Stanford University
Office of the Ombuds


How We Can Help

The Ombuds is an impartial dispute resolver who strives to see that faculty, staff, students, postdoctoral scholars and other members of the Stanford community are treated fairly and equitably.

The Ombuds will hear and discuss your concerns, identifying and evaluating options to resolve problems. We can also help you to open avenues of communication and gather more information about your situation.

The Ombuds Office serves as a neutral mediator to solve problems and resolve conflict, striving for fairness, equitable solutions and adherence to university policies, including formal grievance and complaint procedures.

The Ombuds Office is always happy to provide information about University policies and provide referrals to university services and programs.

The Ombuds Office adheres to the ethics and standards of practice of the International Ombudsman Association,  including the following:

Impartiality and Informality
The Ombuds does not take sides, but considers the rights and interests of all parties to disputes, with the aim of achieving fair outcomes. The Ombuds does not make, change or set aside policies or decisions, but reasons with, persuades and encourages people to act decently and fairly. The Ombuds is an informal resource and does not arbitrate, adjudicate, testify or participate in any formal grievance process. If you wish to report a problem or make a complaint, the Ombuds can direct you to the appropriate person, office or procedure.

Consistent with the neutrality of the Ombuds and the confidential nature of the process, communications to the Ombuds do not put the University on notice of the content of the communication. The Ombuds will not identify you or your confidences without your permission except in situations involving imminent risk of physical harm or child abuse. Conversations with the ombuds may not be used in grievance or other formal proceedings. The ombuds is a confidential resource for purposes of Stanford's Sexual Harassment and Sexual Assault policies.

The Ombuds office is outside of the usual school and administrative structures. The Ombuds is answerable to the President, and is authorized to talk to all persons at the university in order to resolve problems.


How can I get in touch with the Ombuds?
Call (650) 723-3682 to contact David Rasch, University Ombuds, or send email to


When is it appropriate to contact the Ombuds Office?
Adapted from

There are many situations in which you might want to make use of this confidential resource, such as:

  • When you need someone to listen
  • When an awkward situation or uncomfortable feelings are bothering you
  • When you are unsure of Stanford policy or you believe a policy procedure or regulation has been applied unfairly
  • When you wish to work through an intermediary
  • When you are worried about favoritism or afraid of retaliation
  • When you think you have been treated unfairly, harassed or discriminated against
  • When you think someone has engaged in misconduct or there has been an ethical violation

All members of the university community (faculty, students, post-docs, staff, etc.) have access to the Ombuds Office, and may not be retaliated against for contacting the Ombuds Office in a matter of concern.


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