3.1.8 Concerns, Complaints, and the Ombuds Office3.1.8 Concerns, Complaints, and the Ombuds Office abruneau3 Thu, 06/26/2014 - 17:52
Concerns and complaints should normally be addressed first to the appropriate administrator and wherever possible resolved within the administrative process.
In situations where a faculty member desires confidential advice on the handling of a complaint, seeks advice on procedures and policies, or feels uncomfortable in bringing a concern directly to an administrator, then they are encouraged to discuss the situation with the Faculty Ombuds.
The Ombuds Office is a confidential resource for all faculty members on the campus. Its role is that of a neutral that advocates not for a specific individual, but for equity, fair process, and compliance with institutional policy and procedure. It acts as a complaint receiver for persons who believe they have been treated unfairly, coaches to help persons independently resolve difficult situations and as facilitators or mediators in an effort to assist persons in conflict to reach fair resolutions. The Ombuds Office is a confidential, informal, impartial, neutral and non adversarial alternative for the resolution of work-related problems and concerns. A request for assistance from the Ombuds Office does not preclude the faculty member from subsequently utilizing the Georgia Tech grievance process. The Ombuds Office is not an office of notice to the University. The Faculty Ombuds Office strives to follow the standards of the University and College Ombuds Association. The Faculty who staff this Office report to the President.
The Faculty Status and Grievance Committee receives from any Faculty member information, suggestions, grievance, or criticisms concerning any aspect of the Institute. It evaluates these and transmits constructive criticism and recommendations to appropriate individuals or committees or directly to the Faculty. The procedures of this committee are governed by Sections 2.6.3 and 3.1.9 of this Handbook.
On occasion an administrator or faculty member may feel the need for a witness to be present for the discussion of a sensitive matter. These occasions should be very rare, because the presence of witnesses may heighten tension and may indicate a lack of faith in a colleague. However, in those rare cases in which a witness is deemed necessary, there should be prior notification so the other person may also bring a witness, if he or she chooses. Alternatively, the meeting may be taped, with advance knowledge of the other party.