Duties and Responsibilities

Reporting 

The ombuds functions independent of existing administrative structures and reports directly to the President of the College. The ombuds does not accept notice on behalf of the institution.

While maintaining the privacy of communications, the ombuds delivers to the president an annual 
written report that analyzes anonymous aggregate data and provides a summary of any patterns of use that may be important to note. This report may also contain recommendations for revisions in policy and/or
structure as well as assessments of campus climate.

The ombuds meets regularly with the President to provide information about harmful trends identified by faculty, administrators, and/or staff, and to suggest where attention could be directed to address issues of antiracist practice, equity and fairness.

Communication and Problem-Solving Services

The ombuds will provide impartial and private consultation to individuals and/or groups of visitors 
with the hope of promoting equitable resolutions to concerns through the gathering and analyzing of 
information and helping to develop options. This requires:

  • The ability to effectively communication with diverse individuals at all levels of the institution
  • Helping faculty, administrators, and/or staff to clarify their issues and concerns, generate and 
    evaluate possible action that they could possibly take
  • Assisting with the clarification of colleges policies and procedures as warranted
  • Promoting better understanding of issues and concerns by encouraging multiple perspective taking
  • Understanding and using alternative dispute resolution skills to assist visitors in managing conflicts 
    effectively
  • Helping individuals/groups identity appropriate resources

Organizational Consultant Services

The Ombuds collects information on patterns of concerns brought to the office. While remaining 
independent, neutral, and impartial and by exercising good judgment, a goal of the Ombuds Office is to 
provide early detection of areas of organizational concern. The Ombuds analyses the functioning of 
organizational systems and provides upward feedback (to the President, the CDEIO, Human Resources, 
Academic Affairs, and other divisions, as pertinent) regarding recurring problems and may offer 
recommendations for systemic change. In helping to identify harmful trends the Ombuds works with 
individuals and/or groups at all levels in the community to:

  • Promote understanding of the role and responsibilities of the Ombuds Office and encourage its use 
    within the community.
  • Proactively establish and maintain working relationships with faculty, administrators, staff, and students to encourage and support the use of fair practices.
  • Work closely with members of the institution to understand institutional structure, cultural and 
    practices and help individuals understand issues from multiple perspectives
  • Serve as a campus resource to senior level administration to raise issues that might surface as a result of gaps between goals and practice at the institution
  • Identify systemic issues causing conflict or impacting fairness
  • Collect and process data from individuals who seek a confidential channel for surfacing responsible concerns
  • Recommend policy and structural changes to reduce or eliminate recurring problems
  • Act as a liaison between individuals and the administrative structure to promote communication and understanding
  • Promote understanding across difference

International Ombudsman Association

The Wooster Ombuds is a member of the International Ombudsman Association (IOA) and practices according to the IOA Code of Ethics and Standards of Practice.