Pillars of Practice

The Ombuds Office adheres to the International Ombudsman Association Code of Ethics and Standards of Practice. These tenets require the Ombuds Office to be confidential, to function independently within the organization, to be neutral and to decline participation in formal processes. 

Confidentiality

The ombuds holds all communications with those seeking assistance in strict confidence. The ombuds does not disclose confidential communications unless given permission to do so by the visitor during the visit, and even then at the sole discretion of the ombuds.  The only exception to this pledge of confidentiality is where there appears to be an imminent risk of serious harm.

The ombuds will take specific action related to a visitor’s issue only with the visitor’s express permission and only to the extent permitted, unless such action can be taken in a way that safeguards the identity of the visitor.

The Ombuds Office asserts a privilege against compelled disclosure of confidential communications in legal proceedings. The privilege belongs to the ombuds and the Ombuds Office, rather than to any party to the issue. Thus, even with the permission of the visitor to the Ombuds Office, the Ombuds Office will not testify, attend or participate in formal proceedings.

Independence

The Ombuds Office reports to the Office of the Chancellor for administrative and budgetary purposes only. We do not provide the Chancellor or anyone else with personally identifying information concerning any visitor to the Ombuds Office, unless requested by the visitor and agreed to by the Ombuds Office.  The Ombuds Office has sole discretion over whether and how to deal with a case or systemic concerns.

Impartiality

The Ombuds Office helps to identify the rights, interests and perspectives of all parties, and does not take sides. The Ombuds Office is, however, an advocate for fair and equitable processes.

Informality

The Ombuds Office is an informal, off-the-record resource, and does not participate in any formal adjudicative or administrative proceedings, but will inform the visitor about the availability of formal procedures, if appropriate. Use of the Ombuds Office will be voluntary and not a required step in any grievance or UC Davis policy.

The IOA Standards delineate minimum standards, and the Ombuds Office shall strive to operate to "best practices" to serve the interest of the UC Davis community.  The Ombuds Office subscribes to the practices contained in the IOA Best Practices and to the 2006 Draft Declaration of Best Practices for University of California Ombuds Offices.