A. Mission Statement
1. To provide
impartial, independent, confidential and informal dispute
management and resolution resources for members of the
2. To identify
and make recommendations to address systemic issues
and problematic university policies and procedures that
are causing or may cause conflict.
3 To advocate
for fair process, an equitable and positive campus climate
4. The RIT Ombudsperson
and staff of the Ombuds Office are guided by the International
Ombudsman Association's Standards of Practice and Code
The RIT Ombudsperson
is a designated neutral and resource person whose services
are available to any member of the RIT community. The
principal responsibilities and functions of the Ombudsperson
- Serve as an impartial, independent, informal and
confidential conflict management resource for any
members of the RIT Community, including faculty, staff,
- Facilitate various dispute resolution processes,
such as information gathering, informal mediation,
negotiation, coaching, problem solving, etc.
- Serve as a central resource to provide information
or guidance to Community members on issues of policy,
referral, or other matters.
- Identify problematic and/or recurring issues, policies
and procedures and bring those to the attention of
those who are authorized to resolve them.
- Advocate for fair process in the context of a specific
situation or case.
- Advocate for a fair, equitable and positive campus
climate and community.
- Report annually to the RIT community on the activities
of the Ombuds Office, or as needed.
- Have administrative decision-making authority, nor
the authority to determine guilt or innocence in any
- Serve as advocate for any party or position in
- Conduct formal investigations.
- Act as a witness, participate or testify in any
formal grievance, process or legal proceeding.
- Fill other university roles that could create conflicts
of interest in maintaining his/her neutral position.
- Provide legal advice or psychological counseling,
but can refer visitors to on- and off-campus resources.
- Maintain any official records related to a case
or the identity of a Community member using the Office.
The Ombudsperson may maintain statistical data for
use in reports and providing feedback.
- Violate confidentiality except when there is imminent
threat to harm one's self or other persons.
scope of service is limited to informal means of conflict
resolution. Communication with the Ombudsperson does
not constitute formal organizational notification to
RIT of alleged violations of policies, procedures or
laws. The Ombudsperson can assist Community members
to explore avenues for resolution including offices
where formal notification can occur.
will have access to all members of the university community
and all university records and reports (with the exception
of medical, psychiatric and psychological records which
will be released only upon a written release signed
by the individual whose records are requested).
will have access to external, independent expertise
will administratively report to the President of RIT.
Staff of the Ombuds Office
The Ombuds Office
includes a full-time Ombudsperson and a full-time staff
assistant. Additional personnel may be added at any
Ombuds Office Advisory Board
Role and Responsibilities
Office Advisory Board assists and advises the Ombudsperson
on matters such as marketing, training, staffing and
other non-confidential activities that support the Office
in the delivery of services. The Board meets at least
once each quarter and upon the request of the Ombudsperson.
of the Board
The President will establish the Ombuds Office Advisory
Composition and Term of Appointment
Board includes the following members of the RIT Community:
- One tenured faculty member appointed by Academic
- One non-tenured faculty member appointed by Academic
- One exempt staff member appointed by Staff Council
- One non-exempt staff member appointed by Staff
- One academic administrator appointed by Academic
- One non-academic administrator appointed by Administrative
- Three students appointed by Student Government
- Ad-hoc members may be added as needed
and administrator Board members serve a two-year term,
but may be reappointed for a second two-year term, at
the discretion of the individual, Ombudsperson, board
chairperson and appointing governance group. Student
Board members serve a one-year term but may serve an
additional one-year term at the discretion of the student,
Student Government, the board chairperson and Ombudsperson.
Typically, ad-hoc members serve up to a one-year term.
One member of
the Board will serve as chairperson of the Advisory
Board. The chairperson will be selected by the membership
of the Board and serve a one-year term. The chair is
eligible for reelection unless his/her term as a Board
member has expired.
Each year the
board chairperson will notify the President, Provost,
Chair of the Academic Senate, Chair of Staff Council
and President of Student Government of the Board members
whose terms of appointment have expired and request
that new appointments be made.
Last revised May 9, 2007