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Ombuds Overview

This is how a typical ombuds case progresses

You contact our office to express your concern.  We then get in touch via your preferred method of contact to further discuss your situation and arrange for a face-to-face consultation, as appropriate, either in our office or, if required due to extenuating circumstances, an alternate location. 

In our first contact, we explain the ombuds role and the procedures we follow.  We then ask you to share your concern as we listen and ask questions in order to fully understand your perspective.  The discussion may end there, with consideration of what options or strategies may be available for resolution of your concern.

If you would like us to work with you further toward resolution we may, with your permission, conduct an inquiry into the circumstances.  In doing so, we may consult with others involved in order to get a thorough and well-rounded understanding of the facts underlying the problem and the University policies that govern it. 

What is an Ombuds?

An “ombuds” (pronounced om’ budz) is a confidential, off the record resource appointed to facilitate the resolution of disputes, management of conflicts, and problem solving in relation to obstacles to one’s full and successful participation as a member of the Penn community.

It is important to note that the Ombuds Office does not conduct investigations.  Rather, we are a resource to facilitate resolution of conflicts and mediation of disputes, but have no authority to adjudicate matters, impose consequences, or prescribe results.

As engagement moves forward, we will endeavor to work with you to resolve your concerns, assist you in reframing issues, suggest openings for reconciliation, or lead you to choose other options.  For example, we may recommend other resources at Penn that may be most appropriate for addressing concerns, identify a policy or procedure that is pertinent to the matter, or provide informal mediation or a facilitated conversation.

Our objective is to help clarify and sort through alternatives so that a resolution can be reached that is acceptable to you and the other parties involved.

ARRANGE A CONSULTATION

Request an appointment online

DIRECTIONS

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