How the Ombuds Can Help

The ombuds can:

  • Listen to your concerns without passing judgment
  • Offer information about Northeastern’s policies and procedures
  • Discuss and clarify your issues
  • Help identify and evaluate various options to address concerns
  • Make referrals to other campus resources
  • Coach you on how to deal with a problem yourself
  • Mediate a dispute or facilitate communication among people in conflict
  • Conduct workshops related to conflict management
  • Facilitate meetings
  • Track perceived issues for trends without identifying anyone
  • Recommend changes to University policies or practices

The ombuds cannot:

  • Make decisions or findings of fact
  • Conduct investigations
  • Serve as a witness or advocate for any individual
  • Establish, change or set aside policies
  • Give legal advice
  • Provide psychological counseling
  • Participate in formal grievance or complaint proceedings
  • Serve as an agent of notice for Northeastern

The ombuds also does not handle crisis and violent situations. In an emergency, call the Campus Police at (773) 442-5511. For a non-emergency, call (773) 442-4100. For a non-emergency concern about an individual that is unduly disruptive or displays behavior that may be intimidating or threatening to others or behaves in ways that signal other kinds of distress, you can contact the Behavioral Concerns Team (BCT) at

Topics You May Want to Discuss

  • Interpersonal issues with colleagues, supervisors and direct reports
  • Preparing for a difficult conversation
  • Untangling a complicated situation
  • Ethical dilemmas
  • Health and safety issues
  • Harassment or discrimination
  • Career questions
  • Incivility and rudeness
  • Compensation and benefits
  • Pros and cons of an upcoming decision
  • Departmental and interdepartmental conflicts
  • University policies or procedures
  • Organizational leadership and management
  • Fear of retaliation
  • Sensitive issue requiring an outside listener
  • Seeking a reality check
  • Other workplace concerns