Academics
Areas of Study

Overview

The Ombuds office serves as your first stop, last resort, or everything in between to discuss concerns confidentially and informally. The Ombuds is a person who serves as an impartial and independent conflict management resource on campus.

We serve undergraduate, graduate, and international students, staff, faculty, alumni, families of students, and other University community members who are having issues that stem from university policies, practices, and relationships. Anyone is welcome.

When you visit us, you will

  • Be treated with respect and dignity
  • Receive guidance and consultation regardless if the issue is big or small
  • Not have your conversations documented

Confidentiality

Informality

Independence

Impartiality

Voluntary

The Ombuds adheres to the Code of Ethics, the Standards of Practice, and the Best Practices of the International Ombudsman Association (IOA) in providing services to visitors. In sum, the four key principles governing the practice of the Ombuds are:

  • Confidentiality: The Ombuds can not disclose the identity of her visitors except when there is an imminent risk of serious harm.
  • Informality: The Ombuds does not replace or duplicate any available formal process on campus. The Ombuds can only provide informal advice and assistance.
  • Independence: The Ombuds is independent of any University structure, and contacting the Ombuds does not constitute notice to the University.
  • Impartiality: The Ombuds ensures fairness in the procedures, not for the person.

Need to Meet with Us?

You can schedule a meeting with Elizabeth Stone, University Ombuds or Norma Morán, Associate Ombuds.

Support

FAQs

Policies and Information
The ombuds may be consulted to address conflicts related to academic and non-academic issues. Common instances of academic issues may include conflicts between students and faculty members, allegations of inappropriate comments or conduct, and questions about academic policies and procedures.
If the visitor is a member of the campus community, there is no wrong reason to visit the ombuds office. The ombuds regularly receives concerns regarding the nine following categories:
  • compensation and benefits;
  • evaluative relationships;
  • peer relationships;
  • career progression and development;
  • legal, regulatory, and financial compliance;
  • safety, health, and physical environment;
  • service and administrative issues; organizational and strategic issues; and
  • values, ethics and standards.
The ombuds reports to the President of Gallaudet University. The ombuds sends monthly reports to the President’s Executive Team. These reports list the concerns received by the office and general demographics of the visitors in a way which carefully maintains the confidentiality and anonymity of its visitors. Annual reports are posted on the ombuds’ website at http://www.gallaudet.edu/ombuds-office/annual-reports.html.
The ombuds will keep your identity confidential unless there is an imminent risk of serious harm. In other words, if a person’s physical safety is in grave danger, confidentiality cannot be maintained. Confidentiality is maintained for all other situations, unless express permission is granted by the visitor. To make a completely anonymous report, the visitor may make a non-traceable online report by using the ombuds’ webpage. Please know that if the reports are completely anonymous, the ombuds may not be able assist comprehensively in addressing these reports. The visitor also has the option to file an anonymous report through the campus whistleblower mechanism.
The ombuds may provide only informal assistance, and cannot compel disciplinary actions or involuntary meetings. The ombuds may conduct voluntary mediation and facilitation, confidential meetings, and conflict management training. The ombuds also reviews policies and makes recommendations for change. Moreover, the ombuds may provide notice to university administrators regarding systemic trends and patterns.
The ombuds serves all members of the Gallaudet University campus community: students, faculty, staff, alumni, parents, families, applicants, and others as appropriate. In other words, the ombuds’ services are not limited only to students.
Common Questions
The services provided by the Office of the Ombuds are informal, impartial, independent, and confidential. You may contact the ombuds office at any time without relinquishing your options to contact or file a formal complaint with the appropriate offices on campus. A variety of formal complaint procedures is available, such as the new Student Grievance procedure with the Student Affairs office, and the ombuds office is available as a parallel informal resource to assist in resolving concerns. The visitor may encounter instances of insensitivity, unfairness, or miscommunication which may not necessarily be discrimination and not handled by formal procedures, and the ombuds office may also assist in addressing these situations.
The ombuds is an “inside outsider”— not part of the administration. Because of this, the ombuds is able to see and address issues within the larger organizational context. Gallaudet supports the independence of the ombuds because it is to everyone’s advantage to have all concerns, even the most sensitive, brought to the surface and resolved. The ombuds office, which upholds the tenets of neutrality, independence, confidentiality, and informality, is recognized nationally as a best practice in higher education.
For more information, you may visit the ombuds office’s website at: http://www.gallaudet.edu/ombuds-office. For specific questions and requests for appointments, please contact us here. You may also visit the office at Ely Center, Room 113. Normal business hours are 8:00 am to 4:30 pm, but because hours vary to accommodate the schedules of visitors, it would be best to send an email first to schedule an appointment.

Contact Us

Ombuds

Elizabeth Stone

Norma Moran

Ely Center 113

(202) 559-5079

(202) 448-7175

Monday
9:00 am-5:00 pm
Tuesday
9:00 am-5:00 pm
Wednesday
9:00 am-5:00 pm
Thursday
9:00 am-5:00 pm
Friday
9:00 am-5:00 pm
Saturday
Closed
Sunday
Closed
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