What an Ombudsperson Does and Does Not Do

What an Ombudsperson does:

Responses to issues brought to the ombudsperson are tailored to the individual's situation and informed consent.  For example, the ombudsperson can:

  • Actively listen to your questions and concerns
  • Offer information about Auburn University policies, procedures, and programs
  • Discuss your concerns and clarify issues
  • Help identify and evaluate a range of options for resolving a problem
  • Gather information and offer referral to other resources when appropriate
  • Advise you on steps to resolve a problem informally
  • Facilitate communication indirectly or, when given permission, through serving as an impartial third party
  • Work for collaborative agreements through negotiation or mediation
  • Track perceived issues and trends
  • Make recommendations for review of policies or procedures to appropriate bodies

What an Ombudsperson does not do:

  • Make decisions, findings of fact, or determine the “guilt” or “innocence” of those accused of wrongdoing
  • Establish, change, or set aside policies or administrative decisions
  • Offer legal advice
  • Offer psychological counseling
  • Participate in grievances or other formal processes
  • Serve as an agent of notice for Auburn University
  • Serve as an advocate for any individual


Last Updated: Oct. 11, 2011

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