Marsha Wagner, who served as Columbia's Ombuds Officer for 22 years, retired last week. Announcing the retirement, University President Lee Bollinger said, “It is not often that we have occasion to honor the service of someone who has held a senior post in University administration for more than two decades as the office’s only occupant and who was herself central to its creation.” Wagner told the Columbia Spectator that she was honored to be asked to establish the office, which handled 14,514 cases during her tenure.
Wagner was well known as a leader within the Organizational Ombuds profession. She served three terms on the Board of Directors of The Ombudsman Association and one year on the Board of Directors of the International Ombudsman Association. She chaired the TOA Professional Development Committee for six years and the IOA Committee
on Ethics, Standards of Practice and Best Practices. Wagner helped establish the first certification program for Organizational Ombuds and served as the president of the IOA Board of Certification. In addition to two books on Chinese poetry and an anthology of essays on the 1989 Chinese democracy movement, she has written several articles about the Ombuds role.
Although Columbia opened a search for Wagner's replacement in March, a successor has not yet been announced. Nonetheless, the Ombuds Office is still open, and the
administrative assistant is providing referrals to other programs at Columbia. (Columbia Spectator; Columbia Record.)
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