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The Terminology of the UOO

Students sitting on a bench outsideUniversity Ombuds Office and University Ombuds Officer are used here interchangeability as “UOO” in the appropriate context meaning both the office and the officer.

Ombuds, Ombuds Officer, Ombudsperson and Ombudsman are terms of art within the profession and are gender neutral in all cases

Organizational Ombudsman is the nomenclature used to describe the UOO who works within an organization to informally assist individuals in dealing with concerns and conflict at the lowest level and has no formal power to order or direct any person to act, or refrain from acting, in any manner.

International Ombudsman Association (“IOA”) is the professional organization representing Organizational Ombudsmen and sets the Standards of Practice for the profession through its Code of Ethics, Standards of Practice and Best Practices (“Standards”).  These tenets of our practice are explained in detail on page XXXXX herein.  You can view the IOA website at

Visitor is the term used by the profession to indicate those who choose to utilize the services of the UOO.  Respondent is the term used to indicate those that the UOO may work with in the course of a case.  Whether Visitor or Respondent, the tenets of the IOA are fully applicable to both.

Charter is the document in which the institution clarifies and authorizes the UOO and which sets the boundaries, authorities and limits of the UOO.

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