Services of the ombuds office will be guided by the following ethical principles:
The ombuds office will treat all matters confidentially within the bounds of the law. The ombuds will not disclose the names and/or concerns of clients without permission except under the following three conditions:
- When the ombuds believes there is an imminent threat of physical harm,
- When federal and/or state laws mandate the disclosure of details that identify a client, and
- When there is a legal proceeding with a subpoena.
The ombuds serves as a neutral problem-solving consultant. During the process, the ombuds listens to the client, explains the college’s policies and procedures, provides tools and resources, reframes issues, identifies options, initiates third-party interventions if necessary, facilitates the conflict resolution process for a dispute with permission, and recommends system changes. However, the ombuds will stay neutral if a case is in the formal complaint and/or litigation processes and will not get involved in any formal investigation process.
All the services offered by the ombuds office are aimed to foster fairness, equity, and pluralism in the institution. The ombuds is neither an advocate for any individual or for the institution in a dispute. S/he does not take part in any party in a dispute but only advocates the fair process and equitable results.
To maintain objectivity, the Ombuds reports directly to, the president of the college and is not aligned with any administrative unit. However, this does not preclude the ombuds office from collaborating with various administrative units and committees on campus to reach equitable results.
Services provided by the ombuds office are aimed to equip clients with skills to resolve the issues. The client will be empowered to take actions according to their level of confidence at any given point.