What is an Ombuds?

An ombuds is someone who helps people and groups resolve conflicts. As implemented at UNLV, the Ombuds serves as a designated neutral who facilitates the informal resolution of concerns and conflicts.

What does the Ombuds do?

The Ombuds seeks to resolve conflicts, first and foremost, by listening and remaining neutral. The Ombuds may help parties reconsider or reframe an issue, may suggest formal avenues of conflict resolution, may bring issues to the attention of campus leadership, or identify opportunities for systemic change. The Ombuds may make suggestions on how individuals can better give voice to their concerns.

As a mediator, the Ombuds and those conducting mediation services under the authority of the Ombuds Office provide a place for parties with a conflict to explore solutions in a voluntary, informal process.

Specifically, the Ombuds can:

  • Listen to your concerns
  • Help your analyze and understand problems
  • Help you evaluate your options
  • Clarify NSHE, UNLV policies
  • Discuss informal conflict resolution strategies
  • Coordinate structured, voluntary mediationxx
  • If appropriate, refer you to other campus resources

What does the Ombuds not do?

  • Accept notice of claims against the university
  • Decide who is right or wrong in a dispute
  • Advocate for you personally
  • Overrule decisions made by administrators, supervisors, or managers
  • Investigate wrongdoings
  • Punish or recommend punishments
  • Add to, alter, or delete any federal, NSHE, UNLV, or unit policies and regulations

Is the Ombuds Confidential?

Any communication with the Ombuds is considered confidential to the extent permitted by law. No one will disclose, without your express permission, that you contacted the office or the content of your communication.

Both UNLV and those bringing their concerns to the Ombuds agree at the outset that they will not ask the Ombuds to testify in any internal or external proceeding.

Because communications to the Ombuds are confidential, any information disclosed to the Ombuds does not constitute notice to UNLV of any potential claims.