, and problem solver, having provided many such services for individuals and departments on campus. Guided by principles of equity and fair treatment, she has worked at Ohio University for 22 years in both academic units and academic supports units, including eight years in the Ombuds Office. She has extensive knowledge of OU's personnel, policies and functions across the Athens and Regional campuses.
The Ombudsman is empowered to investigate complaints and facilitate or negotiate their resolution. The Ombudsman has the right of access to university records, reports and other documents. The powers of the office allow the Ombudsman to facilitate change and elicit the full cooperation of all members of the university community. The Ombudsman ultimately decides whether to "act" or "not act" on a situation as she deems appropriate.
To ensure objectivity, the Ombudsman is independent of all existing structures, reporting to the Provost only on administrative and budget matters.
The Ombudsman does not keep identifying records nor assume a custodial role for formal documentation. The Ombudsman does not testify at formal proceedings.
With few exceptions (i.e., imminent harm to self or others, illegal activity), the visitor is in control of inquiries made in their name to the Office of the Ombudsman. No action is taken without permission. Your anonymity is maintained to the greatest extent possible.
The Ombudsman's role is to be a neutral and impartial resource, listening to all sides of a situation with objectivity and fairness. While not an advocate for a person or the institution, the Ombudsman serves as an advocate for fair processes.