INDEPENDENCE: The Faculty Ombuds Officer is independent in structure, function, and appearance to the highest degree possible within the organization.
NEUTRALITY AND IMPARTIALITY: The Faculty Ombuds Officer, as a designated neutral, remains unaligned and impartial. The Faculty Ombuds Officer does not engage in any situation which could create a conflict of interest.
CONFIDENTIALITY: The Faculty Ombuds Officer holds all communications with those seeking assistance in strict confidence, and does not disclose identities of those seeking assistance or confidential communications, unless given permission to do so. The only exception to this privilege of confidentiality is where there appears to be imminent risk of serious harm.
INFORMALITY: The Faculty Ombuds Officer, as an informal resource, does not participate in any formal adjudicative or administrative procedure related to concerns brought to her / his attention.
The Faculty Ombuds Officer will function as a confidential, neutral resource for faculty to raise and clarify issues and concerns, identify options, and request assistance to informally resolve workplace conflicts. When informal resolution of conflicts fail, or when informal resolution is not advisable, the Ombuds Officer will counsel faculty members regarding their options for formal action and direct them to the appropriate university rules, resources, and offices.
The Faculty Ombuds Officer will inform the Provost and the Executive Committee of the Faculty Senate of the type, volume and severity of the conflicts and issues she or he observes and those brought to her / his attention. This information will be useful in guiding policy decision‐making for the continual improvement of fairness, equity, and respect at Texas A & M International University.
Faculty will be able to seek guidance regarding concerns at any time, without fear of reprisal. The Faculty Ombuds Officer will hear individual or broader systemic faculty concerns confidentially. Whereas the response of the ombuds officer will be tailored to the dynamics of the situation and the nature of the concerns, generally the ombuds officer’s role will be to assist parties in reaching informal resolutions that are consistent with the rules and policies of the university. The ombuds officer may supplement, but not replace or interfere with, formal processes available to the university community. The ombuds officer does not serve notice to the University, cannot impose remedies or sanctions, or enforce or change any policy, rule, or procedure. However, the ombuds officer may serve as a communication resource and catalyst for institutional change for the university by reporting trends and identifying opportunities to enhance policies and procedures.
More specifically, the Faculty Ombuds Officer will: