Faculty Ombuds: Services

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Our approach

When questions, confusions or conflicts arise in the navigation of your position at the University, the Faculty Ombuds is here for you! Our guiding principle is that communication and negotiation are the best ways to address most professional challenges.

When should you come to us?

The University of Utah encourages informal resolution of problems and faculty are urged to discuss their concerns directly with the parties involved.  If you have been unable to resolve a conflict on your own, the next step is to schedule an appointment with the Faculty Ombuds.  The Faculty Ombuds will discuss your situation in strict confidence.  Often, seeing things from a fresh perspective will be sufficient to resolve the conflict.  The Faculty Ombuds can also provide referrals to campus resources for concerns that may be alleviated by additional support services or that are best addressed by other University offices.

There are many situations in which you might want to make a confidential appointment, such as:

  •  When you need someone to listen to a concern
  • When you are in an awkward situation that is bothering you
  • When you are unsure of University policy or procedures
  • When you feel negotiating through an intermediary would help resolve a conflict
  • When you are worried about favoritism or afraid of retaliation
  • when you think you have been treated unfairly

Issues we can help you address:

Any issue may be discussed with the Faculty Ombuds, including concerns with a colleague, advisor, advisee, supervisor, instructor, or co-worker.  Common issues are:

  • Career Management:  promotion; performance management; end of appointment; reorganization; uncollegial environment; overwork
  • Work Relationships:  conflict with colleague, manager, or advisor; difficult staff; inappropriate or disrespectful behavior; bullying
  • Policies & Requirements:  academic and employment guidelines; disciplinary process and rulings; grievance and complaint procedures; academic freedom

Issues we refer to other University offices:

Some concerns fall outside the Faculty Ombuds office and are best handled by other University offices that specialize in particular kinds of conflict.  We are legally required to report cases of violence and child abuse to campus law enforcement.

  •  Research Concerns:  authorship; unethical behavior; research misconduct; conflict of interest; time commitment; compliance
  • Illness, Disability:  disability services; accommodation requests; disability plans, leave options
  • Harassment, Discrimination, Violence:  unwelcome, inappropriate behavior; inappropriate relationships; racial, ethnic, religious or gender discrimination; assault; threats