The purpose of the Ombuds office is to assist students, staff, and faculty in resolving problems and conflicts that arise in the course of interacting with the University of Florida. By considering problems in an unbiased way, the Ombuds works to help students and staff find solutions to university related problems and concerns.
The role of the Ombuds is to serve as a resource and designated neutral party for students and staff who may have a university related concern or problem. Such problems may be related to grades, difference of opinion with instructors or co-workers, interpretation of university policies, or other administrative issues that may be of concern. The Ombuds will work with staff and students to interpret university policy, and help identify options and strategies for resolving issues.
Students are advised to first contact the instructor, the department chairperson, and/or the college dean before seeking assistance from the Ombuds, although instances do exist where contact with the University Ombuds first is beneficial.
The Office of the University Ombuds has been configured to handle university matters for staff and all levels of students including undergraduates, graduates, and professional students.
The Ombuds is independent in structure, function, and appearance to the highest degree possible within the organization.
The Ombuds, as a designated neutral, remains unaligned and impartial. The Ombuds does not engage in any situation which could create a conflict of interest.
The Ombuds holds all communications with those seeking assistance in strict confidence, and does not disclose confidential communications unless given permission to do so. The only exception to this privilege of confidentiality is where there appears to be imminent risk of serious harm or in cases involving sexual harassment.
The Ombuds, as an informal resource, does not participate in any formal adjudicative or administrative procedure related to concerns brought to his/her attention.