The Faculty Council and the Executive Vice President and Provost are seeking nominations for the Faculty Ombuds, an office that provides faculty a prompt and professional way to resolve concerns and conflicts beyond turning to their supervisors. The Ombuds serves as a neutral third party, providing information, advice, and mediation to faculty who have University-related questions or complaints.
The Faculty Ombuds’ concerns extend to all aspects of University life that affect faculty. The Ombuds offers a private place to voice concerns, clarify desired outcomes, think through difficult situations, develop options, and problem-solve; channels complaints of faculty to appropriate University officials or committees (including the Faculty Grievance Committee and the Committee of Counsel on Academic Freedom and Responsibility); and seeks expeditious and impartial redress. The Ombuds ensures that case records are maintained in a confidential manner; recommends to University officials procedures or policies as necessary; makes a written annual report to the Executive Vice President and Provost and the Faculty Council regarding the operation of the Office of the Faculty Ombuds; makes periodic reports to appropriate University standing committees when issues arise that should be addressed by those committees; and, when deemed necessary, reports to the Executive Vice President and Provost or appropriate University committee any valid complaint for which no remedy has been found, making recommendations as appropriate regarding such complaints.
Only tenured professors employed at The University of Texas at Austin are eligible for the Faculty Ombuds position. Additional qualifications include:
- an understanding of the administrative procedures of the University;
- strong written and oral communication skills;
- effective interpersonal skills; the ability to evaluate objectively the facts of a given situation;
- the ability to manage the Office of the Faculty Ombuds; and
- an ability to act with fairness, objectivity, tact, independence, and respectful concern for the welfare of all members of the University community and the well-being of the University.
The Faculty Ombuds’ office is located within the Office of the General Faculty. The Ombuds will be appointed by the Executive Vice President and Provost for a two-year, renewable term, and will report directly to the Senior Vice Provost for Faculty Affairs. Compensation will be provided in the form of a single course release in either the Fall or Spring session and a three-month summer salary as a part of a full-time administrative summer appointment. In addition, support will be available for the Ombuds to participate in formal mediation training at the International Ombuds Association.
Applications should entail a single PDF comprising a letter of interest (2-page maximum) and a curriculum vitae (4-page maximum). The application should be submitted online no later than Monday, June 22, 2020. Nominations of prospective ombuds are also highly encouraged to be submitted no later than Monday, June 8, 2020. It is expected that the work of the new Faculty Ombuds will begin on August 1, 2020 to allow transition time with the current Ombuds.