About Ombuds Services
The Maricopa Ombudsperson assists in better serving the interests of public accountability and responsiveness by offering informal and neutral assistance to internal and external constituents when they have disputes or concerns regarding the Maricopa Community Colleges. We facilitate the resolution of constituent concerns that are not otherwise addressed at a college or at the district level, and deliver information about Maricopa's processes that would serve a constituent's needs. The Ombudsperson can be a first resource when a party is not sure where to go to get information regarding a particular situation or, as a last resort when other channels of communication have failed. The Ombudsperson does not serve to circumvent established processes, but instead helps to facilitate the review of concerns and resolutions through the proper avenues.
The Maricopa Community Colleges first began offering ombuds services to external constituents in 2001. The services of an Employee Ombudsperson were launched in 2007 on a pilot basis with the assistance of a third-party vendor. In doing so, the District's goal was to provide employees with confidential and informal assistance in resolving workplace concerns such as conflicts and ethics issues related to suspected compliance or policy violations. Such a service helps to enhance the overall quality of work life at MCCCD. The role of an Employee Ombudsperson was formalized as part of the MCCCD organizational structure with the establishment of the Office of Public Stewardship, whereby concerns from both citizens and employees are addressed.
The term Ombudsman (om-budz-man) means a designated individual who reviews reported issues or concerns about an institution. MCCCD has adopted the term “ombudsperson.” The MCCCD Ombudsperson offers effective, efficient and innovative dispute resolution services, and helps people to use non-adversarial approaches in resolving disputes. The Ombudsperson maintains a high level of confidentiality and impartiality, and acts independently to assist employees to resolve their concerns, complaints and/or disputes without fear of retaliation.
The Ombudsperson assists in identifying how to navigate through the Maricopa system in order that a complaint or concern may be reviewed and resolved in a timely manner by the appropriate college or district authority. Services are free and individuals may seek guidance confidentially and without retaliation.