Ombuds Office

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 Principles:

  • Confidential
    Hold all visits and conversations in strict confidence, unless a risk of immediate and serious harm is disclosed.

  • Informal
    All visits are "off the rcord" and will not trigger a formal investigation. No one can hinder anyone from contacting the ombuds.

  • Independent
    Not affiliated with, nor reporting to, an office on campus; has access to all appropriate information in the college as needed.

  • Impartial
    A completely voluntary resource that does not take side of the visitor or the college.


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:

  • Questions about college policies and procedures

  • Interpersonal/colleague/cultural conflicts

  • Interpersonal miscommunication
  • Initial exploration of discrimination, unfair treatment, unethical behavior, Title IX or serious, abusive workplace behaviors

  • Supervisor/employee relations

  • Consideration of options to resolve a conflict

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.

  •  The Ombuds Office assists in resolving issues outside the usual chains of command.

 

Report an issue - Last updated: 12/06/2021

Paul Kuerbis

Ombuds Paul Kuerbis reports annually to the Executive Committee of the Colorado College Board of Trustees. He can also converse with the president. He describes and reports on trends and broad issues without violating confidentiality. Because of COVID-19 and contact tracing, he usually meets a visitor via cell phone or Zoom. He is also able to meet off campus. The best way to contact him is by phone or email.

Worner 010
ombuds@coloradocollege.edu -or-
pkuerbis@coloradocollege.edu
(719) 331-1733

To make an appointment:
Please email or call
I'll respond promptly so that we can
find a time that is mutually convenient

  • Please DO NOT include any confidential, sensitive, or privileged information in email messages.

Paul Kuerbis is a retired faculty member (1973-2012) and has served as Ombuds for Faculty and Staff since 2015. He is a trained Ombuds and mediator, and a member of the International Ombuds Association. More information can be found at http://www.ombudsassociation.org/