What an Ombudsman Does

Responses to issues brought to the Ombuds Office are tailored to the individual’s situation and informed consent.  Some examples of what the Ombuds can do may include:

  • Actively listen to your questions and concerns
  • Offer information about university policies, procedures, and programs
  • Discuss your concerns and clarify issues
  • Help identify and evaluate a range of options for resolving a problem
  • Gather information and offer referral to other resources when appropriate
  • Advise you on steps to resolve a problem informally
  • Facilitate communication indirectly or, when given permission, through serving as an impartial third party
  • Work for collaborative agreements through negotiation or mediation
  • Track perceived issues and trends
  • Make recommendations for review of policies or procedures to appropriate bodies

What an Ombudsman does not do:

  • Make decisions, findings of fact, or determine the “guilt” or “innocence” of those accused of wrongdoing
  • Establish, change, or set aside policies or administrative decisions
  • Offer legal advice
  • Offer psychological counseling
  • Participate in grievances or other formal processes
  • Serve as an agent of notice for Mississippi State University
  • Serve as an advocate for any individual