The ombuds can provide support and guidance to help you decide how you want to handle a question, conflict or concern.

You may want to consider a visit to the Ombuds Office if you are a student, resident, fellow, postdoctoral scholar, faculty or staff member or administrator dealing with a question, concern or conflict and:

  • You need someone to listen.
  • You would like to have a discussion about your concern that is confidential, informal and off the record.
  • You would like to explore or consider options, including whether you would like to make an ‘on the record’ report.
  • You want help to solve a conflict or dispute.
  • You would like to explore various options or alternatives for resolving a problem or conflict, including, but not limited to, mediation or ‘shuttle diplomacy’.
  • You would like to learn methods and strategies to resolve, diffuse or deescalate conflict.
  • You think it might be helpful to have a neutral third party assist you with working through an issue with a colleague, supervisor or other individual.
  • You are unsure of Baylor policy or you believe a policy, procedure or rule has been applied unfairly and you would like to discuss this in an informal, confidential environment.
  • You think you have been treated unfairly, harassed or discriminated against and would like to pursue an informal, independent, confidential, neutral and impartial method of discussing this.

Is the Ombuds Office the Right Resource for You?

The ombuds is available to confidentially listen to any concerns affecting your work or studies at the College and help you explore options for addressing and resolving your concerns.

Use of the Ombuds Office is completely voluntary.

Baylor College of Medicine policy (Baylor login required) prohibits retaliation against any member of the College community (e.g. students, trainees, faculty, staff and/or administration) who chooses to utilize the Ombuds Office.

The Ombuds Office teaches negotiation and problem solving strategies and techniques. The ombuds does not accept formal complaints or notice for Baylor College of Medicine.

Confidentiality

Communications with the Ombuds Office are confidential and privileged. The ombuds does not disclose visitor’s names or identifying information unless the visitor asks the ombuds to share such information. If a visitor asks the ombuds to share this type of confidential information, the ombuds will discuss this with the visitor and will only share such information if both the visitor and the ombuds agree that it would be appropriate to share such information with others. The ombudsman holds all communications with those seeking assistance in strict confidence, and does not disclose 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, and where there is no other reasonable option.

The Ombuds Office does not keep records of confidential communications. Permanent records kept by the Ombuds Office include only de-identified statistical information maintained for data reporting purposes. Records might include whether the visitor was faculty, staff, student, or trainee and the general type of issue, such as ‘peer and colleague relationships’, ‘values, ethics, standards’, ‘career progression and development’, ‘evaluative relationships’ or other such anonymized categories of information. Record keeping may include the type information listed in the International Ombudsman Association Uniform Reporting Categories.