The Ombudsperson is empowered to investigate complaints and facilitate or negotiate their resolution. The Ombudsperson has the right of access to university records, reports and other documents. The powers of the office allow the Ombudsperson to facilitate change and elicit the full cooperation of all members of the university community. The Ombudsperson ultimately decides whether to "act" or "not act" on a situation as she deems appropriate.
To ensure objectivity, the Ombudsperson is independent of all existing structures, reporting to the Provost only on administrative and budget matters.
The Ombudsperson does not keep identifying records nor assume a custodial role for formal documentation. The Ombudsperson 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 Ombudsperson. No action is taken without permission. Your anonymity is maintained to the greatest extent possible.
The Ombudsperson'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 Ombudsperson serves as an advocate for fair processes.