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Office of the University Ombudsperson

The Office of the University Ombudsperson supports a culture that is ethical and civil, and in which mutual understanding can be reached and differences resolved through respectful dialogue and fair processes.

To afford faculty and staff the greatest freedom in using its services, the office is an independent, confidential*, impartial, and informal resource made available to all SU faculty and staff members.

What is an Ombudsperson?

The University Ombudsperson is a designated neutral or impartial facilitator whose major function is to provide confidential and informal guidance to the university’s faculty and staff: 

  • to assist them with their complaints, concerns and issues;
  • to assist faculty and staff in identifying appropriate offices, committees, and university rules and policies;
  • and serve when appropriate as an informal mediator of early-stage complaints and to mediate as an impartial party.

The University Ombudsperson is not an advocate either for faculty and staff or administration. The University Ombudsperson is not authorized to receive notice of any claims against SU. The office supplements, but does not replace, existing formal grievance mechanisms at the university.

The University Ombudsperson operates according to the International Ombudsman Association standards of practice: Independence, Neutrality and Impartiality, Confidentiality and Informality. 

Confidential, Informal, Impartial, Independent 

Due to the confidential, informal (i.e., off the record), neutral, and independent nature of the Office of the Ombudsperson, communication with this office does not constitute notice to Seattle University. Please remember that email is not appropriate for confidential discussions. 

The Office of the University Ombudsperson embraces Diversity, Dignity and Respect through Dialogue and Inclusion. All faculty and staff are welcome. Faculty and staff seeking assistance from the office will be treated with dignity and respect and can expect individualized attention to their needs and concerns.

*Confidentiality cannot be promised in matters relating to threats to public safety, child abuse, if there is imminent risk of serious harm, or if compelled by a court of law.