TAMUG Staff Ombudsperson    

The TAMUG Staff Ombudsperson will serve as an independent, impartial, confidential, and informal resource for staff members of Texas A&M University at Galveston. The ombudsperson will endeavor to help staff employees identify options for addressing workplace concerns and ensure that related processes are fair and impartial for all parties involved.  While the actions of the ombudsperson will be tailored to the circumstances of a particular situation, generally the ombudsperson’s role will be to assist parties in reaching informal resolutions that foster a positive work environment and are consistent with the rules and policies of the university.

When informal resolution of conflicts fail, or where informal resolution is not advisable, the ombudsperson may advise staff regarding their options for formal action and direct them to the appropriate university rules, resources, and offices.  The ombudsperson may supplement, but not replace or interfere with, formal processes available to the university community. The ombudsperson does not serve as notice to the University, cannot impose remedies or sanctions or enforce or change any policy, rule, or procedure.

The TAMUG Staff Ombudsperson will be appointed by the TAMUG Vice President in consultation with the TAMUG Executive Team.  Nominations will be solicited by the TAMUG Staff Council and each incumbent will be expected to serve a three year term.

The Ombudsperson can:  

  • Assist staff members in identifying options for solving workplace problems and conflicts
  • Provide a confidential place to explore complaints and clarify issues
  • Help identify options for fair and equitable solutions to issues through an informal process
  • Point staff toward available services and resources
  • Serve as an impartial listener, resource, advisor, and intermediary
  • Offer advice concerning how best to facilitate communication between parties involved in a workplace conflict
  • Provide information and assistance in accessing and interpreting University policies and procedures
  • Maintain confidentiality to the extent legally permissible (in certain instances the law may require disclosure of information)
  • Promote equality, inclusion and access for all persons
  • Advocate for fairness, equity, and a healthy work environment

The Ombudsperson cannot:

  • Make any formal decisions or determine “innocence’ or “guilt” in any matter
  • Act as an advocate or representative of any individual or entity
  • Participate with any formal grievance processes or procedures
  • Arbitrate, mediate or adjudicate grievances or disputes
  • Make or change University decisions, rules, or policies
  • Determine the merits of a complaint
  • Conduct formal investigations
  • Engage in administrative decisions
  • Provide psychological counseling
  • Provide legal advice

You might want to consider contacting the Ombudsperson when:

  • You have a work-related problem and are unsure who to speak with or what options are available to address it
  • You need an impartial, independent, and confidential person to talk to about a workplace problem or concern
  • You have a workplace problem and would like guidance on how to facilitate communication
  • You are not sure how to interpret a University policy or procedure or how it might apply to your situation
  • You are involved in a workplace conflict and seeking assistance in determining options for an informal resolution
  • You have a professional ethics question or concern

Ethical Principals of the TAMUG Staff Ombudsperson

Independence: The TAMUG Staff Ombudsperson is independent in structure, function, and appearance to the highest degree possible within the organization.

Neutrality and Impartiality: The TAMUG Staff Ombudsperson, as a designated neutral, remains unaligned and impartial. The TAMUG Staff Ombudsperson does not engage in any situation which could create a conflict of interest

Confidentiality: The TAMUG Staff Ombudsperson holds all communications with those seeking assistance in strict confidence and does not disclose confidential communications unless given permission to do so (note: there may be instances where confidentiality cannot be maintained due to federal, state or local laws, System and University policies, or in cases where there appears to be imminent risk of harm).

Informality: The TAMUG Staff Ombudsperson, as an informal resource, does not participate in any formal adjudicative or administrative procedure related to concerns brought to his/her attention.