About the Office

The Student Ombuds Office is a confidential, impartial, independent and informal resource for students who wish to share concerns, seek advice and raise questions or complaints about any aspect of their college experience.

What is a Student Ombuds Office?

The name ombuds, ombudsman or ombudsperson means representative. A student ombuds supports students in the resolution of conflicts or concerns. The fundamental duties of a student ombuds are to:

  • Provide confidential, impartial, informal and independent assistance to students who have concerns, are facing conflicts or have complaints.
  • Spot trends or systemic problems within the institution that impact students and share these issues with institutional decision-makers for resolution.

Principles of the Office

The Student Ombuds Office operates with the highest professional standards and embraces the Code of Ethics and Standards of Practice of the International Ombuds Association (IOA). The cornerstone principles as described by IOA include:

Confidentiality

The Student Ombuds Office is a confidential space available to all students of the UT Dallas community. With the students’ consent, the Student Ombuds may reach out to individuals within the university whose assistance may help in reaching a resolution to a concern or conflict. The Student Ombuds safeguards the privacy and identity of students seeking assistance and does not disclose confidential communications, except:

  • When given permission to do so.
  • In the case of sexual misconduct, the Student Ombuds Office reports the incident and discloses personally identifiable information.
  • As required by law or university policy.
  • When, in the judgment of the Student Ombuds, there appears to be imminent risk of serious harm.

Neutrality and Impartiality

The Student Ombuds Office remains unaligned and impartial during discussions with students, and when possible assists parties in reaching mutually acceptable agreements that are equitable, fair and in compliance with the policies and procedures of UT Dallas.

Informality

The office does not engage in any formal adjudicative or administrative processes or procedures. Students employ the services of the office on a voluntary basis and are not required to seek services as part of any formal grievance process or procedure. In fact, students may seek the services of the office for informal resolution prior to engaging formal avenues.

Independence

The Student Ombuds Office reports to the vice president for Student Affairs for administrative and budgetary purposes, and the office does not take part in any formal complaint processes.