What We Do
When you meet with an Ombuds, the Ombuds will:
- Listen and ask questions to understand and help clarify your concerns.
- Provide information about policies and procedures that appear to be relevant.
- Help you to identify and assess your options, after which you decide the next step
Handle the Situation Yourself
A sizeable number of those who visit the Ombuds Office seek information and suggestions regarding how to handle a delicate situation. Ombudspersons serve as impartial sounding boards to assist those who desire an outsider’s views on what the visitor is thinking or planning. The Ombudsperson does not become directly involved in the situation and no one else need not know that the person ever approached the Ombuds Office for assistance.
Ombuds as Coach or Advisor
Ombudspersons will work to help you develop strategies you might use in handling your situation. The Ombuds is also able to help you learn and practice skills for communicating more effectively and negotiating win-win solutions. The Ombuds is available behind the scenes to advise you but essentially you will handle your own situation.
Ombuds as Diplomat, Negotiator, Communication Starter
If you want the Ombudsperson to help you by intervening in your situation, the Ombuds can open lines of communication and options for resolution by speaking first with you and then with another person or other persons. The Ombuds goes back and forth exploring perspectives and options for mutually-beneficial resolution.
Ombuds as Mediator
Instead of serving as the ‘voice’ between you and another, the Ombuds serves as mediation while you and another talk directly face-to-face in an effort to understand one another and search for mutually-beneficial resolutions.
Ombuds as Source of Referral
The Ombuds may refer you to other Institutional resources which may be useful to you in addressing your concerns. Referrals are sometimes made to the Employee Assistance Program, Trainee and Alumni Affairs, Faculty Affairs, Equal Employment Opportunity, your Human Resources Generalist, or your chain-of-command.
Ombuds as Facilitator
The Ombuds Office assists workgroups in having productive group discussions concerning divisive issues, or helps workgroups raise and deal with issues of workgroup dynamics and communication that the group believes if addressed could improve its operations. Requests for group facilitations often come to the Ombuds Office through departmental supervisors or managers, although some requests come from workgroup members themselves. The Ombuds Office will only conduct facilitations where participation is voluntary.
What We Don’t Do
The Ombuds Office supplements but does not replace other resolution options available at MD Anderson. Link to Resolution Pathways. Ombudspersons do not:
- Advocate on behalf of any party.
- Make administrative or policy decisions.
- Testify about confidential communications in judicial or administrative proceedings or serve as a witness in a formal hearing.
- Participate in any formal disciplinary process.
- Serve as a place to give the Institution notice of claims against it.
Make An Appointment With An Ombudsperson
713-792-4896 or 866-610-7841
Pickens Academic Tower (FCT10.5081)
1400 Pressler Drive
Houston, TX 77030