The Role of the NAU Faculty Ombuds Program

The Faculty Ombuds Program at Northern Arizona University is organized to provide members of the faculty with voluntary, informal, neutral, confidential, third-party assistance in resolving university-related issues, concerns, or conflicts.  The Program assists people with interpersonal misunderstandings or disputes as well as those with concerns about academic or administrative issues.  The Faculty Ombuds Program operates independently as a supplement to existing administrative or formal grievance procedures and has no formal decision-making authority.  

Contact the Ombuds Program when you:

  • have a work-related problem or concern and aren't sure where to turn
  • need answers to your questions or assistance in finding someone who can provide answers
  • seek options for resolution of problems
  • want to discuss NAU policies and how they may apply to you
  • believe your concerns are not being taken seriously or are falling outside the usual channels of resolution.

The Faculty Ombuds Program will:

  • offer an environment conducive to problem resolution and impartially listen to concerns or problems
  • maintain confidentiality (please see the "Ombuds Program Charter" for exceptions to the confidentiality principle)
  • discuss options for resolution of your problem or concern
  • discuss university policies and procedures that may be applicable to your problem or concern
  • make referrals to appropriate NAU resources
  • facilitate difficult conversations.

The Faculty Ombuds Program cannot:

  • provide legal advice or representation
  • represent or advocate for you at any grievance, disciplinary, or judicial procedure
  • testify in a formal grievance or legal proceeding unless compelled to do so by legal process
  • assist with non-university related issues