The Ombuds Officer will:

  • Listen to complaints and review/discuss conflicts.
  • Help individuals candidly discuss issues and explore options.
  • Open channels of communication.
  • Serve as a neutral third party in conflict resolution.
  • Work to achieve fair and equitable solutions to problems.
  • Make referrals to appropriate University resources, so that you can go directly to the person who can best address your concerns.
  • Suggest approaches for addressing and managing conflict.
  • Collaborate with other University offices (when appropriate) on issues of general concern.
  • Help obtain interpretations/clarification of University policies.

When a member of the Stockton community contacts the ombuds office, a consultation is typically scheduled to discuss the issue(s) in detail. During the consultation, the community member may:

  • Discuss the problem in confidence with an impartial person,
  • Inquire about policies, procedures, rules, regulations and resources,
  • Plan a strategy for dealing with the problem by reviewing all options and alternatives,
  • If appropriate, get a referral to other University Offices (Office of Institutional Diversity & Equity, Office of Human Resources, Care & Community Standards Office, Employee Assistance Program, Office of General Counsel, etc.) that may be better suited to provide assistance.
  • Problem Solving generally consists of a trained individual working with a person who requests individual assistance with a problem. Problem-solvers may help to clarify the problem, provide needed information and referrals, and assist in identifying options and developing a plan to solve the concern.
  • Meeting Facilitation is the art of making things easier for the parties in conflict. By managing the process and structure of complex problem-solving sessions, a facilitator allows participants to fully focus on the problem itself.

Mediation, sometimes referred to as Conflict Mediation, is a common form of Alternative Dispute Resolution (ADR) in which a trained, neutral person, called a mediator, facilitates communication and assists with negotiations between parties to resolve the problems/issues and promote understanding, reconciliation, and settlement. Mediation is a voluntary, flexible, supportive, and non-adversarial process with the only objective being to assist the parties with crafting/reaching a mutually acceptable agreement or settlement. It is not intended to replace other more formal processes for dispute resolution, but rather is intended to facilitate constructive dialogue.

Please note that cases which involve threat of harm to self or others, use of illegal substances on campus, disclosure of illegal activity, or reports of child, physical, or sexual abuse cannot be mediated through the Ombuds Office. Sexual misconduct cases may be eligible for mediation provided all parties voluntarily agree to participate and it does not  involve a full investigation and/or adjudication. If such information is disclosed during a mediation, it will be referred to OEOIC, Care & Community Standards, HR, and/or Campus Police for follow up.

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Coaching can be defined as the objective utilization of a set of skills and strategies designed to support peoples' ability to engage in, manage, and/or productively resolve conflict. 

Typically, involves directing the matter to a separate, more appropriate resource that is better suited/equipped to address the matter.

The Ombuds Office expects to offer workshops to educate about conflict resolution principles, theories and skills and is available to consult on matters of professional development self-identified by employees.