Faculty Ombuds FAQ

Who can see the Faculty Ombuds?
Faculty members at all ranks associated with the University of Florida.
I am a faculty person covered by Collective Bargaining; who should I contact?
The first contact should be made with the United Faculty of Florida; http://www.uff-uf.org
What can the Ombuds do?
  • Listen to your questions and concerns
  • Help you to identify and evaluate options
  • Offer an impartial perspective
  • Help you to deal with a problem
  • Facilitate difficult conversations as an impartial third-party
  • Make referrals to appropriate resources
  • Recommend constructive change in University policy
  • Make informal inquiries to gather relevant information
What can the Ombuds not do?
  • Provide legal advice
  • Mediate and negotiate settlements in disputes
  • Offer psychological counseling
  • Get involved in fact finding
  • Represent faculty in a grievance procedure
  • Address a non-university related problem or complaint
  • Intervene in a formal grievance procedure
  • Overturn decisions by university officials
  • Provide legal advice or legal representation
When should a faculty person contact the Ombuds?
When you:
  • need information about faculty rights and university policies and procedures
  • feel a policy or procedure has been unfairly applied to you
  • need to have a confidential discussion about a university related problem
  • need advice on resolving a work-related problem
  • need help communicating with other faculty or university administrators
  • want to know your options for solving a work-related problem
  • want to know what university resources are available to you
Is the Ombuds an advocate for faculty?
No. The Ombuds does not take sides in a dispute. He does not advocate for the faculty member or the university.
What authority does the Ombuds have?
  • The Ombuds has no formal authority.
  • The Ombuds will bring to the administration’s attention practices or policies that appear to create tensions or problems for faculty.
As an employee of UF, how independent can the Ombuds be?
The Ombuds is not a part of the administration and is free from any influence in addressing issues of conflict.
Does the Ombuds keep records?
No. Personal notes may be taken but they are outside of open records requests. These notes are held in strict confidence and will be shredded after consultation is completed. The Ombuds keeps only statistical data, no names or department affiliations.
Do faculty members have to use the Ombuds?
No. The use of these services is completely optional.
How can I contact the Faculty Ombuds?
You may arrange an appointment by phone (352-273-1708) or email (Ombuds-faculty@ad.ufl.edu). Do not include confidential information in an email.
What does Ombuds mean, and what is the origin of the position?
The word Ombudsman (Ombuds) is a Scandinavian term and means 'representative' or 'proxy.'
What standards of practice does the Faculty Ombuds follow?
The Ombuds follows the four standards of practice articulated by the International Ombudsman Association: Independence; Impartiality; Confidentiality; and informality. You can view the Standards of Practice here.
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