Confidentiality: In Depth

The campus ombuds is firmly committed to maintaining the confidentiality of those who use our services.

The ombuds will not confirm communicating with you or disclose any confidential information without your express permission. However, the ombuds may disclose confidential information if she determines there is an imminent risk of physical harm. This determination is made at the sole discretion of the office. The ombuds will not participate in any internal or external formal process, including grievances or lawsuits. You cannot request confidentiality to be "waived" because the privilege of confidentiality belongs to the office.

The Office of Ombuds Services does not keep records other than aggregate statistical summaries. Case notes are retained only until the matter is resolved as determined by the office and then they are shredded.

An exception to the office's assurance of confidentiality occurs on the rare occasion when the ombuds determines there appears to be imminent risk of serious harm and no other reasonable course of action exists.

Off the Record

All conversations with the Office of Ombuds Services are confidential and off the record. Providing us with information does not constitute official notice to the university about problems or policy violations, nor is communicating with us considered a step in any grievance process. If you wish to put the university "on notice" (that is, to make the university formally aware of a particular problem and request a response to it) we can provide you with information on how to do so.