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Purpose and Scope of Services

The Office of the Ombuds provides an alternative to formal processes for dispute resolution and functions to assist parties in reaching mutually acceptable agreements in order to find fair and equitable resolutions to concerns that arise at the University. Use of the office is voluntary. The office does not advocate for any party in a dispute nor represent management or visitors of the office.

Communication to the office does not constitute notice to the University. Because confidentiality, neutrality and informality are critically important all communications with the office are made with the understanding that they are confidential, off-the-record, and that no one from the office will be called to testify as a witness in any formal or legal proceeding.

In a climate of organizational change and reduced resources, increased stress and misunderstandings often arise. Confidential consultation, conflict coaching, mediation, and training are particularly effective ways to improve the morale and functioning of a work unit.


  • A staff or faculty member faces the loss of his or her job and wants to understand the options available.

  • An employee feels singled out by a supervisor and wants to proactively work to address this relationship.

  • A student has concerns about unfair treatment from faculty members or other students.

  • An academic team member experiences lack of respect or recognition for his/her contribution, including authorship issues, team-developed products, or input to the work environment.

  • A manager and an employee have different expectations regarding the degree of flexibility in meeting the requirements of the job.

  • A work team experiences significant staffing changes due to budget cuts or reorganization and wants help restoring a culture of trust and good morale.

  • A group of clinicians recognizes that improved communication could improve patient safety and wants a training that uses validated assessments.

  • A manager identifies that workplace bullying is going on, and wants help bringing the topic to the work group and developing a communication protocol.

  • A faculty member wants to prepare trainees to be leaders with effective conflict competence skills.

  • A work team wants an external facilitator for group process work when a team is facing conflict.

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Office of the Ombuds | 3333 California Street, Suite 309 | San Francisco, CA 94143-1264 | (415) 502-9600
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