People listening during an ombuds session.

Office of the Ombudsperson

An intermediary to transform concerns into opportunity.

What is the Office of the Ombudsperson?

The Office of the Ombudsperson serves as a confidential, neutral, informal, and independent resource for all staff and faculty in the Austin Community College district. The role of the Ombudsperson is to listen to faculty and staff concerns, help identify next steps, and discuss resources.

Services the Ombudsperson Provides

  • Coaching
  • Mediation
  • Resources
  • Referrals
  • Workshops & Training

How to Contact the Office of the Ombudsperson

Email is discouraged due to confidentiality.

Benefits of Speaking with the Ombudsperson

The Ombudsperson is here to discuss your options with you, serve as a sounding board, and help you get a new perspective. The Ombudsperson is impartial and does not advocate for one side or the other in a conflict.

The Office of the Ombudsperson:

  • Is confidential and no one will know you have spoken with the Ombudsperson unless you give permission otherwise (the only exception to confidentiality is in cases where visitors present imminent risk of serious harm to self or others).
  • Is independent and informal and neither an office of record nor an office report.
  • Does not maintain identifying records or participate in formal processes.

What the Ombuds Can Do

  • Listen to concerns
  • Explore options
  • Help think through problems
  • Facilitate communication between parties
  • Make referrals to other offices
  • Identify resources
  • Clarify policies and procedures

What the Ombuds Can’t Do

  • Make/keep records
  • Serve as an office of notice
  • Participate in any formal processes
  • Conduct Investigations
  • Advocate for an individual or party
  • Tell people what they should do

Process / What to Expect

Who Does the Ombudsperson Report To?
To maintain the principle of independence, the Ombudsperson reports directly to Neil Vickers, Executive Vice Chancellor of Finance and Administration. This keeps the office of the Ombudsperson out of any department or division, allowing the office to serve without bias toward any area.

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