December 19, 2011

Article Spotlights Work of Ombuds in San Diego

The San Diego Union-Tribune recently profiled Ombuds at four local universities. The newest is Derrick Crawford, who became the first Ombudsperson at California State University San Marcos earlier this year. Crawford serves the entire campus and also handles diversity and educational equity issues.

Crawford says that when he was hired, he sought advice from Judy Bruner at the University of California San Diego and Marit Bessesen at San Diego State University.

Bruner also serves all campus constituents. Although she declined to be interviewed for the article, student leaders said Bruner recently helped diffuse a campus protest when UCSD students demanded that administrators reopen a closed library. “She was there in the morning, before the (administrators) got there,” said Josue Castillo, 21, who was involved in negotiations with officials over the library. “She was there talking to students and getting their perspective. She was very helpful in general, being there and offering her presence.”

At San Diego State, Bessesen serves Ombuds just for students. “I do talk with faculty, but only if it’s a student focused issue,” she said, adding that the kind of faculty and staff issues handled by her counterparts would be addressed by unions or human resources officials at SDSU. Bessesen said she can work with 10 to 30 students a day.

At the University of San Diego, Tom Cleary’s work as an Ombuds is limited strictly to external relations. Cleary, who is also the director of community and government relations, explains, “We are in a residential neighborhood. I deal with neighbors over traffic from basketball games or football games and noise from construction projects or students opening their windows and blaring their stereos.” (SD Union-Tribune.)

1 comment:

  1. Wait, I don't remember much about the student unrest at UCSD and there definitely wasn't a mention of the ombudsperson.
    [pause] Ohhhh...I get it.