Purpose and Scope of Services

All faculty, staff and learners are welcome to talk with the Ombuds about any concern relating to their experience and well-being at OHSU. For common topics and to learn what the Ombuds does, go to When to See the Ombuds

Formal Resources: All members of the OHSU community have defined rights and responsibilities that are governed by official policy and procedures.

Informal Resources: The Ombuds duties are guided by the principles of informality, neutrality, independence and confidentiality, and is not embedded in OHSU official policy and procedure.

Choosing whether and/or when to take a formal vs. an informal route is an important consideration. Below are some advantages and disadvantages.

Formal reporting advantages

  • Due process rights and procedures are proscribed by policy
  • Timelines are defined by policy
  • Definitive judgment of guilty/not guilty is a possible outcome
  • Paper trails are created that demonstrate what has occurred
  • For the institution, repeat offenders can be tracked

Formal reporting disadvantages

  • Process is out of disputants' control
  • Can be more time-consuming
  • Potentially embarrassing as information is less or not confidential
  • Requires written documentation
  • Does not work well when evidence is lacking

Informal reporting advantages

  • Process stays in disputants' control
  • Confidentiality is easier to maintain
  • Avoiding formal procedures may be motivating to parties
  • Can result in better communication between the parties
  • Does not require any proof

Informal reporting disadvantages

  • Official discipline is not going to be an outcome
  • No paper trail – the Ombuds does not keep records
  • Due process is not guaranteed
  • Timetables are not proscribed
  • For the institution, repeat offenders cannot be tracked