The Ombuds Office at Quest University works with students, faculty and staff to ensure that all members of the community are treated fairly. The focus of the Ombudsperson is to ensure that everyone at Quest can learn, work and live in a fair, equitable and respectful environment.
Reporting to the President, the office is an independent, impartial, informal and confidential resource for all members of the Quest community.
What is an Ombudsperson?
The Ombudsperson at Quest is an advocate for fairness. In this role, the Ombudsperson:
- Is concerned with the rights of every person to be treated fairly,
- Acts as a source of information and advice on rules and procedures,
- Informally or formally investigates complaints of unfair treatment in an impartial and objective manner,
- Has the power to recommend solutions when complaints are well-founded,
- When complaints are unfounded, explains why; and,
- Helps to identify systemic problems and weaknesses in institutional policy and practice and offers suggestions to improve them.
How the Ombuds Office Can Help
The role of Ombudsperson varies from university to university. At Quest, the Ombudsperson is available to students, faculty and staff. The Ombudsperson will always encourage individuals to first follow current policy and procedures to resolve an issue, but can help in other ways:
What the Ombudsperson Can Do
- Identify and explain relevant policies and procedures
- Explore options on how best to proceed and make effective referrals
- Provide guidance to help plan strategies
- Clarify goals and promote problem-solving
- Empower individuals to deal directly and effectively with their concerns
- Facilitate discussions and use informal channels to seek resolution
- Give sound, practical advice
- Listen and provide an objective perspective
What the Ombudsperson Can’t Do
- Decide who is right or wrong
- Receive complaints unrelated to the university
- Provide legal advice or counselling services
- Advocate for an individual case
- Compel actions or overturn decisions
Meet Your Ombudsperson
My name is Karen Elliott, and I was appointed as Ombudsperson in August 2016. It is an honour and privilege to serve the Quest Community in this role and I look forward to working with students, faculty and staff to promote fairness and transparency at the university.
The Ombuds role is not a full time role at this time. In fact, I wear several other hats. My work life is primarily dedicated to my organization and leadership development consulting practice, which I have run for the past 11 years. My other role is as a member of Squamish’s municipal council, a role I have held since November 2014 when I was elected for the first time.
When I’m not busy with Ombuds responsibilities, clients or politics I spend my time with my husband and two daughters. I enjoy the outdoors, relaxing with friends, travelling, and I have a huge weakness for chocolate.
How to Contact the Ombuds Office/Request an Appointment
Karen is available to meet with students, faculty or staff by appointment. The best way to contact her is by telephone or by requesting an appointment through the confidential form below. While you can reach Karen by email, email is not the most secure form of communication and therefore please ensure your email does not contain any sensitive or confidential information.