The University Ombudsman Office is a confidential, neutral, and independent resource for problem resolution, available to all Harvard faculty, students, postdocs, research personnel, and staff. A visitor can discuss issues and concerns with the ombudsman without committing to further disclosure or any formal resolution and receive help in finding solutions for problems that they may have been unable to resolve using existing channels. The ombudsman can help analyze and assess avenues for conflict resolution, including assistance with both written and verbal communications. Next steps are always determined by the visitor, depending on the circumstances and comfort with possible options. Provided all parties agree, the ombudsman may facilitate conversations through shuttle diplomacy, informal mediation, or be present in a discussion as a neutral.

Typical issues may include academic and research disputes, advisor-student relationships, harassment, inappropriate behavior, unprofessional conduct, disability or illness, problematic work climate, and resource referral.