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How We Do What We Do

Our guiding principles

In alignment with Virginia Tech’s Principles of Community, the Ombuds Program strives to maintain a climate for work and learning based on respect and fairness. This is what drives the program at the core, that individuals feel that the their inherent dignity and value are recognized by the campus and that they feel they are treated fairly and that we continue to create a climate of civility so that we may all live up to our Virginia Tech motto of Ut Prosim (That I May Serve).

VOICE adheres to the International Ombudsman Association (IOA) Standards of Practice, which prescribe that an Ombuds must adhere to confidentiality, informality, impartiality and independence.

  • Confidentiality. Unless there is danger of harm to you and/or others VOICE holds all communications with those seeking assistance in confidence. This commitment ensures that VOICE provides a space where you can speak freely, think freely and keep the power to take action with yourself.
  • Informality. The Ombuds supplements, but does not replace, any formal channels. Interacting with VOICE is voluntary and is not a required step in any grievance process. This commitment ensures that we are off-the-record and can provide tools, strategies and techniques so you can manage problems by yourself.
  • Impartiality. The Ombuds strives for impartiality, fairness and objectivity in the treatment of all. We do not advocate on behalf of any individual but do advocate for progress at a systemic level. This commitment ensures that we can be of service to all members of the Hokie Nation and be trusted because we are not here to take sides.
  • Independence. VOICE and the Ombuds are independent from other Virginia Tech entities. The Ombuds is a designated neutral reporting to Virginia Tech’s President for administrative and budgetary purposes only. This commitment ensures that there won’t be a conflict of interest between VOICE and any other individual or department.