The goal of Ombuds Services is to provide assistance to Ohio Wesleyan faculty and staff by clarifying and interpreting institutional policies, procedures, and practices; offering an impartial, confidential, and “off-the-record” opportunity for discussing college-related concerns and issues; coaching on how to engage in difficult conversations; making appropriate referrals; identifying options for conflict resolution; facilitating transformative mediation; and reporting on patterns of problematic institutional policies and practices. The “Code of Ethics,” “Standards of Practice,” and “Best Practices” of the International Ombuds Association guide OWU’s Ombuds Services. As Ombuds, I (Barbara Andereck) report directly to the president, for structural purposes, but do not share any information that would identify people or specific concerns shared during consultations.
You may either email or call me for an appointment. No need to share the reason for your appointment via email. Just give me your name, phone number, and availability, so that I can call you. If you call my office phone you will probably need to leave a message, as I will not be in my office on a regular basis. We will meet at a mutually workable time in a private setting.
Ohio Wesleyan Ombuds Purpose and Role
Purpose of Ombuds Services
Ohio Wesleyan University’s Ombuds Services functions as an independent, impartial, confidential, and informal resource for faculty and staff, providing “off-the-record” consultation on a broad spectrum of issues, concerns, and problems; interpreting institutional policies and procedures; advising on preparations for escalating a concern within our campus structure; facilitating interpersonal communication; assisting in resolving workplace conflicts either through appropriate referral or unbiased mediation; nurturing community and collegiality through humane resolution of conflicts and disputes; serving as an institutional change agent by monitoring and reporting on problematic institutional trends and practices; and, above all, advocating for justice and fairness in all personal and institutional interactions and enterprises. In short, Ombuds Services aims to nurture a collegial environment of equity, trust, goodwill, and mutual esteem to enable us to most effectively fulfill our “ultimate purpose of equipping students with knowledge, competence, and character for leadership, service, and continued learning in a complex and increasingly global society.”
Ombuds Services Does:
- Provide impartial and confidential consultations in an attempt to informally and humanely resolve concerns, conflicts, and grievances;
- Explain and interpret institutional policies, procedures, and practices;
- Listen to faculty and staff concerns that have not been rectified through existing channels, offering a range of options for solving problems and resolving disputes;
- Facilitate communication between disputing parties;
- Provide referral to suitable resources;
- Serve as an advocate for fairness and justice while acting independently of all other college offices;
- Monitor and report, in general terms, on patterns of concern, inequities, and grievances.
Ombuds Services Does Not:
- Replace existing institutional formal grievance protocols and procedures;
- Intervene in issues and grievances before appropriate extant procedures and protocols have been employed and exhausted;
- Act as an advocate for either an individual or the institution;
- Testify in any formal grievance procedure without the complainant’s permission;
- Breach the privilege of anonymity and confidentiality, except in the rare instance where there appears to be imminent risk of human life or in the case of a known felony;
- Serve as an office of notice.