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ombuds office

The Ombuds Office is a welcoming and confidential resource for faculty and staff and an informal and safe environment for discussion. The Ombuds Office works to ensure fair processes and equitable treatment in matters of concern, to facilitate communication, and to prevent problems from escalating.



Ombuds Libby Rittenberg reports to the Colorado College Board of Trustees and is a member of the International Ombudsman Association. As ombuds, Libby will welcome visitors in the office, off campus, by phone, and e-mail. The best way to contact her is to drop by the office, call, or e-mail.

 


What are the Services of the Ombuds Office?

  • If you need information about Colorado College’s policies, procedures, services, and your rights and responsibilities, the ombuds office can help.

  • If you need help in managing and resolving a workplace conflict, want to raise a concern, or are just exploring your options, the ombuds office can help.

  • If you wish to raise responsible concerns confidentially and offer suggestions for constructive change, the office will see that problems are brought to the attention of the appropriate people at the college.

If you are just exploring your options, the ombuds office can help. 

Issues commonly brought to an ombuds office:

  • Information about policies and procedures

  • Interpersonal/colleague/ cultural conflicts

  • Interpersonal miscommunication

  • Allegations of discrimination, unfair treatment, and unethical behavior

  • Supervisor/employee relations

  • Fear of retaliation

The ombuds office will assist in resolving issues outside the usual chains of command.


What the Ombuds Will Do:

  • Listen, discuss concerns, and with the visitor find ways to alleviate the problem, since unresolved conflict is unhealthy and unproductive.

  • Provide an informal and safe environment for discussion.

  • Help the visitor develop options for managing difficulties in the workplace.

  • Assist in resolving issues outside the usual chains of command.

  • Only take action with the permission of the visitor, or if there is imminent threat of serious harm.

  • Identify problems or trends and suggest to the proper office where attention may be needed.

  • Advocate enthusiastically for fair processes and equity in the workplace.

What the Ombuds Will NOT Do:

  • Discuss the visitor or nature of the visit with anyone without the visitor’s permission.

  • Keep identifying records.

  • Act on third-party complaints.

  • Be a formal office of “notice or record.”

  • Advocate for any individuals.

  • Make decisions for the visitor or the management.

  • Conduct formal investigations.

  • Give legal advice.


Ombuds Principles:

  • Confidential
    Hold all visits and conversations in strict confidence except as required by a court of law or in case of imminent danger.

  • Informal
    A completely voluntary resource for information about college policies and procedures.

  • Independent
    In structure, function, and appearance from all other college offices; has access to all information in the college.

  • Neutral
    Respect all parties and their concerns, and does not take sides in a conflict.

More at: www.ombudsassociation.org