Faculty Ombuds Program Operating Principles

Confidential

The identity of individuals who contact the Faculty Ombuds Program and the contents of their conversations remain private.  Faculty ombuds do not contact other members of the University on behalf of Ombuds Program visitors unless given permission to do so.  The only exceptions to confidentiality are where the law requires and other limited situations (such as disclosures of imminent harm to oneself or others or knowledge of serious criminal activity). 

Neutral

The Faculty Ombuds Program deals with all visitors in an impartial fashion.  While the Faculty Ombuds Program advocates for a fair process, it does not advocate or represent any individual. 

Informal

The Faculty Ombuds Program operates outside of the formal problem-resolution and grievance procedures of the University.  It has no formal connection to either the administrative chain-of-command or to rights-based processes such as work-related review and grievance procedures.  The Program has no decision-making authority nor does it maintain records (other than aggregate data for statistical purposes).  Use of the Faculty Ombuds Program is a voluntary decision on the part of the user.  A faculty member cannot be sanctioned for using or not using the Ombuds Program.  Members of the Faculty Ombuds Program do not accept “notice” on behalf of Northern Arizona University.  However, faculty ombuds will explain to visitors how such “notice” can be given to appropriate University officials.

Independent

Faculty ombuds are not part of the formal authority structure of the University.  The Ombuds Program itself reports to the Office of the Provost for administrative, budgetary and evaluation purposes only.