How it Works
The Ombuds is familiar with campus resources and is prepared to make appropriate referrals as the need or desire becomes apparent. If your issue does not fit into the examples listed, don’t let that stop you from contacting the office.
Common Issues Brought to an Ombuds
- interpersonal or intragroup conflicts, misunderstandings, disputes, or miscommunications
- complex financial, housing, or dining concerns
- peer-to-peer concerns between roommates, friends, co-workers, etc.
- supervisor-supervisee relations
- faculty-student relations
- policy issues
- retaliation or fear of retaliation
- ethical dilemmas
- cultural misunderstandings
- perceived or potential conflicts of interest
- annoying or frustrating behaviors
- incivility or rudeness
- working conditions
- unfair treatment
- suggestions for improvement at Haverford College
Note: The Ombuds office is independent and confidential—discussing your issues is considered off the record and does not put the College on formal notice of your concerns.
What Happens Next?
At the initial appointment, you will have the opportunity to learn the about role of the Ombuds, the basic principles that guide the practice (confidentiality, neutrality, independence, and informality) and how the Ombuds may be of assistance to you.
The Ombuds will ask you to share what has prompted you to come to the office and will listen carefully and ask questions to clarify the issue(s), identify desired outcomes, and help you to assess what approaches or services might be most helpful. The Ombuds will engage you in a conversation about possible options for addressing the issue/concern and might refer you to another campus resource that might be more appropriate or able to offer greater assistance.
If you are considering several options, the Ombuds will ask questions to help you assess what might be the most suitable one. At this point, you may decide to just think things over. You may decide to handle the concern on your own or you may ask us to make an informal call about the issue of concern. If we agree to make a call, we would discuss with you the pros and cons and possible outcomes.
We can serve as shuttle diplomats or facilitators. We can help you bring information to the attention of appropriate individuals. We would be happy to talk with you about Haverford policies or refer you to relevant individuals to discuss formal options for resolving complaints. We keep no permanent written records of confidential communications.
Finally, it is entirely up to you if you want to arrange for a subsequent meeting or meetings to continue work on your expressed goal(s) [or, towards your desired outcome].
- helping to surface information when people are afraid to come forward
- providing coaching on how an issue or concern may be presented more effectively
- looking into a problem informally—with permission—and presenting recommendations when appropriate
- identifying dispute resolution alternatives for people who seek options and referring individuals to appropriate services
- informally facilitating conversations between or among the parties involved; helping to provide clarity, discussing concerns, and possible means of resolution