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UMass Amherst

WELCOME TO THE OMBUDS OFFICE

THE OMBUDS OFFICE is a unique place where all current UMass Amherst students, faculty and staff can talk "off the record" about any campus concern, issue or conflict. The Ombuds staff works with visitors in a variety of ways to help them understand their options and resolve their concerns.

Ombuds staff members are not advocates for individuals or positions. We advocate for fairness, respect, and equitable treatment; we consider and support all sides of an issue in an impartial and objective manner. We provide communication coaching, conflict education, and conflict resolution services to facilitate agreement between people or groups who have University-related concerns. The Ombuds has no authority to make exceptions or to grant requests, and is independent of all formal University grievance and discipline processes. Meetings with the ombudsman are strictly confidential to the maximum extent allowed by law. The Office works to foster a culture in which differences can be resolved through respectful communication and fair process.

Our office operates pursuant to its Charter Agreement with the University and the International Ombudsman Association Standards of Practice and Code of Ethics. Ombuds services are impartial, independent, confidential and informal.

The Ombuds Office is available to all members of the University community to help resolve University-related conflicts impartially and without judging, rewarding, or punishing parties. We listen, ask questions and help you weigh your options. When appropriate we can offer informal mediation or facilitate communication.

Mandate of the Ombuds Office

  • To ensure that all students and employees receive fair and equitable treatment within the UMass Amherst system.
  • To make recommendations, where appropriate, for general changes in university structures and procedures, and to stimulate discussion of wider institutional issues.

The Ombuds Office does not have the power to change rules, regulations, policies, or procedures, but rather to make recommendations to the university for changes and to help you find a resolution to your situation.

In our experience, the great majority of university faculty, staff, and students have been responsive to recommendations made by the Ombuds Office. The Ombuds Office does not take your side in a matter but rather considers all sides in an impartial way.

Independence

We are confidential, neutral, independent, and informal. We make every effort to operate in accordance with the Standards of Practice and Code of Ethics of the International Ombudsman Association, except where doing so would violate university policy, state or federal law.

Office Hours:

Monday - Friday
9 am - 5 pm
and by appointment

Contact Information:
Campus Center
Room 823
UMass Amherst
Amherst, MA 01003-9243
tel: (413) 545-0867
fax: (413) 545-9720
ombuds@ombuds.umass.edu