Our ombudspeople offer neutral and confidential guidance on a variety of issues for all students and faculty at Duke.
Primary Role of the Ombudsperson
- Provides a neutral, safe, and confidential environment to talk
- Listens to concerns and complaints and discusses appropriate options
- Helps to evaluate those options
- Assists students in resolving problems
- Mediates conflicts, convenes meetings, engages in "shuttle diplomacy"
- Refers students to appropriate campus resources
- Provides information about university resources
Examples of Services Provided by the Ombudsperson
- Helps resolve or mediate a dispute with an individual or group.
- Helps decide how to approach a person who you think is causing a problem.
- Discusses how to approach a fellow student who has made an offensive or insensitive comment.
- Assists when you are uncertain what Duke policies or procedures apply to your situation.
- Assists when you don't know what individual or university department is appropriate to go to for an answer to a specific question or to obtain a particular service.
- Helps when you feel as if you have been unfairly treated by anyone on campus.
- Engages in "shuttle diplomacy" to solve a problem between you and a student/employee.
- Helps you evaluate and select among a variety of options to address a concern with a fellow student or department
- Helps resolve or mediate a non-grade- or non-evaluation-related dispute with a faculty member.
Services Not Offered by the Ombudsperson
- Adjudicates or participates in formal university grievance processes
- Determines guilt of any party in a dispute
- Gets involved in any formal litigation or testify in court
- Provides legal advice
- Assigns sanctions to individuals
- Replaces the function of any official university office, department, or process
- Keeps records of students and/or conversations