What are the ombuds and what do they do for you?
Throughout the Eberly College of Science, familiar contacts or 'ombuds-persons', that an individual can seek and talk to have bee designated. This system has proven to be very successful in providing help in addressing sensitive departmental issues.
Three ombuds, proven to be approachable and trustworthy, have been appointed in our department. They have undergone a training session, conducted by the head of Eberly College of Science's human resources, to review the basic guidelines.
Apart from the BMB ombuds, one may choose to meet any of the Eberly College of Science ombuds*, in case consulting someone outside the department makes more sense to the individual.
The function of the ombuds is to provide a safe and informal environment for individuals to discuss problems and issues outside of formal channels. Any issue may be brought to the attention of the ombuds. The ombud? can help develop strategies , clarify interests and goals , and identify other resources at the university that may be available to assist in certain situations. It is also important to note that speaking to the ombuds does not constitute notice to the university.
The ombuds do not have the power to change rules or polices ; and will disclose only information that they is required to as mandated reporters (crimes , harassment). They are there to help identify options and strategies available to the individual.
These positions complement the HR office to provide an environment that encourages the use of multiple options to resolve issues and increase communication . The ombuds can serve as a first contact in the resolution of intradepartmental issues. If at any time you feel that you cannot go to the ombuds feel free to contact the HR office with any and all issues that you have .
Note that there is also a separate faculty ombuds program and a University ombudsperson who has more specific responsibilities.
Faculty disputes that cannot be resolved through normal channels of administrative responsibility and procedure may be taken to the University Faculty Senate Committee on Faculty Rights and Responsibilities. For further details about this procedure and about the duties of ombuds, see University Policy HR - 76 , "Faculty Rights and Responsibilities ."
*For other ombuds in Eberly College of Science: https://science.psu.edu/support -and-resources /ombuds