Office of the Student Ombudsman
The Ombudsman's office offers a safe place where our student community members may discuss problems or issues within the university. The Ombudsman treats all inquiries as confidential, as described in our ethical principles.
What We Do
We assist visitors in several ways:
- Provide a welcoming environment to listen to visitors' concerns.
- Provide information on university policies and practices.
- Provide information on how to make the university aware of a particular problem.
- Discuss and assist visitors in evaluating available options.
- Refer visitors to the proper authority to resolve situations.
- Facilitate constructive dialogue.
- While maintaining confidentiality, provide upward feedback to the administration or others in authority when a systemic issue or trend occurs.
The Ombudsman assists visitors in a variety of ways consistent with our mission. The Ombudsman does not take a side in disputes. Overall, the Ombudsman is an advocate for fairness and equity.
The Ombudsman is available for all students at the University of Kansas Medical Center, including the Wichita and Salina campuses.
Role of the Ombudsman
- Listen to concerns and complaints and discuss appropriate options.
- Be an information resource.
- Help to provide options and processes.
- Provide informal assistance in handling options and general concerns.
- Provide a safe, neutral place to discuss concerns and options.
- Maintain confidentiality.
- Help clarify university policies and procedures.
- Refer students to appropriate campus (or medical center) resources.
- Recommend changes in university policies and procedures.
Why Use an Ombudsman
When to Use an Ombudsman
- When you don't know where to go for help.
- When you are reluctant to use normal channels for assistance.
- When you don't know the proper procedure to resolve a concern.
What Does the Ombudsman Not Do?
- Advocate for the university or the student.
- Determine guilt of any party in a dispute.
- Replace any official university office, department or process.
- Adjudicate or participate in formal university grievances.
- Overturn decisions made by other university officials.
- Act as a student's advisor in judicial hearings or grievance processes.
- Assign sanctions on individuals.
- Provide legal advice.
- Get involved in any formal litigation or testify in court.
- Accept notice for the university.
- Keep records of students and/or conversation.
Note: The University complies with the Clery Act in all instances and follows proper reporting practices where necessary.
Ombudsman Ethical Principles
The Ombudsman is independent in structure, function and appearance to the highest degree possible within the organization.
Neutrality and impartiality
The Ombudsman, as a designated neutral resource, remains unaligned and impartial. The Ombudsman strives to promote procedural fairness in the content and administration of practices, processes and policies. The Ombudsman does not engage in any situation which could create a conflict of interest.
The Ombudsman 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.
The Ombudsman, as an informal resource, does not participate in any formal adjudicative or administrative procedure related to concerns brought to his/her attention.
The Ombudsman's Office is a voluntary program and no one is required to use Ombudsman services. If a student chooses to meet with the Ombudsman, the student will be understood to have agreed to abide by these ethical principles, including agreeing not to call the Ombudsman to testify with respect to confidential communications.
Note: These guidelines have been adapted from the International Ombudsman Association (IOA) Code of Ethics.
To make an appointment with the Ombudsman, call 913-588-4698.