Ombudspersons

Purpose of the University Ombudspersons

The University ombudspersons facilitate understanding, communication and resolution of conflict among students, faculty and staff. The office serves as an impartial and confidential means of facilitating dialogue between parties on campus and as a means, apart from formal grievance procedures, of resolving differences. The office was established as part of the University’s Christian commitment to foster a courteous and considerate climate conducive to productivity and wellbeing for the University community.

The ombudspersons work independently from University administrative offices. Discussing a matter with an ombudsperson is confidential to the extent allowed by law and does not constitute notice to the University.

What an Ombudsperson May Do

  • Help resolve problems and conflicts, especially those not being adequately addressed through other channels
  • Provide informal services outside the usual review and/or appeal procedures
  • Take a nonaligned role when hearing about a problem, remaining independent and impartial
  • Recommend changes in University policies or procedures

How an Ombudsperson Can Help You

  • By listening carefully to your concerns
  • By helping analyze the situation
  • By identifying and explaining relevant University policies, procedures and problem-solving channels
  • By helping you to explore options
  • By looking into a concern, including talking with involved parties with your permission
  • By identifying other University programs and resources that might be helpful
  • By providing a safe and confidential setting where individuals feel respected and where they can be candid and forthright

When to Contact an Ombudsperson

In most cases, the ombudsperson should be contacted after you have exhausted normal University procedures for resolving issues and:

  • You want to discuss a sensitive issue in confidence
  • You want help and are unsure of where or what options are open to you
  • You have a situation requiring help with communication or negotiation
  • You are unsure which policies, procedures or regulations apply in your situation
  • You believe a policy, procedure or regulation has been applied unfairly or erroneously to you

When an Ombudsperson Does Not Get Involved

  • You want legal advice or legal representation
  • You have a non-University related disagreement or problem
  • You want to file a grievance or make a formal complaint
  • You want someone to represent you in formal University procedures

 

Contact the ombudspersons

Elynda Bedney
bedney@andrews.edu
269-471-6040

 
Walt Williams

David Sedlacek
sedlacek@andrews.edu
269-471-6375