Office of the Ombudsperson
The Office of the Ombudsperson is committed to providing a confidential environment that encourages fair and equitable treatment, collaboration and open dialogue that embraces active listening, effective communication and personal growth for all members of the UMass Dartmouth community.
The Office of the Ombudsperson at the University of Massachusetts Dartmouth provides informal, impartial and confidential dispute resolution services for students, staff, faculty and administration. We attempt to assist individuals in addressing interpersonal misunderstandings, resolve disputes, manage conflicts and educate individuals in more productive ways of communicating.
The purpose of the Ombuds Office is to ensure that every voice at the University of Massachusetts Dartmouth can be heard, without fear of loss of privacy, retribution, retaliation, and that problems can receive impartial attention.
We attempt to help individuals resolve their concerns fairly, and if possible, informally.
The Ombuds Office operates independently as a supplement to existing administrative or formal grievance procedures and has no formal decision-making authority. We listen to people, offer information about policies and procedures and help individuals examine options for concerns.
We are a third party neutral office that does not act as advocates for either side in a dispute.
We operate confidentially, and do not disclose information about individuals, whom they may or may not have seen in the office, except in informal complaint processes when they have given permission to do so by the visitor (and only to those who have a need to know). In some cases, even if we have permission, we do not acknowledge this information. The only instance where an Ombuds will breach confidentiality is in the unusual situation of imminent risk of serious harm where there appears to be no other responsible options.
We report administratively to the Chancellor.
The Ombuds Office is an independent, neutral, confidential and informal resource. It does not accept formal complaints or notice for the University of Massachusetts Dartmouth. If a visitor wishes to make a record, or put the University "on notice," that is, to make the University of Massachusetts Dartmouth formally aware of a particular problem, we can provide information on how to do so.