Role of the Ombudsperson
om·buds·man /ˈämbədzmən/ (noun): From old Swedish, an official appointed to provide safe, confidential conversation and advice in order to help resolve conflict.
The role of the Ombudsperson is similar to that of the Conduct Support Specialist however, the Ombudsperson is a member of the Washington and Jefferson Faculty who meets with students who wish to discuss possible infractions to the Academic Code of Conduct. The Ombudsperson serves as a source for objective and confidential discussions about the process of adjudicating academic misconduct.
This person is appointed by the Vice President of Student Life in consultation with the Vice President of Academic Affairs. The Ombudsperson is informed of all changes to the Student Code of Conduct and is invited to attend all hearing training sessions. The Ombudsperson generally serves a one year term and is appointed by the Vice President and Dean of Student Life. The Vice President and Dean of Student Life may appoint additional Ombudspersons under the following circumstances:
- Administrative necessity, such as when the sitting Ombudsperson is unavailable to serve, when multiple parties in a conflict seek the resources of an Ombudsperson, or when the case itself presents a conflict of interest for the sitting Ombudsperson.
- In instances in which a student requests that a particular faculty or staff member serve in this role, or when the Vice President and Dean of Student Life believes another faculty or staff member may be well suited to address the unique needs of the student(s) seeking help (such as issues of cultural understanding and cultural difference involving international students, for example).
The Ombudsperson at Washington & Jefferson College pledges to abide by the Code of Ethics of the International Ombudsman Association.