Welcome to the Office of the Ombudsperson


Cate Woolner, Ombudsperson
Amherst College

117 Valentine Hall, AC# 2280
P.O. Box 5000, Amherst, MA 01002

Learn more about your ombudsperson.

The Ombuds Office is located on the main floor of Valentine Hall (at top of staircase to dining services) and office hours are on Wednesdays and Thurdays, and by appointment. While walk-in visitors are always welcome, arranging a time to meet will insure the ombudsperson is available as well as allow you to pick a day and time that works best with your schedule.

Please remember that e-mail is not appropriate for confidential communications, and that due to the confidential, neutral, informal and independent function of the Ombuds Office, communication with the office does not constitute notice to the College.

The Ombuds Office at Amherst College operates to ensure that all members of the faculty, administrators and staff receive fair and equitable treatment. The ombudsperson acts as an impartial and informal source of assistance to those who believe themselves to have been treated unfairly.

The Ombuds services are confidential,* independent, neutral and informal. By listening to concerns, the ombudsperson helps visitors identify and explore acceptable solutions to concerns that meet the needs of both the visitor and the institution. The Ombuds Office provides a safe environment for the discussion of issues and concerns – the office does not keep formal college records, perform formal investigations or advocate for either one party or another, but advocates for fairness. Contacting the ombudsperson is voluntary and can be a resource for information as well as services.  Services provided by the ombudsperson include facilitation, informal mediation, conciliation, coaching in methods to approach situations, as well as the ability to listen to issues without passing judgment.

Mission of the Ombuds Office

The Ombuds Office is a neutral, independent, informal and confidential resource to facilitate fair and equitable resolutions to concerns and problems that arise for the faculty, administrators and staff at Amherst College.

* The only exception to this pledge of confidentiality is where the Ombudsperson determines that there is an imminent risk of serious harm.

Learn More

The Role of the Ombuds Office

Guiding Principles & Standards of Practice

How Can the Ombuds Office Help You?

Common Issues

What to Expect

About the Ombuds Office