Academics
Areas of Study

The Ombuds provides you with a confidential, informal, neutral and independent place to:

  • Develop options
  • Obtain referrals
  • Clarify University policies and procedures
  • Identify tools to achieve academic, professional, and personal success

All conversations are off the record.


During your visit with the Ombuds, you will:

  • Focus on the issues, not people or personalities
  • Work collaboratively to address problems
  • Identify and discuss creative solutions and resources
  • Save or repair important relationships during conflict
  • Redirect your attention to your work and studies

The Ombuds Does: 

  • Listen
  • Help analyze a problem
  • Identify and explain relevant University policies and procedures
  • Help identify options
  • Make referrals to other campus resources
  • Provide coaching on effective conflict management
  • Carry out shuttle diplomacy by serving as a go-between to resolve issues
  • Facilitate group discussions
  • Mediate conflicts

The Ombuds Does Not:

  • Adjudicate/Make decisions 
  • Make policies
  • Keep records 
  • Disclose any identifying information without permission/consent
  • Give legal advice
  • Testify
  • Serve as an Agent of Notice for the University
  • Participate in Grievances or Other Formal Processes
  • Provide Therapy
  • Advocate for any Party to a Conflict

The Fairness Triangle

The Fairness Triangle portrays the three dimensions of fairness to be considered in an individual’s experience: Relational, Procedural and Substantive. It can be a helpful tool to consider in the decision-making process.

Relational Fairness addresses how one is treated.

  • Being approachable;
  • Listening actively;
  • Respecting confidentiality;
  • Being honest and forthright;
  • Making information clear and easily available;
  • Providing accessible problem-solving options;
  • Being clear about what you can and cannot do; and
  • Offering an apology if a mistake is made.

Substantive Fairness addresses the decision itself.

  • Having the appropriate authority to make the decision itself;
  • Ensuring that decisions are made on relevant information;
  • Ensuring that decisions are not unjust, oppressive or discriminatory;
  • Ensuring that decisions are not wrong in fact or law; and
  • Ensuring that decisions are reasonable.

Procedural Fairness addresses processes used in making the decision.

  • Providing notice that a decision is to be made along with sufficient information for an affected person to know what is required and what is at stake;
  • Providing an appropriate forum for an affected person to present their views and to be heard;
  • Being impartial and unbiased;
  • Making a decision in a reasonable time; and
  • Providing clear and appropriate reasons for a decision.

The Fairness Triangle was initially developed by Ombudsman Saskatchewan and adapted by the University of Victoria Ombudsperson. It is meant to be a tool to guide decision-making and is not university policy. It is also important to note that fairness does not necessarily equate to an outcome in your favor.

*The above information is from https://ombud.msu.edu/fairness-triangle

Making an Appointment

While walk-ins are welcome, appointments are encouraged, so the Ombuds can reserve enough time for you. To make an appointment, please contact us or call (202) 559-5079 (VP). We are also available on Zoom.

Norma Moran: Zoom: https://gallaudet.zoom.us/my/associate.ombuds

The Ombuds Office operates according to the International Ombudsman Association (IOA) Code of Ethics and Standards of Practice.

Contact Us

Ombuds

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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