Fit it in a Minute with Laura Umphrey

On Oct. 12, National Ombuds Day (#OmbudsDay2023) is recognized throughout the world to highlight this valuable profession that is not well known. An organizational ombuds is a dispute resolution specialist that serves their own constituents within an organization. Ombuds offices help build and improve workplace culture, support employees so they can thrive in a caring and inclusive environment, provide confidential space to help visitors identify and address issues, address interpersonal and group conflict and uncover systemic issues to create a healthier organization.

At the beginning of this academic year, the Provost’s Office appointed Laura Umphrey and KT Thompson to serve as director and assistant director of the newly expanded Office of the University Ombuds. The NAU Ombuds provides a safe space for faculty, staff and graduate students to talk about issues, aid in problem-solving and explore options to resolve issues that impact one’s work, life or study at NAU, with a goal to help visitors feel hope and empowerment to navigate through issues in pursuit of solutions. Other services include small group facilitation and specialized communication workshops. The office works informally and complementary to other formal channels on campus. Learn more about the office from Umphrey in the video below.


To acknowledge and celebrate Ombuds Day, Umphrey has set a goal to drop into every building on campus to say hello and to leave an NAU Ombuds informational flyer. Feel free to say hi if you see her in your department or on the NAU pedway!

To request a confidential appointment, please call (928) 523-8767 or email:, or scan the QR code below.

QR code for University Ombuds

NAU Communications