Ombuds Dispute Resolution

The ombudsperson aims to assist parties with conflict or dispute resolution through alternative means so that they come to a mutual decision in the process.

Ombuds Dispute Resolution

Are you experiencing a conflict with another student, staff member, administrator, or faculty member?  If you are involved in a dispute that you have not been able to resolve, we may be able to help.  

UNM Ombuds/Dispute Resolution Services for Graduate Students provides consultation and mediation services to UNM graduate students.  The aim is to find the least adversarial way to resolve conflicts.  We will provide you with information about policies and procedures referrals, and mediation services.  We listen to your concerns and guide you based on UNM policies.

All our work is confidential for we follow the hallmark of Ombuds Practice which adheres to the principles and standards of practice established by the International Ombudsperson Association.  We only contact other parties with your permission and work by using collaboration and effective ways to resolve conflicts.

To make an appointment with the Graduate Studies Ombudsperson, fill out the form.

Download our brochure (coming soon)

Contact: Heather Sands at hsands01@unm.edu or (505) 277-1135. 

The Mediator:

  • Acquires informed consent from all parties
  • Facilitates a communication process that may bring resolutions to disputes
  • Fosters empowerment of the parties for decisions making
  • Remains impartial and does not render any decisions or give advice
  • Discloses training, experience, and any connection to any parties involved
  • Complies with all statutory requirements for reporting domestic violence, elder or child abuse or other threats of physical harm
  • Maintains the integrity of the process
  • The Mediation process is confidential
  • The Mediator makes no claims or promises of a specific outcome for the mediation
  • The Mediator does not accept any gifts, commissions, rebates, referral fees
  • The Mediator strive to reach the highest ethical and professional standards

In case mediation is needed, please download the the following forms:

Hallmarks of Ombuds Practice

The Ombuds services for graduate students at UNM adheres to the principles and standards of practice established by the International Ombudsman Association.  The Ombudsperson for graduate students serves as a confidential, neutral, informal, and independent resource for graduate students.  

Confidentiality: The conversations with the ombudsperson remain private.  The ombudsperson will contact the other parties involved only with your permission.  The only exceptions to confidentiality are disclosures of imminent harm to self, others. or property.

Impartial: The ombudsperson has no personal stake in any dispute and does not take sides.  He or she promotes fair process.

Informal: The use of this service is voluntary.  The focus is on resolving conflicts through alternative methods.  The ombudsperson does not testify in any hearing and the office has no authority to enforce any decisions.

Independent: The ombudsperson maintains autonomy regarding his or her responsibilities.