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Faculty Ombuds


About the Ombuds

An ombuds (or ombudsman or ombudsperson) assists individuals and groups in the resolution of conflicts or concerns. Ombuds work in all types of organizations, including government agencies, colleges and universities, corporations, hospitals and other medical facilities, and news organizations.

Faculty Ombuds Jim Augustine has assisted members of the faculty with their questions, concerns, issues and inquiries since the role was established in 2006. A professor emeritus, Augustine has taught, written research articles as well as a book on the human brain and served the university in a range of capacities for more than 40 years. He has been honored by both the medical school and university, and he has served as chair of the Faculty Senate. His deep understanding of the workplace and culture ensures your confidential concerns will be treated with the utmost trust and respect.

 

What We Do

  • Listen
  • Offer information about university policies and procedures
  • Discuss concerns and clarify the issues
  • Help identify and evaluate a range of options for resolving a problem
  • Gather information and offer referrals to other resources
  • Help visitors prepare for a difficult conversation
  • Facilitate communication, indirectly or through shuttle diplomacy with concerned parties
  • Work for collaborative agreements
  • Track perceived issues and trends
  • Make recommendations for institutional change
  • Do all our work informally

 

What We Don't Do

  • Make decisions for a visitor
  • Establish, change or set aside policies
  • Offer legal advice
  • Offer psychological counseling
  • Participate in formal processes such as academic grievance procedures
  • Serve as an agent of notice for the university
  • Serve as an advocate for any individual
  • Participate in formal investigations or write case reports
  • Serve as a neutral adjudicator of complaints
  • Create or maintain records or reports for the organization except for an annual report to the Faculty Senate