Objectivity, impartiality, independence, informality, and confidentiality*.
With regard to grievances, complaints or concerns, please note that notice to the Ombudsperson Council does not constitute notice to the institution. Members of the Council do not testify in formal or legal actions, are not part of the official grievance process, and have no power to order rule changes or behavioral changes of individuals. However, the Council does have an obligation to bring attention to policies, programs, personnel and institutional decisions that violate rights of members of the University community.
*The Ombudsperson Council takes specific action related to an individual’s issue only with that person’s express permission. In addition, the Council has responsibility to maintain in confidence the identity of the individual. The only exception to this confidentiality is where there appears to be imminent risk of serious harm, and where there is no other reasonable option and/or where required by law. Whether this risk exists is a determination to be made by the Council members in consultation with the University’s General Counsel. Best practice is to interpret “imminent risk of serious harm” as narrowly as possible – for example, imminent risk to human life.