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Office of the Ombuds
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University of California Santa Barbara

Consultation

The ombuds offers faculty a means of addressing conflicts, disputes, complaints and concerns in an immediate and professional way. The ombuds can assist with any work-related difficulties, including academic or administrative concerns as well as interpersonal misunderstandings or conflict. Discussions can help individuals identify options for fair and equitable outcomes.

Mediation

Mediation is a voluntary and informal process where two or more individuals come together to work out their differences with the help of an impartial mediator. Participants develop their own solutions to their conflict. The ombuds may also assist in direct communication or act as a shuttle diplomat or intermediary between individuals, with their permission. We usually meet with each person individually beforehand.

Facilitation

When the Office of the Ombuds facilitates a conversation, the ombuds manages the process of the meeting, allowing the group to focus on the core issues. The ombuds empowers participants and enables leaders to participate fully in the matter at hand. The ombuds is available at any stage of a discussion to help a department manage the conversation, whether a standard annual retreat or when dealing with difficult decisions or events.

Training

The Office of the Ombuds can provide a wide range of trainings to help a department improve communication and effectively address conflict. The ombuds also creates tailored trainings for departments depending on the request.