The Office of the Ombudsman is an informal resource that is confidential, impartial and independent. The office was established at UCI in 1978 and has been serving the campus community since. The purpose of the ombudsman is to assist students in resolving complaints, problems or concerns at the appropriate level. The office also serves to educate and inform students of their rights and how policies and procedures work when they need to make informed decisions.
The Office of the Ombudsman is also a resource for parents who have questions or need help in navigating the many administrative processes and the informational network governing the university. The ombudsman’s office is here to serve you and your student and in supporting their academic and personal success.
The Office of the Ombudsman provides students a safe place to disclose and discuss their concerns, complaints or problems in confidence. Students decide if and how they would like the Office of the Ombudsman to help them. Only with their permission does our office share or discuss with a third party what was discussed. This confidential process enables students to have an honest and relevant conversation with an ombudsman.
The Office of the Ombudsman is most effective in resolving problems when all parties are treated impartially. The ombudsman’s role is to understand all parties’ relevant interests, and to facilitate a process that will help them resolve the problem informally. The benefits of informal resolutions save time, sometimes money and preserves relationships. The office does not represent the university or takes sides with either party that we serve. However, the ombudsman is an advocate for fairness and equity.
The Office of the Ombudsman reports directly to the Offices of the Chancellor and Executive Vice Chancellor & Provost. At the discretion of the ombudsman, a matter can be elevated to either of these offices, or designated decision maker if it is deemed that an informal resolution best serves all parties concerned. In some cases, the ombudsman may refer a case to be handled through the university’s formal channels for resolution.
As in any large institution, questions, problems, concerns or complaints may arise. If you have questions, please contact our office at (949) 824-7256.
For more information about the Office of the Ombudsman, please visit www.ombuds.uci.edu.
— J. Michael Chennault, University Ombudsman