The UWM Ombuds Council is trained to assist members of our campus community. We are a confidential, informal, impartial, and independent resource for staff, faculty, graduate students, and administrators at UWM. We offer individual consultations, facilitated discussions, focus groups, shuttle diplomacy, and more. We may also identify trends and challenges and can make recommendations for change in University policy or practice when appropriate. However, we are not decision makers. We do not have the power to establish, change, or set aside any University rules, policies, or management decisions.
A visitor can expect that an Ombuds will
- Describe the four foundational principles of an Ombuds
- Listen to the issue or concern
- Provide a neutral perspective
- Help brainstorm various options to consider
- Help develop and weigh strategies to address concerns
- Identify relevant policies and resources that might be helpful
- Offer conflict management and coaching strategies as you explore next steps
- Provide an avenue for informal resolution
- Keep all communication confidential
Facilitated Discussions and Shuttle Diplomacy
The Ombuds Council can assist in difficult conversations by working with two or more participants, either meeting together to facilitate discussion or, with permission, going on behalf of visitors to others (shuttle diplomacy) to help facilitate communication. All interactions are confidential and adhere to the Ombuds standards of practice.
The Ombuds Council can assist Departments and Units in surveying members to assess work-related climate issues and in delivering the results.
Conflict and Communication Coaching
The Ombuds Council can share conflict models, communication strategies, and coaching techniques to assist individuals and groups in addressing issues and concerns.
Conflict Management Presentations
The Ombuds Council can provide presentations to Departments, Units, Administrators or any other group that would like to develop a more robust program of conflict reduction.
What We Don’t Do
- Make decisions for anyone
- Offer legal advice
- Offer psychological counseling
- Participate in the Universityâ€™s grievance process or any other formal process
- Keep records
- Testify in any judicial or administrative proceeding, unless required by law after reasonable efforts have been made to maintain independence
- Serve as a place to put the University on notice of claims
- Serve as an advocate for any individual or entity
- Address issues involving persons not part of the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee
- Have the power to establish, change, or set aside any University rule or policy