About Us

The word ombuds, pronounced (ahm-budz), originated when the Swedish Parliament instituted an Ombudsman in 1809 to be an independent observer of the government to safeguard citizens' rights. 

An ombudsman (or ombuds) is a neutral third party who helps students and/or employees address problems, concerns, and complaints through informal means such as conversation, mediation, and other problem solving strategies. Many campuses, state agencies, and corporations have an ombuds.

USF's Student Ombuds Office functions under these standards of practice to serve students:

CONFIDENTIALITY: Concerns or information brought to the Ombuds Office will not be shared with anyone unless you give permission for it to be shared and the staff feels that sharing will help solve your problem. The only instance where we are mandated by the state of Florida to share information is if someone poses a threat to themselves or to others.

IMPARTIALITY: The Ombuds does not advocate for you, the student, or the university. The Ombuds Office staff considers the interests and concerns of all parties involved with the goal of achieving fair and equitable solutions.

INDEPENDENCE: The Ombuds Office operates independently of administrative authorities.

INFORMALITY: The Ombuds Office staff will informally investigate student concerns without issuing judgments or decisions. The office does not arbitrate, adjudicate, or participate in any internal or external processes, including legal.

Each campus in the USF System has its own Ombuds to serve the students of that campus. Visit the Ombuds website for the St. Petersburg campus or the Sarasota-Manatee campus for more information.

If you are a member of the USF faculty, staff, or administration and would like to schedule an appointment, please contact the USF System Ombuds for Faculty, Staff and Administrators at (813) 974-7777.