The Amherst College Ombuds office has several important guiding principles that serve as the foundation for everything we do:
- Neutrality - listening with an open mind and not taking sides
- Confidentiality - keeping the promise to not reveal the identity of persons who visit the office without their express request and permission, except if there is danger of imminent harm or in cases where we are required by law or regulation to take action (e.g., a Title IX allegation). The details of these exceptions are explained when we first meet with an employee.
- Independence - the function reports directly to the President's office and has the support of the President and the College leadership to act independently in line with these principles.
In addition, our office practices according to the standards set by the International Ombudsman Association (IOA). Specifically, we adhere to the IOA Code of Ethics and IOA Standards of Practice.
The IOA is the largest international organization of organizational Ombuds practitioners in the world, representing over 500 members from the United States and across the globe. It was formed in July 2005 as a merger of two former organizations, The Ombudsman Association (TOA) and University and College Ombuds Association (UCOA).