How the Ombuds Office Can Help

The Ombuds Can

  • Serve as a confidential sounding board
  • Help you explore and evaluate options when you are unsure how to proceed
  • Connect you to appropriate university resources
  • Coach you in preparation for a difficult or sensitive conversation
  • Help you find information about Northeastern University policies and procedures
  • Look into a concern with your permission
  • Engage in shuttle diplomacy to facilitate productive communication
  • Conduct informal mediation to address 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 or administrative decisions
  • Provide legal advice or psychological counseling
  • Serve as agent of notice for Northeastern
  • Take sides in any dispute
  • Be made part of any disciplinary process
  • Participate in formal adjudicative or investigative processes

Topics You May Want to Discuss:

  • Interpersonal conflicts or tensions
  • Communication difficulties
  • Questions or issues about University policy
  • Diversity, equity, and inclusion concerns
  • Institutional delays/non-responsiveness
  • Restructuring or reorganization
  • Career advancement, security, or satisfaction
  • Tenure-related concerns
  • Access to resources or physical space
  • Seeking or making an apology
  • Academic freedom
  • Work-related stress and workload
  • Potential conflicts of interest
  • Concerns about a colleague
  • Workplace harassment, bullying, or retaliation
  • Ethical dilemmas or inappropriate behavior
  • Disciplinary actions
  • Environmental, health, or safety issues
  • Anything else that is affecting you at work