The SHSU Ombuds Office Welcomes You!
The SHSU Ombuds Office is an independent, neutral, and confidential place for faculty and staff to have informal conversations about their workplace concerns, questions, and issues. The SHSU Ombuds Office operates as per the Standards of Practice (SOP) and Code of Ethics (COE) of the International Ombuds Association (IOA) and follows the four core principles of Confidentiality, Informality, Impartiality and Independence
The Ombuds Office is here for all faculty and staff members to come at any time and talk in confidence about any conflicts, concerns, misunderstandings, or workplace related questions. If you have a question about an issue impacting you and are unsure where to go or would like to obtain more information, the Ombuds Office would be the place to contact. The office is independent of university administration.
The SHSU Ombuds Office will help to create an environment of mutual respect, accountability, civility, and ethical conduct on campus. The office is here to help you understand, evaluate, and determine what your options are and how you would like to move forward. The Ombuds Office is a safe place where confidentiality will be strictly maintained at all times (the only exception is if an imminent risk of harm to self or to others is identified, a faculty/staff member gives express permission to the Ombuds to disclose their identity or contents of their conversation during confidential communication, or disclosure is required under TSUS Rules and Regulations or local, state, or federal law), and faculty and staff members can meet the ombuds without a fear of retaliation or loss of privacy.
What We Do
The Ombuds Office operates independently and supplements existing University resources for conflict resolution and fair treatment, operating outside formal procedures. The office provides faculty and staff a confidential, informal, independent, and neutral place to discuss concerns, seek clarification, raise questions, examine, and understand how to navigate a specific situation or manage conflicts.
The Ombuds Can
- Provide a neutral and confidential space for communication
- Listen actively to your concerns
- Discuss your concerns, help you obtain information and identify options for addressing them
- Listen to and assist you with underlying concerns
- Explain or clarify University policies and procedures
- Provide information and explore options to address concerns and constructively resolve conflicts
- Assist you to evaluate, understand and determine available options and strategies to pursue those options
- Answer your questions or refer you to someone who can
- Informally look into the issue raised, with permission from the faculty/staff
- Identify existing resources and refer you to appropriate resources/processes
- Provide information about the appropriate SHSU office for formal reporting and official channels for grievance procedures
- Facilitate conversations, upon agreement, between members of the University community to resolve issues
- Collect anonymized data on emerging trends and patterns while maintaining confidentiality
- Provide feedback to the Office of the Provost about trends and patterns while protecting confidentiality
- Make recommendations for positive change
The Ombuds Cannot
- Tell you what to do
- Advocate on your behalf
- Change any University policy or rule
- Override decisions made by any University administrator
- Provide legal advice or representation or medical or mental health counseling
- Testify or act as a witness in an official proceeding, internal or external, with respect to confidential communication
- Represent or participate in formal processes or procedures
- Conduct formal investigation
- Initiate an official investigation or take disciplinary action
- Adjudicate cases
- Receive or accept Notice of any claims against the University
- Participate in any informal resolution process after the filing of a formal Title IX complaint.
The Ombuds Office is open and providing consultations in person, by Zoom, or by phone.
Request an appointment
Please use email to only initiate a meeting with the Ombuds. Due to the limits of technology, confidentiality cannot be ensured in email communication. Therefore, please refrain from including any confidential information in your email. Details about your specific concern will be discussed during a confidential meeting.
Conversations with the Ombuds Office are voluntary, confidential and informal. The Ombuds Office is not authorized to receive notice of claims against the university. By using our voluntary services, you agree not to record our confidential conversation or call members of the office to testify in a court of law.