Carleton is fortunate to have a group of Workplace Advisors who have been chosen from faculty, administrative officers, support staff, and technical staff. They are available to all faculty and non-union employees of the College. Students are expected to seek out the offices and committees which serve student interest; union contracts include grievance procedures for members of bargaining units.
The Workplace Advising service is intended to be a low-key, helpful, and private way of enabling people to solve problems that may arise in the workplace before they become difficult. Its principal objective is to improve communication and offer counsel to employees and supervisors in work-related differences. Since the program began, the college has found that advisors can provide a channel for employees to help them repair relationships or procedures that are strained, damaged, or simply in need of improvement, in a positive, courteous way. If requested by the employee, the Workplace Advisors will also pass on important concerns, in a confidential and sensitive manner, to appropriate parties.
A current list of Workplace Advisors is provided to all employees at the beginning of each academic year and is available on the College Committee Website. Individuals may, of course, choose the advisor whom they feel would be most helpful to them.
Objectives of the Workplace Advisors
The advisors have three objectives:
- to help each visitor who requests assistance to the best of their ability;
- to protect the rights of everyone who may be involved in the subject of a visit and to protect the welfare of Carleton; and
- to see that, over time, information about people’s concerns is transmitted to the appropriate administrative offices and committees of the college when possible, in ways which will ensure confidentiality, so that these regular administrative structures of the college can work in a more effective and understanding manner.
What to Expect
Advisors should not be expected to be advocates of a particular point of view. It is their duty to be advocates of a fair process, to offer balance, and to assure all a chance to be heard by an impartial colleague.
Here are some things you can expect if you choose to visit an advisor:
- Advisors welcome visitors with any kind of inquiry or concern; they do not seek out people with concerns. Under ordinary circumstances, they will not agree to hear a third-party or non-Carleton complaint.
- It is expected that visitors will go to only one advisor with any one concern, unless a visitor or advisor suggests that two Advisors work together.
- This procedure is strictly voluntary; whenever possible the advisors will seek to help people help themselves directly and to help people bring their concerns directly to normally constituted administrative offices if that route is acceptable to the visitor.
- Advisors welcome those who wish to come in with any other member of the Carleton community.
- One may make an appointment with any of the advisors by phone, by email, or in person.
- Under ordinary circumstances, advisors will keep no formal written records of visits to them.
- Advisors normally keep conversations private, unless a visitor and an advisor agree that some action will be undertaken which will require discussion of the visit, unless an advisor explicitly suggests some such discussion with a third person or persons and the visitor agrees, or unless the concern centers around sexual assault.
- While the advisors value the privacy of people who consult with them, the discussions are not legally “privileged,” and there can be no absolute guarantee that some party may not be entitled to the information in the unlikely event of some court-governed procedure.