Confidentiality: The Ombuds asserts the privilege of confidentiality with regard to all communications. The Ombuds safeguards the privacy of those who use the office – their identities, the concerns they raise, and the content of their communications – and will not disclose anything without their permission. The only exceptions are when a visitor shares something that suggests an imminent risk of serious harm, and that may include instances of unreported exposure to or diagnosis of COVID-19. In such instances, disclosure will be necessary. The Ombuds does not maintain permanent records of confidential communications and resists testifying in any formal proceeding, even if requested by a visitor to do so. This privilege is held by the Ombuds and cannot be waived by others.
Informality: Individuals may be referred to the Ombuds, but no one is required to make use of Ombuds services. Communications with the Ombuds are voluntary and “off the record.” They are not a part of (nor a substitute for) a formal investigation such as a grievance hearing, judicial board review, or peer review. The Ombuds is an informal channel and not appropriate for putting Wake Tech on official notice about any matter. Control of both the problem and the solution is retained by the visitor.
Neutrality/Impartiality: The Ombuds is a designated neutral who works impartially with visitors and groups and has no personal stake in the outcome of any dispute. The Ombuds represents the institution’s commitment to fairness and functions to help individuals understand each other and seek mutually-agreeable solutions. As such, the Ombuds does not take sides and does not judge, discipline, or reward anyone.
Independence: The Ombuds Office is not part of any college department and has no agenda other than providing fair and impartial assistance, as described above.