Our Principles

Hallmarks of Ombuds Practice

We adhere to the principles and Standards of Practice established by the International Ombudsman Association (pdf link). Accordingly, we serve as a confidential, neutral, informal, and independent resource for staff.


Confidential

Visitors' identities and the contents of their conversations remain confidential.  The two possible exceptions to confidentiality are 1) when the visitor gives permission to share information and 2) in rare instances when disclosure is necessary to address an imminent risk of serious harm.  The limits of confidentiality are disclosed at initial appointments.

Neutral

We promote fair process and do not take sides or advocate for any particular individual, group, department, or organization.

Informal

Ombuds Services offers a place where staff can talk comfortably and privately about building communication and collaboration.  This office is not a channel for reporting a claim, and Ombuds Services is not authorized to receive notice on behalf of any individual, group, department, or organization.  We do not participate or testify in formal investigations or hearings.  We maintain no official records and have no decision-making authority. 

We listen, identify, and reframe workplace issues; develop a range of responsible options; provide informal neutral process; and help people develop ways to move forward on their own and with co-workers.

Independent

Ombuds Sevices for Staff does not report to nor is structurally affiliated with any compliance function of the University.  The office is independent from other UNM entities and reports administratively directly to the President's Office.  We exercise sole discretion over whether or how to act regarding an individual’s concern, a trend, or concerns of multiple individuals over time.