A handout describes the position:
The Ombudsman would serve both as an advisor to faculty to assist them in determining the viability of the complaints and issues they may have, to direct them to appropriate offices, committees, and university rules and policies, and, when appropriate, to mediate informal early-stage complaints. He/she would not have authority to make a recommendation that is binding on either party in a complaint. Recourse to the Ombudsman would be voluntary and not a prerequisite for consideration of the dispute by CAFR, the Faculty Hearing Committee (Hearing), the Office of Academic Affairs (OAA), or the Office of Human Resources (HR). Unlike the previous position of Ombudsman at OSU, this individual would engage only in complaints involving faculty (defined by rules as regular tenure-track, regular clinical, regular research, auxiliary, and emeritus). The Ombudsman would not deal with complaints lodged by any student or staff member of either the classified civil service or A & P category. This person would function as an impartial arbiter rather than as an advocate for faculty involved in complaints.
The plan creates a confidential, neutral and informal resource, but does not reference any other Organizational Ombuds programs or standards. The only troubling aspect of the proposal is that the OSU Human Resources Department is expected to train the new Ombuds. (OSU Faculty Council Meeting Minutes 12/11/08; Ombudsman Handout.)
Related post: Oral History of OSU's Founding Ombuds.