UO Ombuds Program releases report on the past year's work

Exterior of the ombuds office

The University of Oregon Ombuds Program has released its annual report for the 2021 fiscal year.

The report is available on the Ombuds Program website and provides an overview of the services provided during the last fiscal year, including the number of cases, concerns, visitors and a breakdown of outcomes from services.

“The data in our FY21 report reflects an effort to continue to provide more nuanced and meaningful data to the campus community,” said Brett Harris, university ombudsperson.

The Ombuds Program provides confidential, impartial, independent and informational conflict management assistance to members of the university community. The annual report includes nonidentifiable aggregate case data to report trends and topics that may be useful to campus partners, leaders and the university community.

In total, the program had 414 visitors and 306 cases for fiscal year 2021, a decrease in cases compared to the previous year. This decrease is attributed to reduced staffing and outreach efforts.

From the 306 cases, 735 separate concerns and issues were identified. The report provides additional information about the concerns, organizing them by categories following International Ombuds Association standards.

A special trends section also discusses concerns related to COVID-19 and diversity. The report notes 168 concerns involving diversity, equity and inclusion issues and 229 concerns relating to or being affected by COVID-19.

“We are excited to report beyond the IOA categories and share more information about the experiences of faculty, students and staff, especially related to DEI issues,” Harris said. “We find great value in the work we do on a daily basis — assisting visitors with their university-related concerns — and the data that the ombuds program collects can help the institution continue to address campus needs.”

— By Nikki Zing, University Communications