Conflict Resolution: Faculty Ombudspersons

The Faculty Ombudspersons are a confidential, informal, impartial alternative dispute resolution resource for work-related problems and conflicts. Their role is to assist faculty and academic personnel in finding non-confrontational solutions to problems involving other members of the University.

They listen, suggest, obtain information, and informally mediate to achieve informal 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 their own problem. 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 Faculty Ombudspersons are appointed by the Academic Senate and are subject to the Responsible Employee requirement laid out in the UC Sexual Violence and Sexual Harassment Policy, meaning that they are required to notify the Office for Prevention of Harassment and Discrimination if a person affiliated with the University reports conduct that is prohibited under the sexual violence/sexual harassment policy. The campus does provide Confidential Resources who are not required to report to OPHD: faculty and staff may consult the PATH to Care Center, the Employee Assistance Program, or the Staff Ombuds office. (Note: Unlike the Faculty Ombudspersons, the Staff Ombuds Office is not subject to the Responsible Employee reporting requirement described above. In addition to staff in non-Senate academic series, the Staff Ombuds Office works with faculty who perform management functions or faculty who have concerns involving staff members.)

All communications and information provided to the Faculty Ombudsperson remain confidential except where there is an imminent risk of serious harm involving a physical threat or in cases of sexual violence or sexual harassment described above.

The process begins with the complainant contacting the lead Faculty Ombudsperson, or the Senate Analyst Sumali Tuchrello for a referral.