• The Role of the Ombudsman

    The role of Hamline's Ombudsman is to offer options for problem solving and conflict resolution.  These options will vary depending on the issue, but must be consistent with Hamline's policies and culture, as well as the professional standards prescribed by the International Ombudsman Association.

    The Ombudsman assists visitors to the office by listening objectively and providing a confidential ear to any concern related to working or learning at Hamline. The office was created to provide a visitor with a safe place to discuss a problem with the assurance that no action will be taken nor will the fact of the visit or anything the visitor says be disclosed.

    The Ombudsman is also responsible for providing upward feedback to university leadership regarding issue types and trends, especially those that do not surface through other established channels. The Ombuds Office can serve as an early warning system for emerging issues that will impact the University.

    The Ombuds role includes:

    • Listening and discussing questions, concerns and complaints
    • Generating possible options for resolution
    • Assistance in evaluating possible options
    • Explanation of university policies and procedures
    • Referral to appropriate individuals or offices
    • Information gathering on an informal basis
    • Coaching for individuals to resolve problems on their own
    • Informal facilitation of meetings between individuals in conflict
    • Mediation of conflicts
    • Helping visitors to bring complaints to others with permission only
    • Referrals to formal grievance when appropriate or when informal processes have been exhausted

    The Ombuds role does not include:

    • Providing legal advice
    • Testimony in any court initiated proceeding
    • Administrative or academic decision making for others
    • Determinations of guilt or wrongdoing of anyone involved
    • Investigations of a formal nature
    • Psychological counseling or therapy
    • Adjudication or participation in formal grievance processes