The Ombuds/Ombudsperson Office at Mount Holyoke College is a resource that operates to ensure that all members of the community receive fair and equitable treatment. The ombudsperson acts as an impartial and informal source of assistance to those who believe themselves to have been treated unfairly.
The Ombudsperson’s services are confidential,* independent, neutral and informal. By listening to concerns, the ombudsperson helps visitors identify and explore acceptable solutions to concerns that meet the needs of both the visitor and the institution. The Ombuds Office provides a safe environment for the discussion of issues and concerns – the office does not keep formal college records, perform formal investigations or advocate for either one party or another but advocates for fairness. Contacting the ombudsperson is voluntary and can be a resource for information as well as services. Services provided by the ombudsperson include mediated conversation, facilitation, conflict management training, coaching in methods to approach situations as well as the ability to listen to issues without passing judgment.
*There are exceptions to the pledge of confidentiality. Please see the “Guiding Principles and Standards of Practice” section below for more information.
Guiding Principles and Standards of Practice of the Ombuds Office
The Mount Holyoke Ombudsperson is a trained and certified Organizational Ombudsman Practitioner (CO-OP) and a member of the International Ombudsman Association (IOA) practicing in accordance with the IOA Code of Ethics (Adobe PDF Download-posted January 2007) and IOA Standards of Practice (Adobe PDF Download- posted October 2009).