Please note: There will be a temporary gap in Ombuds services for State Classified and Administrative Professional employees. Faculty may contact Kathy Rickard at (970) 491-5121 or by e-mail at

To access employee services that can help during this gap, browse this .pdf, Employee Resources for Conflict Resolution.

Office of the Ombuds

Confidential. Neutral. Informal. Independent.

The Office of the Ombuds offers confidential assistance to university faculty, administrative professionals, state classified, and other employees of Colorado State University who seek help in resolving workplace issues.*

*Students seeking conflict resolution assistance can visit the Student Resolution Center at

Ombuds Overview

The Office of the Ombuds:

  • helps analyze situations, identifies and explains relevant university policies, procedures and problem-solving channels, and helps define options for resolution.
  • may also highlight problems with university policies or procedures and recommend changes.
  • does not have the authority to impose solutions on either side.

The Ombuds role may include mediating conflicts when the Ombuds determines mediation is appropriate for the situation and both parties agree to mediation as a resolution tool.

The office does not replace or supercede other university grievances, complaint or appeal procedures. Further, as a confidential campus resource, the Ombuds Office is neither a “responsible employee” in relation to sexual harassment/misconduct nor authorized to serve as a “campus security authority” for purposes of reporting crimes on campus.

For a complete list of campus-wide resources for employees, access our .pdf list of Employee Resources for Conflict Resolution. For Employee Assistance Program (EAP) services, please visit the EAP website. For a list of community resources, please visit the CARE website.

What the Ombuds Does

  • Listens and discusses questions, issues and concerns
  • Helps evaluate various options to address concerns
  • Answers questions or helps find others who can
  • Explains CSU policies and procedures
  • Facilitates communication between people
  • Mediates disputes to seek “win-win” resolution of problems
  • Makes appropriate referrals
  • Points out patterns of problems and complaints to administrators

What the Ombuds Does Not Do

  • Participate in formal grievance processes
  • Make administrative decisions
  • Determine “guilt” or “innocence” of those accused of wrong-doing
  • Assign sanctions to individuals or participate in disciplinary process
  • Receive official “notice” for the university
  • Give legal advice
  • Keep records on behalf of the institution

The Ombuds is committed to these four principles

  • Confidentiality – The Ombuds holds information in confidence and does not disclose communication unless given permission by the employee, in the event of risk of harm, or as required by law.
  • Neutrality – The Ombuds remains unaligned and impartial and does not advocate for any individual.
  • Informality – As an informal resource, the Ombuds does not participate in any formal process related to concerns brought to the office’s attention.
  • Independence – The Ombuds is independent in structure, function and appearance and does not report on cases to any administrator of the University except as aggregate data that protects the identity of any individual, group or department.

To learn more, visit our professional association at