DePaul University Newsline > Sections > Campus and Community > Why an Ombuds? University celebrations Ombuds Day

Why an Ombuds? University recognizes Ombuds Day


DePaul University established the office of the University Ombudsperson in June 2001. The university’s rapid growth in the previous decade had inspired it to provide an informal resource to address questions that might lead to conflict, offer voluntary facilitation or mediation of disputes, and provide a safe space for conversations that informed without creating a formal record or procedure.

To further provide clarity and recognition, the American Bar Association’s Dispute Resolution Committee has recognized the second Thursday of October as Ombuds Day. This year’s theme, “Ombuds: Resilience, Respect, Resolve,” recognizes we are all working to revitalize the workplace in light of the COVID-19 pandemic. Join the Ombuds Day festivities virtually here.

Ombudspersons, also known as Ombuds, provide confidential, independent​ and impartial assistance. Ombuds discuss options, suggest ideas for mutual gain and encourage dialogue. The Ombuds offers faculty and staff a resource to deal with issues, concerns and problems that might not otherwise be addressed by formal procedures.

In keeping with its Vincentian and Catholic identity, DePaul ​seeks to honor the dignity and respect of every member of its community. It also expects the same from individual members of the community in their relations with each other. DePaul situated its office within the Division of Mission and Ministry to particularly stress the importance of the university’s mission and values in influencing management decisions and how we work with each of our colleagues. Moreover, the office has developed educational programs on the role of the m​​​​​ission with Vincentian and Catholic social thought on how we engage in professional and respectful ways within the workplace.

Throughout the world, distinctive Ombudsperson models have developed. When some organizations establish an Ombudsperson office, its jurisdiction has included conflicting responsibilities that might not provide the bedrock principle of confidentiality to all persons working with the office. DePaul chose to establish an office based on the Organizational Ombuds model as a resource for faculty and staff. The Ombudsperson cannot offer legal advice nor make findings of truth of a matter.

To avoid any confusion about the role of the office, DePaul has joined with the International Ombuds Association and changed the office’s name to University Ombuds. DePaul has followed the IOA’s code of ethics and standards of practice that emphasize the necessity of confidentiality and impartiality for all who engage the office. 

The Office of the University Ombuds consists of Craig Mousin with part-time assistance from Maribeth Conley. You may set up appointments to meet Mousin in the Loop or Lincoln Park Campus by reaching out to (312) 362-8707 or ​​​​

Visit the University Ombuds website for more information.