The University of Wisconsin Oshkosh
Policy # [####]
Faculty Ombudsperson (FAC 9.A)

Original Issuance Date: MMMM DD, YYYY
Last Revision Date: MMMM DD, YYYY
Next Review Date: MMMM DD, YYYY







Part A Faculty Ombudsperson
FAC 9.A.1. Role of Ombudsperson

The faculty ombudsperson acts as a neutral agent to enhance communication, to clarify possible misunderstandings, to advise faculty members about potential courses of action to pursue, and to work to remediate conflicts.

FAC 9.A.2. Appointment of Ombudsperson

The ombudsperson will be a tenured or emeritus faculty member appointed by the Faculty Senate Executive Committee for a three year renewable term. Full description of and application for the ombudsperson position are available in the Faculty Senate office. The ombudsperson can be removed from the position at any time by the Faculty Senate Executive Committee.

FAC 9.A.3. Principles:

1) The ombudsperson will function independently of all university offices and will promote the value of fairness, equity, justice and mutual respect.

2) The ombudsperson will assist in resolving concerns or problems related to issues of faculty rights and responsibilities.

3) To the extent permitted by law, conversations with the ombudsperson will be kept confidential except where there appears to be imminent risk of serious harm, where harassment or other illegal activity may be involved, and where there is no reasonable option.

4) Meeting with the ombudsperson is an informal and off-the-record process; and as such the ombudsperson will not become involved with the normal operations of the grievance or complaint process or disciplinary procedures.

FAC 9.A.4. Duties:

1) (a) In cases of conflict between faculty members and students or non-faculty campus personnel, the ombudsperson will advise and advocate for the fair representation of faculty members’ rights and concerns.

2) (b) In cases of conflict between individual faculty members, the ombudsperson will serve as an impartial facilitator and neutral agent representing neither the university administration nor any individual.

3) In both cases (a) and (b) above, act as a confidential and informal resource for information.

4) Direct faculty to appropriate offices, committees, and university rules, grievance procedures and policies.

5) Foster communication between members of the campus community.

6) Assure that appropriate department, college, and/or campus procedures are exhausted before referring the case to higher levels.

7) File an annual report with the Faculty Senate Executive Committee outlining the number of cases, the types of issues raised and the positions involved (not specific cases), making recommendations for changing processes to make them more effective, and evaluating the operation of the Ombudsperson role.