The mission of the Office is to provide people with a confidential place to raise their concerns, find solutions to the problems they face. The Ombudsman also reports to the university administration on the common aspects of the complaints in order to prevent further repetition or increase of the problems.
The Office helps further the University’s strategic objectives within a culture that is ethical and civil, and in which differences can be resolved and mutual understanding created through a respectful dialogue and fair process. The Office provides a confidential, informal and impartial forum to help promote accountability and fair treatment.
Purpose and Scope of Services:
The Ombudsman is selected among the alumni of Khazar University or among the candidates who have worked for at least two years at Khazar University by the Selection Committee consisting of the University administration staff (i.e. Chairman of Board of Directors and Trustees, rector and vice-rectors). The Ombudsman is appointed by the Rector for a term of 4 years and works on the basis of a service contract. The Ombudsman can be entitled to re-election. The rector is authorized to terminate service contract of the Ombudsman in case of violation of standards or codes of ethics.
The Ombudsman Office provides informal, impartial, confidential and independent assistance in resolving problems and conflicts between students and academic/administration staff, predicated on the principles of fairness and equity. The Office operates independently of any bodies and organizational units at the University. The Ombudsman Office consists of one employee (the Ombudsman). The Office reports annually to the Rector.
The Ombudsman Office receives complaints, concerns or inquiries regarding alleged acts, omissions, improprieties, and/or broader issues within the framework of its defined jurisdictions. In response, the Ombudsman listens, reviews matters received, conducts investigations, proposes solutions, directs the issues to the relevant authorities, and participates independently and impartially in solving the problems.
The Office also executes a supporting role in the process of achieving a mutually acceptable agreement between the parties in order to find solutions to the conflicts arising at the university and to ensure the equality of the parties.
The Ombudsman Office is provided with a specific allocated budget, office and related resources to be able to execute its functions, meet its needs and achieve professional development.
The Ombudsman implements a number of functions to fulfill its duties and responsibilities. They are as follows:
– Listening and providing a respectful, “safe,” and “humanized” place within the University for individuals to discuss problems;
– Helping individuals clarify their concerns and find solutions;
– Explaining university policies and procedures;
– Directing applicants to relevant centers;
– Coaching visitors on how to help themselves;
– Looking into problems by gathering data and the perspectives of others;
– Acting as a mediator between the two parties;
– Taking other measures that are consistent with the mission of the Office.
After meeting with the Ombudsman, some visitors may give permission to take an action that would reveal their identity. Others, however, may request that the Ombudsman not disclose information or take any action that might risk having their identity revealed. Except in very limited circumstances, the ombudsman will disclose identifiable information or concerns raised only with the permission of the visitor to the office.
The Ombudsman can take measures to solve problems within internal policy of the University and Education Legislation. The Office has the authority to provide only informal assistance. Formal measures come under the purview of the other bodies.
Standards & Ethics
The Ombudsman Office operates according to the International Ombudsman Association (IOA) Code of Ethics and Standards of Practice. They are (http://ombuds.uci.edu/) as follows:
The Ombudsman Office “operates independently from all existing administrative structures of the University…”
The Ombudsman Office has the highest degree of independence within the university in terms of its structure, function and appearance. The office is ultimately accountable for its operation to the university staff.
Neutrality and Impartiality
The Ombudsperson, as a designated neutral, maintains his/her balanced and impartial position.
The Ombudsman strives to promote procedural fairness in the university’s practices, processes, and policies. The Ombudsman does not engage in any situation that may lead to conflict of interests.
The Ombudsman holds the identity and all communications with those seeking assistance in strict confidence, and does not disclose confidential communications unless given permission to do so, except as required by law, or where, in the judgment of the Ombudsman, there appears to be imminent risk of serious harm.
The Ombudsman, as an informal resource, does not participate in any formal decision-making or administrative procedure related to concerns brought to his/her attention. As an informal resource, the Ombudsman is not authorized to accept letters (formal complaints) addressed to the university. Moreover, because the Ombudsman holds all communications with those seeking assistance in strict confidence, he/she does not transmit any confidential information to the other party.
The Ombudsman Office publicizes the Ethical Principles (Independence, Neutrality, Confidentiality, and Informality) and explains these principles to each visitor.