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Office of the Ombuds


It is the goal of the Ombuds Office at the University of Wyoming to provide the university community an informal setting in which to share dilemmas, ideas, questions, without fear of exposure, retaliation, or recrimination. The office is committed to serving with the International Ombuds Association best practice principles: informal, confidential, impartial, independent. It is our mandate to give voice to the university community, and to protect those voices. We will engage and support people and divisions to improve communications and policies. Our mandate includes resolving conflict, shedding light on serious concerns, mediating, facilitating difficult conversations, giving the community tools to disagree productively, educating, and coaching. The Ombuds Office, in every instance, will advocate for fairness and equity. 


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We aim to provide a safe space to facilitate the process of problem-solving. We are committed to unbiased and fair services to the University of Wyoming community.

  • Listen to concerns

  • Provide information on university policies and procedures

  • Provide information on how to make your concern known to the university

  • Assist you in evaluating available options

  • Provide feedback to administration when systemic issues/trends occur


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  • Upcoming Workshops - Contact the Office for Details

    • How to Get Along With Anyone

    • Embracing Conflict: How to Have a Difficult Conversation

    • Rules of Engagement: Improving Office Relationships and Communications

    • Conflict Resolution Lending Library



The Office of the Ombudsperson works informally to achieve fair and equitable solutions to concerns. We are not a reporting office, and do not participate in formal investigations or play any role in a formal resolution process.

The University of Wyoming Office of the Ombudsperson is an independent office. This allows individuals to come forward, be heard, and discuss issues with any department of UW without fear of retribution. The office reports to the highest possible level of the university. The ombudsperson exercises total discretion regarding her responsibilities. The office is not part of and does not take part in any administrative or formal complaint processes

Neutral or Impartial:
We utilize processes that provide fairness and equity and provide impartial resources for the University of Wyoming community. The Ombudsperson avoids situations that may cause or result in conflicts of interest.

Information concerning any inquiries will not be disclosed without explicit permission, with the exception of a compelling reason (i.e. a safety risk). Upon request of a complainant, the office may contact individuals within the institution whose help is necessary to resolve a problem. The Ombudsperson does not testify in formal proceedings. The only exception to this privilege of confidentiality is where there appears to be an imminent risk of serious harm, and where there is no reasonable option other than disclosure.

Who We Are


Nellie Haddad


Nellie Haddad, Ph.D.



Nellie Haddad attended the University of California-Berkeley, where she earned a bachelor’s degree and a Ph.D. in English literature. She was a visiting assistant professor of Shakespeare at the University of Montana, where she taught for four years. She later returned to UC-Berkeley, where she accepted the first of several administrative positions before pursuing a master’s degree in international relations from the University of South Carolina and another master’s degree in conflict resolution and mediation from Champlain College in Vermont.

Her interests included democracy, human rights and international conflict. During her studies, she interned for the U.S. Department of State at the Bureau of Democracy, Human Rights and Labor, and the Middle East Human Rights Desk. Her broad mediation and conflict resolution experience includes real estate and probate disputes, roommate and neighbor disputes, and staff and faculty conflicts. She is a member of the International Ombuds Association and continues to play an active part in that organization, seeking training and community-building opportunities.

Patricia Bradford


Patricia Bradford

Graduate Administrative Assistant


Patricia Bradford is a Licensed Professional Counselor (LPC) and a doctoral candidate in the Counselor Education & Supervision program here at UW. Originally from Baton Rouge, LA, she received both her bachelor's degree in psychology (2014) and her master's degree in Clinical Mental Health Counseling (2018) from the University of New Orleans. Patricia spent her time working as a mental health counselor primarily in the field of substance abuse treatment for several years before moving from New Orleans to Laramie in the fall of 2021 to pursue her PhD.

In addition to being the Graduate Administrative Assistant for the UW Office of the Ombudsperson, Patricia does private practice work counseling individuals, couples, and families. While Patricia's training and experience as a mental health counselor inform her interpersonal skills and understanding of how to navigate conflict, her role with the Ombuds Office is to assist the Ombudsperson in fostering resolution-finding for those seeking assistance in navigating conflict. 



An organizational ombuds is an individual who serves as a designated neutral within a specific organization and provides conflict resolution and problem-solving services to members of the organization (internal ombuds) and/or for clients or customers of the organization (external ombuds). There are organizational ombuds in all sectors (corporate, academic, governmental, non-governmental, non-profit, etc.). Some may serve both internal and external constituencies. An organizational ombuds provides confidential, informal, independent and impartial assistance to individuals through dispute resolution and problem-solving methods such as conflict coaching, mediation, facilitation, and shuttle diplomacy. The organizational ombuds responds to concerns and disputes brought forward by visitors to the office and may convey trends, systemic problems, and organizational issues to high-level leaders and executives in a confidential manner. Ombuds do not advocate for individuals, groups or entities, but rather for the principles of fairness and equity. The organizational ombuds does not play a role in formal processes, investigate problems brought to the office’s attention, or represent any side in a dispute.

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An ombuds' function is to provide informal assistance in surfacing and resolving issues. While they can recommend that an organization consider establishing or revising policy, the ombuds plays no formal role in enforcing or deciding to implement policy. The ombuds does not conduct formal investigations. However, they do assist in identifying or creating options for resolution, including referrals to formal channels with investigatory powers. Because they are not part of the management structure of the organization, an ombuds does not accept notice for the organization and can extend near absolute confidentiality (except in the instance of imminent threat of serious harm, as jointly defined by the organization and the ombuds, at the discretion of the ombuds). The ombuds acts as a neutral party and does not advocate for the individual, groups or the organization. The only advocacy role is for fairness and equity.
An organizational ombuds can:
  • "Humanize" an organization by providing constituents with safe and informal opportunities to be heard; assistance in identifying options for managing or resolving concerns; facilitation of communication between or among conflicting parties; conflict resolution skills training; and upward feedback to management about trends in conflicts, hot-button issues or other matters of import to organizational leaders.
  • Help organizations reduce costs related to conflict by resolving disputes informally and helping to avoid the waste of resources, time and energy of parties in formal grievance processes and litigation.
  • Help keep top management abreast of new and changing trends within the organization.
  • Help executives and managers avoid spending excessive time attempting to resolve conflicts.
  • Refer individuals toward appropriate formal processes and resources within the organization


Office of the Ombudsperson

Laramie, Wyoming 82070
(307) 766-3459

Keep in mind that email is not confidential, so please don't share any information here that you'd like to keep private.

Schedule an Appointment