The Faculty Ombudsperson is a confidential, informal, impartial alternative for the resolution of work-related problems and conflicts.  Members of this committee, acting as individuals, are available to Senate members and staff members in the academic series.  The latter may also go to the Staff Ombudsperson (642-7823), who has much more expertise in matters of personnel policy, both union and non-union contract issues, and legal matters.

The Faculty Ombudspersons function as classical "organizational ombudspersons," solving problems and disputes in a confidential and informal manner.  They listen, suggest, investigate, and mediate to achieve problem resolution. Often they satisfy the needs of the complainant by simply acting as a sounding board and source of advice as to how that person may solve his/her own problem.  It is the objective of the ombudsperson to get all parties to act collegially and according to their responsibilities.  All proceedings remain confidential.  Ombudspersons do not issue reports or findings.  They do not keep written records or act as witnesses in possible subsequent proceedings.  They subscribe to a code of conduct, assuring impartiality and confidentiality.

The process begins with the complainant contacting a Faculty Ombudsperson (usually the chair who will direct the caller to the appropriate member).  After a phone call or brief meeting, a discussion is held concerning possible courses of action.  All actions are strictly confidential and, unless at the request of the complainant, no action is taken.  The ombudsperson may also advise the complainant that they he/she has no basis for a complaint and decline to proceed further.  Often, at the request of the complainant, the ombudsperson contacts the faculty member or member of the administration that is in a position to solve the problem and, if necessary, arranges a meeting to discuss the issues.  It is our experience that most members of the University community respond positively to the ombudspersons' suggestions and that the majority of disputes can be resolved informally.