What Will Happen When You Call, Email or Visit
I will listen to your concerns or suggestions and will brainstorm issues, options, and possible outcomes with you. You may decide that you would like just to think things over. You may decide to handle a concern on your own or you might ask me to make an informal inquiry about the issue of concern. If I agree to make an inquiry, I will discuss with you whether this seems like an effective option.
I can serve as shuttle diplomat or informal mediator. I can help you bring information to the attention of appropriate individuals. I would be happy to talk with you about Brown University policies, to refer you to relevant line and staff managers and to discuss formal options for resolving complaints. I keep no permanent written records of confidential communications.
The Brown Ombudsperson will not answer questions about you or anyone with whom I may have spoken. I will not disclose an individual’s name or specific issue with anyone outside of the Ombuds Office, unless during the course of our discussions, you give me permission to do so for the purpose of informal conflict resolution, and if the Ombuds also agrees to attempt informal resolution. The only exception to this pledge of confidentiality is in the very unusual circumstances, such as a court order, or where the ombudsperson believes that disclosure is necessary to address an imminent risk of serious harm, and all other options appear to have been exhausted, in those situations information may need to be shared.
The office is open during business hours, however please make an appointment to see me either by calling 401.863.6145 or by email at email@example.com at any time. Messages are checked regularly. You may provide information, and also tell me how to reach you, or you may choose to remain anonymous. You may make a telephone appointment or you may meet in person. If you would like an appointment, and I am not immediately available, please leave a message and I will contact you as soon as possible. Ordinarily I can schedule an appointment within 48 hours. If you wish to remain anonymous, suggest a few times that you might call or drop by, and I will try to be in the office at those times.
The Brown University Ombudsperson does not conduct formal investigations, adjudicate, arbitrate, or serve as witnesses in any administrative or legal proceedings either at Brown or elsewhere. As a matter of policy, Brown does not call the Brown Ombudsperson to disclose confidential communications or to serve as witnesses.
Since the Office is made available to Brown faculty, postdocs, staff and graduate students as a purely voluntary and “alternate” channel of communication, those people who use the program also will be considered to have agreed to abide by these principles of confidentiality. Accordingly, it is inappropriate for anyone to seek to compel an Ombuds to disclose confidential communications. See also Principles.