Ombuds is a gender-neutral term, which is short for the word “ombudsman.” The ombuds profession originated in Sweden a few hundred years ago, when ombudsmen served as representatives of the king. The ombuds profession strives to assist individuals and groups to manage conflicts and concerns. At USC, the Ombuds Office is staffed with organizational ombuds. The Ombuds Office supplements, and does not replace any other formal or investigative campus resources.
The Ombuds assist visitors by listening to concerns, exploring options and paths, brainstorming strategies, weighing the pros and cons, and providing other possible resources.
USC has designated the Ombuds Office as a confidential place to share issues and concerns. Exceptions to confidentiality include imminent risk of serious harm, and child and elder abuse and neglect. If there are patterns and trends, the Ombuds are also able to share upward feedback with appropriate University personnel.
Students, graduate students, trainees, staff, administrators, and faculty, are all welcome to use the services of the Ombuds for University-related issues or concerns. Other constituents that may use the office include alumni, community members, and parents.
The UPC Ombuds Office is located at the University Park Campus in room 203A of the URC (University Religious Center) located at 835 W. 34th Street. To schedule an appointment with the UPC Ombuds, please call (213) 821-9556.
The HSC Ombuds Office is located at the Health Sciences Campus in room B20 on the B-level of SRH (Seaver Hall) located at 1969 Zonal Avenue. To schedule an appointment with the HSC Ombuds, please call (323) 442-0382.
You can schedule an appointment to meet with the Ombuds by Zoom meeting or telephone or if it is not convenient to meet with the ombuds in person. For reasons of confidentiality, please note that the Ombuds Office does not permit the recording of conversations.
The Ombuds will first briefly review their code of ethics and then will spend a great deal of time listening to your narrative. They will then work with you to brainstorm possible options. They may also share models and strategies for conflict management. The Ombuds will not tell you what to do, but can help you explore the issue further by examining perspectives and patterns.
The services of the Ombuds Office are provided at no cost to all members of the USC community.
The Ombuds Office is a completely voluntary office and no one can be compelled to use the services of the Ombuds.
The Ombuds does not:
Give legal advice
Provide counseling advice
Receive notice on behalf of the University
Advocate for any party; however, they can advocate for fair process.
Intervene in formal processes