COM Ombuds FAQ

Who can see the Faculty Ombuds?

  • Faculty members associated with the University of Florida College of Medicine.

What can the Ombuds do?

  • Listen to your questions and concerns
  • Help you to identify and evaluate options
  • Offer an impartial perspective
  • Help you to deal with a problem
  • Facilitate difficult conversations as an impartial third-party
  • Make referrals to appropriate resources
  • Recommend constructive change in University/COM policy
  • Make informal inquiries to gather relevant information

What can the Ombuds not do?

  • Mediate and negotiate settlements in disputes
  • Offer psychological counseling
  • Get involved in fact finding
  • Represent faculty in a grievance procedure
  • Address a non-university/COM related problem or complaint
  • Intervene in a formal grievance procedure
  • Overturn decisions by University/COM officials
  • Provide legal advice or legal representation

When should a faculty member contact the Ombuds?

When you:

  • need information about faculty rights and University/COM policies and procedures
  • feel a policy or procedure has been unfairly applied to you
  • need to have a confidential discussion about a University/COM related problem
  • need advice on resolving a work-related problem
  • need help communicating with other faculty or University/COM administrators
  • want to know your options for solving a work-related problem
  • want to know what University/COM resources are available to you

Does the Ombuds have any reporting mandates?

The Ombuds is required to report incidents of alleged gender discrimination, sexual harassment, sexual misconduct, sexual assault to the Title IX Coordinator.


Is the Ombuds an advovate for faculty?

No. The Ombuds does not take sides in a dispute. He does not advocate for the faculty member or the University/COM.


What authority does the Ombuds have?

  • The Ombuds has no formal authority.
  • The Ombuds will bring to the administration’s attention practices or policies that appear to create tensions or problems for faculty.

As an employee of UF, how independent can the Ombuds be?

The Ombuds is not a part of the administration and is free from any influence in addressing issues of conflict.


Does the Ombuds keep records?

No. Personal notes may be taken but they are outside of open records requests. These notes are held in strict confidence and will be shredded after consultation is completed. The Ombuds keeps only statistical data, no names or department affiliations.


Do faculty members have to use the Ombuds?

No. The use of these services is completely optional.


How can I contact the College of Medicine Faculty Ombuds?

Appointments with the Ombuds should be made by email at stonek@ufl.eduTo maintain confidentiality use email only to schedule appointments. The email message should read, “My name is (………) and I would like to make an appointment with the Ombuds. My contact information is (email address) and (phone number)”.


What does Ombuds mean, and what is the origin of the position?

The word Ombudsman (Ombuds) is a Scandinavian term and means ‘representative’ or ‘proxy.’