If you find yourself asking any of the following questions, the Ombuds office is here to help:

  • Can they do that?
  • Who do I talk to?
  • I’m lost in the bureaucracy.
  • Am I misreading the situation?
  • What are my options?
Responses vary for our unique visitors’ individual situation and informed consent, so we may:

  • Listen, which may be all you want
  • Offer information about Marshall University policies and procedures
  • Discuss concerns and clarify issues
  • Help identify and evaluate a range of options for resolving a problem
  • Gather information and offer referrals to other resources
  • Offer coaching, for example, to prepare for a difficult conversation
  • Facilitate communication
  • Work for collaborative agreements through mediation
  • Track perceived issues and trends
  • Make recommendations for institutional improvements
Yes, you are welcome to email the Ombuds Office, but please note that email communications are not considered confidential and are subject to records requests.
We will try our best to assist you, but there are some things we do not do:

  • Make decisions or findings of fact
  • Establish, change, or set aside policies
  • Offer legal advice
  • Offer psychological counseling
  • Participate in grievances or other formal processes
  • Serve as an agent of notice for the University
  • Serve as an advocate for any individual, department or agenda

The Office of the Ombuds is not authorized to accept notice of allegations of violations of law or other formal complaints. No employee or other University constituent may compel the Office of the Ombuds to disclose information. By electing to utilize the voluntary services offered by the Office of the Ombuds, visitors agree to abide by its confidentiality standard of practice and terms of use, including never seeking to compel the Office of the Ombuds to disclose any information received as part of providing ombuds services in any other forum, including a formal grievance or lawsuit.

Confidentiality cannot be promised in matters relating to threats to public safety, child abuse, if there is an imminent risk of serious harm, if the matter is required to be reported pursuant to Title IX regulations, as otherwise may be required by law or if compelled by a court of law.

Speaking with an Ombuds does not constitute legal notice to the University of any problem, concern or complaint. You must pursue alternative complaint avenues if you wish to obligate the University to respond in any way. The Ombuds has no duty or responsibility to report incidents to any person or authority, other than as described above.