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The Office of the Ombuds was established at the University of California, Merced in 2012 by Chancellor Dorothy Leland. Deidre (De) Acker was appointed as UC Merced's first campus ombuds on July 16, 2012.

The campus ombuds position was created to serve as an alternative resource, providing confidential, neutral, informal and independent dispute resolution and mediation services to the campus community. The mission of the office is to ensure that members of the university community receive fair and equitable treatment by supplementing -- not replacing -- existing university resources for conflict resolution. The office also serves as a campus resource for senior officials in the formulation of policy and procedures, raising issues that may surface as a result of a discrepancy between the stated goals of the university and actual practice.

The ombuds may make recommendations for review or changes when university policies or procedures generate trends or patterns in conflicts and concerns.