Contact Us

*To better preserve confidentiality, please DO NOT include specific details about your concerns when communicating by email. Setting an appointment by phone is the quickest way to ensure a timely appointment.

Mailing Address:

388 Skye Hall
900 University Avenue 
Riverside, CA 92521 

What to Expect at Your Initial Visit

  • Scheduling a Visit with the Ombuds

    When you contact the Office of the Ombuds, we will arrange a time to talk confidentially either in person or by phone for your initial consultation.  We will ask for your name and contact information in order to be able to address you and contact you.  We will not share this information outside the Ombuds office, in accordance with our standards of practiceHowever, if you would prefer to maintain anonymity even in your conversations with us, you can use a pseudonym and decline to provide contact information.

    For the fastest response and soonest appointment opportunity, please call the number listed at the top of this contact page.  The Ombuds Office can also set appointments via email.  Please note that as a practice, our office avoids discuss substantive issues over email.

    Please make an appointment as staff may not be available if you drop by.

  • Preparing for a visit

    Here are some steps you can take ahead of time to make the most of your visit:

    • Reflect on what is most important to you about your situation.  What would be your ideal resolution?
    • Identify any questions you have.
    • Be prepared to describe the relevant details. 
    • You may find it helpful to create a timeline of relevant events.
    • Please bring any documents, emails, or other materials you believe may be relevant.  We have a computer and monitor available for displaying digital copies, or you can bring hard copies.  Please do not email this material to the office unless you speak with us about it first. 
  • Initial Consultation Overview

    The initial consultation typically follows the stages outlined below.  The initial meeting frequently takes between an hour and 90 minutes.  However, depending upon the nature of your concern, the initial meeting may vary from the outline described, may be shorter or longer in length, and may lead to follow-up meetings.

    • Overview – The Ombuds provides a brief overview of the consultation process and the Ombuds Office principles of practice.*
    • Describe your Concerns - The Ombuds may ask a few clarifying questions, but will primarily listen and try to understand.
    • Discuss Goals & Priorities – You identify what is most important to you.  Someone else in the same situation might have very different goals and priorities, which is why we do not take a one-size-fits-all approach.  Surfacing goals & priorities helps to establish criteria for assessing and comparing options later in the conversation.
    • Explore Options - You and the Ombuds will explore together a variety of options.
      • Option Exploration typically includes three components: 
        • Option Generation – Together you and the Ombuds brainstorm as many possible options.
        • Option Evaluation – The Ombuds will help you assess the pros and cons of the options in light of your goals & priorities.
        • Option Selection & Action Plan – You choose one or more options and then discuss implementation and next steps with the Ombuds.
      • Options fall into a few different buckets:
        • Informal Options - These are actions that either you take on your own or that the Ombuds takes to bring resolution.
          • Actions you take on your own - These include actions like initiating a conversation or writing an email.  These are up to you but the Ombuds can serve as a sounding board for how you implement them.
          • Informal actions by the Ombuds - These include actions like gathering information, facilitating a conversation, or reaching out to an administrator to explore a potential resolution.  The Ombuds will only engage with others if both you and the Ombuds agree to this informal action.*
        • Formal Options. These are actions that involve utilizing established University policies & procedures or other external formalized procedures.  The Ombuds Office does not participate directly in formal processes, as a fact-finder, adjudicator, witness, advocate, participant or in any other capacity.  Additionally, the Ombuds Office does not have oversight over any of the policies & procedures and cannot provide an official interpretation of them.  However, the Ombuds can help you consider whether to make use of policies & procedures, assist you in navigating through them, and help you surface concerns about whether they are being administered fairly.  
    • Conclude - You and the Ombuds determine next steps and whether to schedule a follow-up meeting.

    *Please note that the Ombuds Office does not offer or participate in recorded consultations.

    *The Ombuds Office cannot promise confidentiality if determines that there is an imminent threat of serious physical harm.  Communications with the Office of the Ombuds do not constitute notice to the University.  For more information, see our principles of practice.