The Ombuds Office operates confidentially.We do not disclose who does or does not utilize our services. We are committed to maintaining the confidentiality of the university community. It is important that people feel safe using our services.
This confidentiality cannot be "waived" by the user of the office because the privilege does not belong to the users of the office. It belongs to the Office. Should a matter lead to a formal grievance or legal action, the Ombuds Office will not testify—either for or against you.
Due to the informal, problem-solving role, speaking to the Ombuds Office about a concern does NOT constitute legal "notice" to the institution that the problem exists. Anyone wishing to "put the university on notice" may contact the appropriate administrator or invoke formal grievance procedures. The Ombuds Office can provide referral information about "whom to contact" for anyone seeking to use administrative or formal grievance options.
The Ombuds Office does not participate in formal grievance processes
- Our work is intended to be confidential. Participating in a formal grievance procedure would violate this intention by acknowledging that we had conversation with individuals about issues we promised to keep confidential.
- Formal grievance procedures, by definition, are adversarial. Our role is to remain impartial. Providing information that may be perceived to assist one party over the other is contrary to the mission of the office.
- Our role is to only provide informal problem-solving assistance. In most cases, we do not have proof of the truth of individual allegations. We only know what we were told.
Confidentiality can not be guaranteed under the following circumstances
- An Ombuds Office staff member witnesses a crime.
- An Ombuds Office staff member is alerted by the user of imminent risk of harm to him/herself or another.
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.