Confidential...  Impartial...  Informal...  Independent...

The Ombuds Office is a place where UW-Madison employees can seek guidance regarding concerns at any time, without fear of reprisal, and at no cost to them. Ombuds confidentially receive questions and concerns related to individual situations as well as broader systemic issues. The response of the Ombuds is tailored to the dynamics of the situation and the nature of the concerns. Ombuds assist parties in reaching resolutions that are consistent with the ideals and objectives of the university.

Services offered by the Ombuds Office supplement, but do not replace, other more formal processes available to the university community. In addition, Ombuds serve as a communication resource and catalyst for institutional change for the university by reporting trends and identifying opportunities to enhance policies and procedures.

Ombuds cannot impose remedies or sanctions or enforce or change any policy, rule or procedure. Due to the role of the Ombuds, communication with the Ombuds does not serve notice to the University.

More specifically, the Ombuds:

  • Provide individual problem assistance services
  • Listen impartially and give unbiased feedback
  • Provide a confidential place to collaboratively explore complaints, clarify issues, and consider options
  • Point employees toward available services and resources
  • Assist with early problem-solving, to minimize the escalation of conflict
  • Encourage and empower employees to find their own solutions to problems
  • Provide support for addressing work place problems
  • Facilitate communication when conflict arises
  • Serve as facilitator in group problem-solving
  • With the Visitor's consent, consult with university units and departments to obtain more information about the issue and explore options for conflict resolution
  • Suggest the redirection of matters to formal channels when appropriate
  • Serve the UW-Madison community
  • Advocate for and model fairness, equity, and a healthy work environment
  • Identify and report about campus trends and problem areas
  • Make recommendations regarding changes in policy and procedure
  • Promote equality, inclusion and access for all persons

Code of ethics

Standards of practice