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Office of the University Ombuds

Provides faculty, staff and graduate students with an informal, confidential, neutral and independent resource to address concerns or questions openly without fear of retaliation or judgment.

The office operates outside of formal channels to provide full assurance of confidentiality and an additional layer of conflict resolution resources to more fully promote a respectful and ethical campus community in line with the University’s values and policies.

Message from Ombuds Neal Powless

Portrait of Neal Powless.

It is an honor for me to serve as the University Ombuds, and I recognize the value of my position as we strive to become a more diverse and inclusive campus. The role of the Office of the University Ombuds is essential in creating a supportive environment, where everyone feels heard. 

As the University ombuds, my office functions differently than other University offices. I provide an informal, safe space for faculty, staff and graduate students to discuss any issues confidentially. This might be dealing with a conflict you’re having with a colleague, supervisor, student, or faculty member; concerns with University policies or procedures; navigating an ethical matter; or any number of situations in which you may not know where to turn for guidance.

There are all sorts of conflicts that arise that can impact not only your work but your personal relationships and home life. Every situation is unique, and every individual experiences conflict in their own way. Let’s have a conversation.

I can help provide you with a range of options—formal or informal—that you may choose to pursue or not. As a neutral campus resource, I cannot fix problems internally, investigate complaints, or set or change University policy, but I will listen to your concerns, share with you resources and offer assistance such as facilitated conversations or conflict management. The most important thing is empowering you to make an informed decision about your situation and take steps toward resolution. Working through conflict is an opportunity for each of us to learn and grow, which is a wonderful gift.

The conversations we have are confidential. Your trust is essential to the work of the Office of the University Ombuds, and you can feel secure knowing that the concerns you share with me will not result in retaliation from your supervisor or peers.

I invite you to explore the website to better understand how the ombuds office might be able to assist you, and please do not hesitate to contact us. Your story has value!

It is a great privilege to serve the faculty, staff and graduate students at Syracuse University. I am committed to working together toward a better understanding of each other, which in turn will create a more respectful, empathetic campus community.

Sincerely,Neal Powless

Undergraduate students are encouraged to use existing formal and informal resources. See in particular accessibility and diversity and health and safety resource

Contact Us

111 Waverly Ave., Suite 001

Email the Ombuds

If you email, please include only your meeting request; do not include any confidential information in your email.

Details about your particular concern will be discussed during your confidential appointment.