July 12, 2011

American University in Cairo Poised to Create Ombuds Program

In her latest update, AUC President Lisa Anderson says that the university believes there is strong demand for an Ombuds office. Anderson promises there will soon be a search for an Ombuds reporting directly to her.

Over the course of the spring, we received numerous complaints about unfair, unequal or dishonest behavior within our own administration. Some of these were formally investigated by complaint panels, others referred to the internal auditor, several are still on-going. While we are pleased that members of the AUC community feel authorized to lodge such complaints without fear of retaliation, we also came to realize that we need a permanent office to assist in managing grievances and resolving conflict. To that end, we will be establishing a Ombuds Office.

A university Ombudsperson is responsible for neutral and impartial dispute resolution, providing confidential and informal assistance to constituents of the university community, including students, staff, faculty and administrators. The office is a means of protecting against abuse, bias and other improper treatment or unfairness. Serving as a designated neutral, the ombudsperson is not an advocate for any individual or for the university as a whole but, rather, for fairness. He or she acts as a source of information and referral, aids in answering individual’s questions, and assists in the resolution of concerns and disputes. The office supplements, but does not replace, the university’s existing resources for conflict resolution, including the Equal Opportunity and Affirmative Action Office, the Senate Grievance Committee, etc. The ombudsperson is independent of existing administrative structures and reports directly to the president.

A more elaborate description of the position can be checked here and we will be advertising the position at AUC shortly; in the meantime, we would welcome applications and nominations.
The position description is adapted from TOA's "Generic College/University Ombudsperson Job Description." (AUC President's Newsletter.)

1 comment:

  1. Good move, was necessary to have an ombudsman to eliminate these kind of disparities.