Guiding Principles

To the extent allowed by the law, the Mississippi State University Office of the Ombudmans operates under the Code of Ethics and Standards of Practice of the International Ombudsman Association and provides services based on the following Guiding Principles:

Confidentiality
The Ombudsman will hold all communications with those seeking assistance in the strictest confidence to the extent the law allows. The identity of visitors and the substance of concerns raised will not be shared without the individual's expressed consent.  The Ombudsman may, however, disclose confidential information without consent when such disclosure is required by law or, in the judgment of the Ombudsman, there is an imminent risk of serious harm.

Independence
The Ombuds Office is independent of the University administration in structure, function, and appearance. The University Ombudsman reports to the President and the Provost and Executive Vice President for budgetary and administrative purposes only and has access to other senior administrators in order to convey perceived issues and trends on campus.  The Ombudsman does not keep records for the University and will only furnish anonymous aggregate statistical data in annual reports.

Informality
The Ombudsman does not participate in any formal adjudicative or administrative procedure or investigations, issue findings, or make or overturn administrative decisions. Contact with the Ombuds is totally voluntary and is not a required step in any Mississippi State University grievance process or procedure.

Impartiality
The Ombuds impartially considers the interests of all parties involved in a situation, in order to assist the parties in reaching mutually acceptable agreements that are fair, equitable, and consistent with the mission and policies of Mississippi State University.  The Ombuds will not serve as an advocate for the University or an individual.