UCAR Ombuds Office

Welcome

Who we are
What is an Ombuds at UCAR?
Ombuds principles
FAQ
Resources

Who we are 

Ombuds Cindy Bruyere

Cindy BruyereCindy has been with the Mesoscale and Microscale Meteorology Laboratory since 2001 and is currently the head of the Capacity Center for Climate and Weather Extremes (C3WE). Her background is meteorology and environmental management, and her current research focuses on extreme weather events and how they will change under various climate change scenarios. She often hosts visitors in these fields and has been a mentor for a number of graduate, post-graduate, and SOARS students. A graduate of UCAR's 2017 Leadership Academy, Cindy is a member of the International Ombuds Association and practices in accordance with its codes and practices. She has completed the Foundations Course provided by the International Ombuds Association, and is active within the Colorado Ombuds Group.

Ombuds Jeff Weber

Jeff WeberJeff has been at the Unidata Program Center since 1998 and is currently a project manager in the Community Services group there. He has been involved in many activities around UCAR and NCAR over the past two decades, including SOARS, Super Science Saturday Showcase, K-12 education and outreach, Climate Voices, and many others. Real-time data delivery, visualization software, data access, and cloud computing are all pieces of Jeff's current work. A graduate of UCAR's 2006 Leadership Academy, Jeff is a member of the International Ombuds Association and practices in accordance with its codes and practices. Jeff has completed the Foundations Course provided by the International Ombuds Association, and is active within the Colorado Ombuds Group. He is an Arctic Climatologist by training and did his 1997 and 1998 field seasons on the Greenland Ice Sheet, installing automated weather stations. Jeff worked for NASA, NOAA, the National Snow and Ice Data Center, and CU CIRES before coming to UCAR in 1998.

Setting up a meeting

Meetings with the UCAR ombuds are by appointment only. It is not expected that issues brought to the ombuds are of an emergency nature. You may contact the ombuds by email or phone, but if you are very concerned about protecting the privacy of your issue we recommend avoiding email because per UCAR policy, its privacy cannot be guaranteed.

Contact Cindy (cellphone number available upon request)
Contact Jeff (cellphone number available upon request)

What is an Ombuds at UCAR?

An Ombuds is an independent person who offers informal assistance to employees and visitors to help resolve issues related to their employment or appointment at UCAR. While there are established avenues to address most issues (see UCAR's Problem Resolution Procedures), employees and visitors may want to discuss options with a neutral person and the Ombuds fills this role. Issues that can be handled through normal procedures do not need to be brought to the Ombuds.

The Ombuds is not a member of management or an agent of record for UCAR. Talking to the Ombuds does not constitute formal notice to UCAR. The Ombuds is an independent, neutral resource.  You may seek advice from the Ombuds in confidence before deciding on what actions to take about any issue. If you want to put UCAR “on notice” about a particular issue or problem, the Ombuds will help you identify who to contact.

When should I contact the Ombuds?

  • to discuss a sensitive UCAR related issue
  • to help resolve conflict with another party at UCAR
  • to discuss which policies or procedures apply in a sensitive situation
  • if you feel a policy or procedure has been unfairly applied
  • if you don't know who to talk to, where to turn or what options are available

The Ombuds can:

  • listen to you 
  • help you define and consider options
  • help you resolve your issue informally
  • look into your problem, complaint, or concern
  • if you approve, initiate and facilitate discussions with other parties 
  • explain relevant policies and procedures
  • offer you referrals to other UCAR resources

The Ombuds cannot:

  • conduct formal investigations
  • change rules, policies, or procedures
  • participate in any formal hearing or grievance process
  • formally mediate conflicts
  • act as an advocate for you in a dispute
  • take sides or determine guilt or innocence in any issue
  • sanction any individual
  • provide legal representation or give legal advice
  • disclose information provided in confidence, except to address an imminent risk of serious harm where there is no other responsible option

Note: The UCAR Ombuds Charter provides a more complete description of the Ombuds role at NCAR.

Ombuds Principles

Confidentiality

Confidentiality is expected of the Ombuds as well as of visitors to the Ombuds Office; it is essential to the Ombuds function.

Conversations with the Ombuds are confidential, and do not become part of any personnel record or file. The Ombuds Office maintains only statistical information such as the number of visitors, the frequency of different kinds of issues, and length of service. Except in the most extraordinary circumstances - such as threats to life or property - the Ombuds will not share information with a third party without the employee's written permission.

Neutrality

The Ombuds seek processes that are fair and equitable to all parties. The UCAR Ombuds Office provides an impartial and objective resource for its staff and visitors.

Independence

The UCAR Ombuds Office officially reports to the Board of Trustees and is independent of any UCAR management structure.

Notice to the Corporation

The Ombuds Office may assist in the informal resolution of concerns regarding a variety of issues, including sexual harassment and discrimination. Talking to an Ombuds does not constitute notice to UCAR, since the purpose of the Ombuds Office is to provide a confidential forum where different options may be considered. The Ombuds can provide the visitor with information about how a complaint may be made to the corporation.

Code of Ethics and Standards of Practice

The UCAR Ombuds Office operations are consistent with the Standards of Practice and Code of Ethics of the International Ombudsman Association

FAQ

  • When was the UCAR Ombuds Office established?
    • The UCAR Board of Trustees approved the UCAR Ombuds Charter and the first Ombuds on 12 October 2009.
  • Whom do the UCAR Ombuds serve?
    • We serve UCAR employees and visitors.
  • What is the UCAR Ombuds record-keeping policy?
    • We keep as little identifying information as possible, and we retain any documentation for as short a period as possible. This information and documentation is kept locked, and then shredded when done. At UCAR, email is NOT private so we prefer that you use the phone to contact us if the matter requires privacy. No e-files will be kept on UCAR systems. If there are e-files, they will be kept for as short a period as possible on a thumb drive only.
  • To whom do the UCAR Ombuds report?
    • We report to the UCAR Board of Trustees.
  • What information will the Ombuds share?
    • No names, personal information or visit-related details will be shared. Only generic statistics will be reported to the UCAR Board of Trustees. These statistics include number of visitors, length of time from first visit to last interaction on same issues, frequency of different kinds of issues (e.g job conditions, relationships, information/assistance, other), and the number of sessions per visitor from initiation until the Ombuds are no longer involved.

Resources