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How we can help

The Ombuds strives for fair and equitable resolution to questions, concerns, and complaints. The Ombuds assists with:

  • Redress of wrongs, unfairness, and bureaucratic entanglements
  • Resolution of disputes with other persons on campus
  • Recommendations for solving systemic problems and for evaluating policies and procedures
  • Resolving sensitive concerns where confidentiality is important

Common issues brought to the Ombuds Office:


  • Appointments and hiring decisions
  • Promotion and tenure process
  • Intellectual property and authorship concerns
  • Departmental politics
  • Difficult colleague or student issues


  • Conflicts with instructors or graduate advisors
  • Grade disputes
  • Thesis and dissertation issues
  • Disciplinary matters


  • Fear of retaliation, whistle-blowing
  • Conflicts with supervisors, co-workers, or subordinates
  • Performance appraisal
  • Promotion, demotion, and disciplinary measures

Other common issues include discrimination, harassment, housing, and disability concerns.

The Ombuds Office adheres to the ethics and standards of practice of the International Ombudsman Association, including the following:

Impartiality and Informality

The Ombuds considers the rights and interests of all parties to disputes with the aim of achieving fair outcomes, and encourages people to act decently and fairly. The Ombuds is an informal resource and does not arbitrate, adjudicate, testify, or participate in any formal grievance process. If you wish to report a problem or make a complaint, the Ombuds can direct you to the appropriate person, office, or procedure.


The Ombuds will not identify you or your confidences without your permission, except in situations involving imminent risk of physical harm or child abuse. Conversations with the Ombuds may not be used in grievance or other formal proceedings. The Ombuds is a confidential resource for purposes of Stanford's Sexual Harassment and Sexual Assault policies.


The Ombuds Office is outside of the usual school and administrative structures, and is authorized to talk to all persons at the university in order to resolve problems.