Welcome to the UC Davis Ombuds Office

Ombuds Office First Annual Report Now Available for Review

The Report contains basic demographics of the 267 users of UC Davis ombuds services from June 2013 to July 2014, as well as information concerning the nature of issues raised by users, and recommendations to address systemic issues observed by the Ombuds Office.  The most frequent concern of visitors to the Ombuds Office during the reporting period involved poor communication, disrespect (including bullying behaviors) and distrust with a person of higher institutional status.  The Ombuds Office provides recommendations in three areas of concern:  (1) abrasive behaviors and hierarchical relationships, (2) hiring and reclassification issues, and (3) institutional change issues.

Click on the "Annual Reports" tab above for details.

The UC Davis Ombuds Office is a confidential, independent, impartial, and informal problem-solving and conflict management resource for all members of the UC Davis campus community.  We provide a safe place to voice your concerns and explore options and strategies for dealing with your issues. It’s also our job to bring troublesome trends and systemic issues to the attention of those at the University who might be able to deal with them. We do this in a way that protects the confidentiality of all visitors to our office. The Ombuds Office has access to anyone at UC Davis, including the Chancellor.

As a designated neutral, the UC Davis Ombuds is not an advocate for any individual or office, but rather serves as an advocate for fair processes. The Ombuds Office is independent of all administrative and academic structures within the University.

Please review our Standards of Practice.

View the UC Davis Ombuds brochure (PDF).

News

  • The Office of the Ombuds is now staffed with two ombuds to better meet your problem solving and conflict management needs!  Rita Callahan is the newest addition to the Ombuds Office.   Rita joins the Office as Associate Ombuds after 6 years as an Organizational Conflict Resolution Practitioner in a large, unionized, complex organization in New York City.  For the 13 years prior, Rita worked as an independent consultant with organizations around the country to improve conflict management, communication, collaboration, leadership and organizational performance. She has assessed organizational climates in varied organizations, facilitated many small and large groups, trained thousands of people in conflict resolution, communication, collaboration, emotional intelligence, leadership, mediation, negotiation and related topics, mediated hundreds of workplace cases, and have coached leaders and employees.  Rita greatly increases the training capacity of the Ombuds Office.  Please call the Office if you would like to discuss how we might help you deal with your team communication and conflict management needs.
  • Although there are no laws in California to address abrasive behaviors (commonly called “bullying”) in the workplace, it appears that the California legislature is starting to understand that such behavior needs to be addressed.  Effective 1/1/15, California Government Code § 12950.1 requires employers who are required by California law to provide sexual harassment training (which includes all UC campuses), to now include prevention of “abusive conduct” as a component of the training and education. “Abusive conduct” is defined as:  “conduct of an employer or employee in the workplace, with malice, that a reasonable person would find hostile, offensive, and unrelated to an employer’s legitimate business interests. Abusive conduct may include repeated infliction of verbal abuse, such as the use of derogatory remarks, insults, and epithets, verbal or physical conduct that a reasonable person would find threatening, intimidating, or humiliating, or the gratuitous sabotage or undermining of a person’s work performance. A single act shall not constitute abusive conduct, unless especially severe and egregious.”  If you are dealing with abusive conduct in the workplace and would like to discuss your situation in a strictly confidential manner, please consider calling the Ombuds Office for an appointment.  As an confidential, off-the-record conflict resolution resource, the Ombuds Office does not handle formal investigations or complaints or provide notice to the institution about your concerns; however, the Ombuds Office will provide a safe space in which you may explore options (formal and informal) and develop strategies to deal with your situation.

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