All conversations with the Ombuds are voluntary, considered informal, off-the-record, and do not put Northeastern Illinois University on notice of a problem. This also means that the Ombuds does not keep permanent records for the University or participate in formal grievances or complaints. There may be times when the Ombuds takes notes, but the notes are shredded when the Ombuds is finished working with you if not before.
The Ombuds does not have a stake in the outcome of any situation, take sides in a conflict nor make any decisions. The advantage of being impartial is that it may help the Ombuds objectively present information for your situation that may be missed if the Ombuds is focused on advocacy for you. The Ombuds, however, can act as an advocate for a fair process.
The Ombuds has sole discretion on managing the day to day operations of the Ombuds Office and over how to act regarding individual matters or systemic concerns. Reporting directly to the President for administrative purposes only, the Ombuds operates outside the primary University structure. This allows the Ombuds to work free from pressure or influence that could interfere with addressing your concerns. Unless given permission by a visitor or if one of the narrow exceptions to confidentiality stated above applies, the Ombuds does not discuss individual cases with anyone including the President.
By talking with the Ombuds, you and the Ombuds agree that the Ombuds will not disclose or keep records of individually identifiable information; the Ombuds will not testify or participate in any formal proceeding; communications with the Ombuds are privileged, and this privilege is held by the Ombuds and cannot be waived by others; and that no communication with the Ombuds constitutes official notice to NEIU. This agreement fosters confidentiality and helps provide a safe and neutral place for discussing any concern.