How We Can Help

The Ombuds Can

  • Listen carefully to your concerns
  • Offer information about Northeastern University policies and procedures
  • Help you to explore and evaluate options when you are unsure how to proceed
  • Refer you to appropriate university resources
  • Coach you in preparation for a difficult conversation
  • Look into a concern with your permission, by gathering information or talking with other parties
  • Engage in shuttle diplomacy to facilitate productive communication
  • Conduct informal mediation to resolve issues constructively
  • Facilitate discussions for teams or groups
  • Give feedback to the University about systemic issues

The Ombuds Cannot

  • Make decisions for others
  • Make, change, or set aside policies
  • Provide legal advice or psychological counseling
  • Serve as agent of notice for Northeastern
  • Take sides in any dispute
  • Participate in formal adjudicative or investigative processes

Topics You May Want to Discuss:

  • Interpersonal conflicts
  • Communication difficulties
  • Institutional delays/non-responsiveness
  • Career advancement, security, or satisfaction
  • Access to resources
  • Incivility or rudeness
  • Untangling a complicated situation
  • Planning to seek or make an apology
  • Academic freedom
  • Balancing work and family
  • Potential conflicts of interest
  • Concerns about a colleague
  • Workplace harassment
  • Ethical dilemmas
  • Disciplinary actions
  • Cultural misunderstandings
  • Whether to file a formal grievance
  • Anything else that is affecting you at work