At its latest meeting, the Graduate Student Association at UT Austin introduced a new proposal to support funding a full-time Student Ombudsman. The UT Office of the Ombudsman, although 46 years old, has just one part-time Student Ombudsperson, Brittany Linton, and two part-time Assistant Student Ombudspersons for a student population of over 50,000.
According to an editorial in the the office assisted 1,400 students in 2013-2014, a significant increase from prior years. The fall 2014 session alone saw a 77 percent increase over the previous fall semester and a 114 percent increase over the fall of 2012. The students the OSO serves include undergraduate, graduate and professional students. (Daily Texan.)
It bears noting that UT Austin has a full-time Ombuds for staff as well as part-time Ombuds for faculty and the health sciences (all which have significantly smaller populations than the student body). Moreover, in other large, research universities, full-time Ombuds often serve populations in the range of 10,000 to 20,000. The configuration of the UT Student Ombuds program is almost incredible and a testament to Linton's resourcefulness. The UT GSA proposal will move the Student Ombuds office closer to what is considered standard practice in higher education.
Related posts: University of Texas Ombuds Office Celebrates 40 Years; University of Texas Appoints Interim Student Ombuds; Job Posting; University of Texas Appoints Ombuds for Biomedical Sciences; University of Texas Staff Ombuds Posts First Annual Report; IOA Posts Agenda for Tenth Annual Conference (Concurrent Session 13: "Applying Psychological Acronyms in Ombuds: Theoretical & Research Based Interventions", Brittany Linton).