I think that the value is one of giving people a private safe space to air concerns. Most people in the University have someone in authority over them. They have a variety of responsibilities. But supposing they’re in a situation where they feel they’re being dealt with unfairly, or where they can’t report to the person who is their supervisor, perhaps they feel their concerns won’t be taken seriously. Perhaps they feel they won’t be understood. Perhaps they think there might be an issue of discrimination. Very often, people need a place to go to try to sort through how they deal with those issues, which are making their work life or their professional life be less than ideal. They’re in an uncomfortable space and they’re trying to function in a situation where it might be very difficult for them to function comfortably. And this office offers a place to go. A great many institutions, structures, companies, have ombuds, both in the United States and Europe. Governmental agencies, other universities, hospitals, medical schools, private companies.(Penn Current.)
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