How can the Ombuds help you?

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The Office of the Ombuds is a safe place for you to have off-the-record conversations on just about any kind of problem you may have related to life, work, or study at Boston University.   Here is how the Ombuds might be able to help you:

The Ombuds can:

  • Listen to you, discuss your concerns, and help you obtain information or identify options for resolving a them.
  • Answer your questions or refer you to someone who can.
  • Explain how University policies or procedures work.
  • Mediate a dispute or facilitate communication among people in conflict.
  • Coach you on how to deal with a problem yourself
  • Look into your concern by gathering data and the perspectives of others, and doing shuttle diplomacy.
  • Recommend changes to policies or practices that appear outdated or problematic.
  • Look into perceived procedural irregularities in grievance proceedings.
  • Refer you the appropriate office should you wish to file a formal complaint.
  • Identify trends or patterns of complaints or problems that might be systemic.
  • Provide other forms of assistance or guidance to help you resolve a problem informally.

The Ombuds cannot:

  • Make or change University decisions, rules, or policies.
  • Overrule a decision or supersede the authority of another University official.
  • Duplicate existing grievance procedures.
  • Provide legal advice or act as substitute for union representation.
  • Testify in or participate in formal grievance or legal proceedings with respect to confidential communication.
  • Conduct formal investigations.
  • Accept notice of claims against the university ( The Ombuds is expressly not authorized to to so.)