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Welcome to the Office of the Ombudsperson

The Office of the Ombudsperson supports the values of personal integrity, responsibility, civility, respect, equity, diversity, and community that enable the College to advance its mission of preparing its students to excel in meeting the personal, professional and global challenges of the future while also preparing them for lives of responsibility, leadership and service.

This website presents information about the activities of the Office of the Ombudsperson at Hood College, and also provides information about ways in which one might approach some of the more difficult issues and questions of ethics, conduct, and interpersonal relations that can arise while living and working in a community such as ours. The Ombudsperson is available to members of all College constituencies, including students, faculty, and staff, to provide counsel and assistance in resolving such issues. Links are provided to additional resources located on the World Wide Web.

A message from the Ombudsperson

Welcome to the new academic year and to the Office of the Ombudsperson. Hood College is committed to providing a learning and working environment in which the dignity and worth of every member of our community is emphasized. The Ombudsperson’s Office offers a safe place where students, faculty, and staff may speak confidentially about conflicts and other matters of concern and can obtain guidance in a candid and authentic manner without fear of reprisal. Efforts are geared toward managing conflict and improving the student life experience and work environment.

The Ombudsperson's Office can assist you in several ways by:

  • Providing a welcoming environment where you can voice your concerns
  • Assisting you in evaluating available options
  • Providing information on Hood’s policies and practices
  • Providing guidance on how to make the College aware of a particular issue
  • Referring you to the proper place to begin resolving the issue
  • Facilitating a constructive dialogue about the issue
  • Providing mediation as needed
  • Alerting the appropriate (within the limits of confidentiality) administrator when a systemic issue is identified

I look forward to an exciting academic year in a community that provides an environment of civility, inclusivity, and open communication where every individual can contribute and thrive. The services of the Ombudsperson’s Office are free and available to any College constituent when the need arises.

All the best,

Wanda L. Ruffin, Ph.D.
Ombudsperson & Associate Professor of Psychology

The Ombudsperson and confidentiality

If you wish to speak to the Ombudsperson in strict confidence, you should know that she is required by law to report some situations involving violence, threats, sexual misconduct, or other crimes, in order to protect members of the Hood community, and that, in so doing, she may need to share details, including the names of persons involved, with campus authorities and/or law enforcement.

The following resources offer a higher level of confidentiality (though they are required to report certain cases of child abuse, and threats of homicide or suicide):

  • The Hood Counseling Center (301-696-3340)
  • The Hood Health Center (301-696-3439)
  • The Office of the Dean of the Chapel (301-696-3436)
  • The Heartly House (24-hour) Crisis Hotline (301-662-8800)

Contact the Ombudsperson

Contact Information for Wanda Ruffin, ombudsperson and associate professor of psychology:

  • Phone: 301-696-3295 (I check phone messages daily, but if you need to reach me quickly, please send me an email.)
  • Confidential email: ombuds@hood.edu