What Does the Ombudsperson Do?
The Office of Ombudsperson was established at UNO in the fall of 1970. The purpose of the office is to receive and investigate complaints. Anyone—students, faculty, administrators, or staff members—may request the service.
The Ombudsperson has no official authority to impose a solution to a situation. Rather, it is his/her responsibility to look into the conditions that have caused someone to lodge a complaint in an effort to resolve the difficulty. Ombudsperson powers are restricted to those of inquiry and recommendation.
The Office of Ombudsperson is not a short cut for normal administrative processes or student-faculty relations. Requests for the service of the Ombudsperson usually occur when the normal bureaucratic process has failed to function properly and, therefore causes undue hardship to one or more members of the UNO community.
No person can be penalized in any way for seeking the assistance of an Ombudsperson, and all inquiries are considered confidential. Issues may include:
- Grievances with procedures
- Residency interpretations
- Inadequate or lack of communication
No problem is considered too small or insignificant for consideration by an Ombudsperson. The Ombudsperson is typically able to suggest a procedure for pursuing a remedy within the system. However, if no procedure is available or is inadequate, the Ombudsperson can provide assistance by making recommendations to appropriate administration offices for resolution in other matters.
Although the Ombudsperson cannot ensure that everything sought or requested by an inquirer will or should be granted, she/he will try to assure that a fair resolution of a dispute or problem is found, if possible.
The Ombudsperson reports directly to the Assistant to the Chancellor. The Ombudsperson is not considered a part of the administration, but is independent. She/he does work, however, through the administrative processes that have been established in attempting to cut red tape and to provide assistance in obtaining equity to all who bring a grievance to the Ombudsperson's attention.
Shereen Bingham, Ph.D.
Athletic Certification Specialist