This information is specific to the Eberly College of Science ombuds program.
Eberly College of Science ombuds program was created to provide a safe and informal opportunity for members of our college to discuss problems and issues outside of formal channels. By listening to concerns, Eberly ombuds assist faculty, staff, and graduate students in identifying options for resolution, including reporting to formal channels when mandated. Eberly ombuds are to remain impartial and non-judgmental while advocating for fairness.
In some cases, individuals may feel more comfortable with an ombuds who knows the climate within their department or unit, and in other cases, they may wish to consult an ombuds outside their area. Faculty, staff, and graduate students in the college can choose to meet with any of the Eberly College of Science ombuds.
Eberly ombuds are committed to:
Providing a safe environment for individuals to discuss concerns.
Helping develop strategies to enhance communication.
Clarifying interests and goals while attaining solutions.
Identifying and evaluating other resources at the university that may be available.
Eberly ombuds cannot:
Change rules or policies
Each ombuds has attended trainings hosted by human resources and the Office of Diversity and Inclusion, which highlights that all ombuds are mandated reporters and cannot promise confidentiality in state-mandated reportable issues such as crimes and harassment. If at any time you feel that you cannot go to an ombuds, feel free to contact the HR office with any and all issues that you have. If you are in need of a confidential resource, please review the Eberly Resources page where confidential resources are identified.
Note: there is a separate University Faculty Ombudsperson program administered by the University Faculty Senate who have specific responsibilities for faculty. Faculty disputes that cannot be resolved through normal channels of administrative responsibility and procedure may be taken to the University Faculty Senate Committee on Faculty Rights and Responsibilities. For further details about this procedure and about the duties of university faculty ombudspersons, see University Policy AC76, "Faculty Rights and Responsibilities."
There is also an ombudsperson program through the Graduate School. The Graduate Student Ombudspersons provide a safe environment for graduate students to discuss issues and concerns. They assist the students in identifying or creating options for resolution, understanding relevant policies, connecting with resources for support and assistance and making referrals to formal channels with investigatory powers. Ombudspersons do not formally advocate for the student or any individual point of view, but instead work to promote a fair process for all. The Graduate Student Ombudspersons do not keep formal records, perform formal investigations, or advocate for either one party or another, but they advocate for fairness.