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Our Mission, Vision, Values, and Charter

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Our Mission

Ombuds serve graduate students, staff, and faculty, empowering them to constructively navigate challenges related to their experiences at the University of Tennessee, Knoxville.

  • We build the community’s capacity to constructively manage current and future challenges, through individual consultations, mediations, and educational programming.
  • We support organizational improvement by surfacing emerging concerns and systemic issues within the University.
  • We contribute to the advancement of the Ombuds profession through leadership, research, and service to the International Ombuds community.

We Envision:

A Vol community who views conflict as a natural part of working with others and are empowered to constructively navigate challenges towards desired & innovative outcomes.

Our Values

In addition to following the International Ombudsman Association Code of Ethics and Standards of Practice, which includes independence, impartiality, confidentiality, and informality, we are guided by the following:

We Believe

    • Conflict and challenges are hard – no matter the size.
    • Asking for help is a sign of strength. 
    • Stories are rarely simple & organized. 
    • There are many constructive ways to manage conflict.

We’re comfortable with strong emotions & complexity.

We Believe

    • In meeting people where they are.
    • You are the expert of your own life. 
    • No one who comes to us needs fixing, just some help in getting unstuck.

We empower you to act in alignment with your goals & interests.

Our Charter

The ombuds staff provide services to the campus community following the Office of Ombuds Services Charter, in which we explain how we work with ombuds visitors and how we strive to meet the International Ombuds Association Code of Ethics and Standards of Practice.