Office of University Ombuds

The University Ombuds Office – Trust Matters


Arrrgh!!!! Pirates! I am John Howard, East Carolina University Organizational Ombuds. I arrived at East Carolina in 2003 and have been a dedicated Pirate since! I am a member of the International Ombudsman Association and come to the position with academic and professional backgrounds in conflict management, interpersonal communication, organizational communication, faculty governance, leadership, and policy.

Want to meet and talk?
Whether you may need Ombuds services or simply want to know about what an Ombuds does I can meet you at your office, my office, or elsewhere to chat more about your needs and interests. Contact me at or 252-328-5305 and we can set up a time and place to talk.

What does the Ombuds do?
The Ombuds is an impartial and confidential resource for learning about organizational policies, leading people to the best resources/offices for issues, assistance in dealing with difficult situations or people, and even as a third-party conflict manager when multiple people need help working through issues. The Ombuds can also serve an organizational role in policy troubleshooting.

Who does the Ombuds serve?
The Ombuds office serves Staff (SHRA and CSS), Faculty, and Administrators. Students are served by OSRR and offices under the Dean of Students. Faculty and Students at the Brody School of Medicine are served by the Brody Office of the Ombuds.

When should I contact the Ombuds?
The Ombuds is here for you as a first line of assistance or a last resort for your organizational questions and challenges. The office aids people before, during, after, or as an alternative to other formal avenues of action (e.g., grievances). Anytime you need assistance – contact the Ombuds!

Working with the Ombuds – What to expect.
The hallmark of Ombuds work is trust – it is difficult to share problems without it. The office is a relaxed place to chat casually and “off the record.” Know that you will be respected, your words heard, and your concerns valued. At the very least, a person leaving my office (or a phone call with me) should feel the satisfaction that comes with airing something out and being appreciated for it. I do (and will) earn that trust and keep it by serving the interests of those who use the office and adhering to the professional standards of Independence, Impartiality, Confidentiality, and Informality in that service. When considering looking for help ask “What can the Ombuds do for me?” Get in touch and find out!

Contact Office of University Ombuds >

Office Information

John Howard, University Ombuds

University Ombuds: John Howard

Office: 200A Joyner East
Phone: 252-328-5305
Office hours: My availability varies daily so I schedule appointments and calls from 9am-5pm. Touch base with me and we can see where our schedules align!