College and University Ombudspersons have been referred to as the “conscience of the university”, “canaries in the coal mine”, and a guide for students in a “sea of troubles”. Sometimes misunderstood, these unique offices assist their communities in resolving conflict and identifying systemic issues and trends while focusing on fair treatment. Ombuds offices are designed to be environments that adhere to the International Ombudsman Association (IOA) Standards of Practice: confidentiality, informality, neutrality and independence. Ultimately, ombuds provide a brave space for individuals to discuss concerns, learn to navigate their environments, and build communication skills while being treated with compassion and empathy.
In this episode of Student Affairs Live, host Dr. Heather Shea discusses the important partnerships between Ombuds Offices and Student Affairs with three panelists, Drs. Shannon Burton, D. A. Graham, and Jennifer Schneider.