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Valuing Ombuds 3: What do HE institutions value?

Fairness is the cornerstone in building

EN | 2 min

For this post, I looked for examples of institutional responses to annual reports that might refer to any of the ombuds standards of practice (independent, impartial/neutral, confidential, accessible, informal), guiding principles (fairness, equity, respect), or mention the value or particular benefits of having an ombuds office.   The quote with the image above is an excellent example – unfortunately, I can’t find any current information about the University of Massachusetts Dartmouth ombuds office.

Of the ten Canadian university ombuds office websites I looked at (UBC, SFU, Alberta, McGill, Concordia, Ottawa, Queen’s, UofT, RU, Dalhousie), only one (U of T) posts the administrative responses to their annual reports on their website.  Three include administrative responses in their annual reports:  2019-2020 Report from the U. of Ottawa Ombudsman(excerpts), 2018 SFU Ombudsperson Annual Report (full letters of response to specific recommendations), Ryerson’s 2019-2020 Annual Report (university response to all recommendations).   

Here are the two examples I found of an administrative response referencing the SoP, guiding principles, value or benefits of having an ombuds office: 

Some questions for consideration – I invite your thoughts in the comments:

  • Do you see any benefits to having administrative responses to annual reports made publicly available either on the ombuds office website or in the annual report?
  • More specifically, do you think sharing letters or excerpts from letters from administrators in annual reports (responding to recommendations) might help the institution appreciate the value of the ombuds office?

– Heather McGhee Peggs