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Essential Characteristics of the Ombudsman Office

Confidential

The Office of the Ombudsman staff will conduct all conversations and any related information in a highly confidential manner. The ombudsman staff will not disclose the identity of visitors or the specifics of any conversations. We will not give information out without the permission of the visitor. Rare exceptions may occur to this rule. These would include:

  • Witnessing of a crime. Or, within the communication the staff member has substantial reason to believe that a violation of a criminal act has occurred or is likely to occur.
  • Seeing violation of OTC’s sexual harassment policy.
  • A situation is exposed that poses risk of serious harm to an individual or individuals.

Our team will make all efforts within these circumstances to only disclose necessary information to counteract such issues and maintain the highest level of confidentiality possible.

The ombudsman staff may disclose information only with permission of the visitor and within a very limited manner to only those required to have such information as determined by the visitor. OTC will maintain confidentiality to the highest degree within the Office of the Ombudsman at all times.

Impartial

The ombudsman staff do not serve as advocates for any particular person (student, faculty, or staff). Moreover, they do not advocate for any office of the college. The ombudsman staff do advocate for fair processes and consistent implementation of such policies and procedures.

Our staff have no personal interest and incur no personal loss or gain from the determination of issues brought forth to the office.

The ombudsman staff are a neutral party that aids in bringing continuity, mutual agreement and closure to issues at the college.

Independent

The Academic Ombudsman reports to the Provost and Vice Chancellor for Academic Affairs but maintains a separation within the office for issues brought through the Office of the Ombudsman. The ombudsman does not make decisions or determine guilt or innocence related to issues or concerns, or change/set aside policies or administrative decisions.

Informal

The Office of the Ombudsman is not an official reporting entity of the institution. It serves as an informal and/or supplementary process outside of the college’s formal reporting processes. The ombudsman can aide in making visitors aware of formal processes within the institution. After which, they can refer visitors to those policies and procedures. All determinations must be made by the visitor as to next steps to be taken.

-Essential Characteristics of the Ombudsman Office

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