Office of the Ombuds


The Office of the Ombuds provides confidential, impartial, informal, and independent conflict resolution and problem-solving assistance to all university staff, faculty and Graduate School students. The Office of the Ombuds offers a safe place to voice university-related concerns and review options to manage and address those concerns. Additionally, the Office of the Ombuds serves as a catalyst for change by identifying patterns or trends on campus, sharing feedback, and making recommendations about university policy or practice when appropriate to those at the university who may have the power to bring about change.

Conversations with the ombuds are voluntary and free to all university staff, faculty, and graduate and professional students. The ombuds holds all communications in strict confidence unless compelled by a court or there is an imminent risk of serious physical harm.


Reasons graduate students visit the ombuds include,

but are not limited to:


  •  Interpersonal disputes

  •  Administrative roadblocks or bureaucratic runarounds

  • Washington University policies and procedures

  • Career progression and development

  • Grade disputes

  • Ethical dilemmas

  • Research-related matters including:

    • authorship

    • proprietorship

    • conflict of interest

    • scientific misconduct

  • Abrasive conduct, incivility or problematic behavior

  • Unfair treatment

  • Harassment or discrimination

  • Health and safety

  • Threats or retaliation

  • Advising relationships

  • Billing disputes or tuition concerns


What to Expect

The ombuds will listen to your concerns, help you think through your situation, and, together with you, identify and evaluate possible options for moving forward. At all times, you retain control over how your concern will be addressed.