Rice University’s Faculty Ombuds is guided by the four principles described in the International Ombudsman Association Code of Ethics:

  • Confidentiality
  • Impartiality (or Neutrality)
  • Informality
  • Independence


The Faculty Ombuds Office is a safe place for faculty members to discuss their concerns. The Faculty Ombuds maintains strict confidentiality with only the following exceptions:

  • If there is a risk of physical harm to anyone
  • If ordered so by a court or required by law to disclose information

Speaking with the Ombuds about an issue does not constitute formal notice to Rice University. Consulting with the Ombuds, however, is a good way to learn about official policies and procedures, where to file a formal complaint, or how to notify university officials of an issue.

Impartiality (or Neutrality)

The Faculty Ombuds works to promote a fair and equitable workplace for all Rice University faculty. Ombuds do not represent or advocate for individuals on either side of a conflict.


The services of the Faculty Ombuds Office are informal. The Office strives to help resolve issues as early as possible and at a local level, whenever possible. The office does not:

  • Maintain formal written records
  • Conduct formal investigations
  • Play any role in formal hearing, grievance, complaint, appeal, or legal proceedings.


The Faculty Ombuds Office is independent from other university departments/offices. The office reports to the president, but does not provide information on individuals or their cases.

Adapted from U-W Madison Ombuds Code of Ethics.