The term Ombudsperson comes from the Swedish word Ombudsman which describes an individual that listens to people. It is an office commonly found in governments, it performs similar functions to those of a Human Rights Commissioner. This office is also popular in European and American Universities. Its role is associated to that of a justice agent, which implies that human rights are respected and all private information is kept strictly confidential. It provides guidance to students on how to solve problems. This office particularly opens communication channels between students, faculty and administration.
At Zamorano University, the Ombudsman office opened in 2006. The purpose of this new branch was to serve the student community by creating an independent, impartial, and confidential communication channel. This new communication channel would deal with academic and student life issues while safeguarding freedom of expression and eliminating any fear of retaliation.
The Ombudsperson becomes an enabler for communication in case of conflict between students, faculty or any other University staff. The person in this office is appointed by and reports to the President. Essentially, the Ombudsperson investigates cases of unfair or disrespectful treatment as well as any issues dealing with inappropriate procedures. The duties of this office include listening, counseling, and directing those who need such interventions. This office also mediates in a conflict resolution or in a negotiation process.
Frequently, suggesting clear steps to follow becomes the easiest way to solve a problem. The office counsels students about the different paths he or she can take to address an issue during his or her time at the University. Counseling must be impartial at the same time it is guided by the University’s current policies. Additionally, the Ombudsperson has the responsibility to notify the University administration about any academic or non-academic situations that might be weakening relationships within the Institution.
Do’s and Dont’s
The Ombudsperson acts through suggestions, warnings, reminders and sometimes through constructive criticism, but none of these actions should be coercive, coercive or considered judicial power. The actions of the Ombudsperson are aimed at listening and advising the student community on their choices regarding complaints, conflict resolution or addressing possible abuses committed any member of the community, students or staff in any way. .
The Ombudsperson is the moral authority, held to professional ethics, authorized to serve as the official receiver of complaints or comments. He/she advises and recommends possible solutions and alternatives to conflicts, but has no authority to take disciplinary measures, repeal decisions or circumvent established rules and institutional policies.
Coordination of Student Affairs Office
What is the complaint box and what is it for?
It is a secure channel for electronic reporting that arises from the need to offer the Zamorano community a space that allows them to submit complaints anonymously.
Thanks to this reporting channel, it is possible for anyone in the community to provide information regarding grievances, complaints or improvements without suffering reprisals.
·Facilitate the filing of complaints.
·Guarantee the confidentiality of the person making the complaint.
·Serve as a tool to facilitate investigation and follow-up in cases of conduct contrary to the integrity and values that Zamorano as an educational institution wishes to instill in its students through example and consistency of all the members of the Zamorano community.
Important aspects to consider
Detailed description of the circumstances that facilitate the identification of the activity or situation to be reported.
If possible, provide evidence about the situation being reported, or clues and information that could point to evidence in order to carry out an objective investigation process.
Have reasonable certainty that the information being transferred is accurate and not based on gossip or rumor.
In any case, all the information entered into the mailbox will result in an investigation process that enables to objectify and substantiate the complaint received.
Send us your complaint
We remind you that all information provided will be treated confidentially.