November 23, 2015

University of Oregon's First Ombuds to Step Down

According to a report in an unofficial faculty blog, Bruce MacAllister will step down from his position as UO's Ombudsperson at the end of this week.  MacAllister created the Ombuds Office at the University of Oregon in 2014 and successfully resolved several issues that would have compromised the ability of the office to operate to IOA best practices.

An email purportedly from the President's Chief of Staff on November 20 said:
Bruce MacAllister has decided to leave the university so that he can return to his home in Santa Fe, NM, to pursue ongoing consulting commitments. His last day will be November 30. We will communicate interim plans soon, as we assess program needs and plan for a new recruitment.
(UO Matters.)

Related posts: University of Oregon Exploring Ombuds ProgramUniversity of Oregon Commits to Ombuds ProgramUniversity of Oregon Faculty Endorse Ombuds ProposalCost-Benefit of ADR, Including OmbudsJob PostingUniversity of Oregon Appoints First OmbudsUniversity of Oregon Ombuds Intern Blogs InsightsUniversity of Oregon Approves Confidentiality of Ombuds in Title IX Matters; IOA Announces New Board Members.


  1. Dear Colleagues,

    Since announcing my planned departure from the University of Oregon, I have been inundated with inquiries about my reasons for leaving. I want to assure everyone that I have had an absolutely marvelous experience at the University of Oregon. I want to emphasize that my decision to leave the University was completely my own and was driven by complex personal and professional life and career considerations and not through any dissatisfaction either with me or with the University’s administration. We leave one another on the best of terms – which is extremely important to me.

    I am leaving the University of Oregon to pursue some exciting new career opportunities. My new career direction allows great flexibility and challenge and allows me to share my experience and expertise with a number of world-class organizations. I also want to assure everyone of my continuing involvement in the ombuds community. I will still be serving as an organizational ombudsperson for a large, international organization and look forward to my continuing role within the ombuds community and active duty on the IOA Board of Directors at least through my term as an interim member.

    It has been an honor to serve as the University of Oregon’s inaugural ombudsperson and to work with the many committed members of the University of Oregon camps community to build a world class program that functions to the highest standards of practice. The UO Ombuds Program enjoys outstanding support from the University administration as well as its Board of Trustees. Working together, we have built a program that enjoys the highest possible levels of confidentiality and continuing support. It has been a wonderful experience working with our University President, Dr. Schill, as well as with his predecessors. Collectively, the University community is very proud of our Ombuds Program.

    Recently, the University committed to a new permanent facility for the ombuds program, which I had the opportunity to help design from the bones out. It will offer an extremely functional physical layout and ensure a serene, confidential setting. The space should be ready for occupancy in Spring 2016. The University Ombuds Program has a highly functional website, and an outstanding new visitor tracking system that confidentially maintains working notes in a highly secure setting and seamlessly archives trends and issues, while removing any identifying information.

    Since implementing the program in March 2014, I have worked with nearly 300 visitors, and nearly 200 participants in group conflict work and recently produced the program’s first annual report. Thus, I feel a strong sense of satisfaction for the help we have been able to provide.

    I leave the University of Oregon with some sense of sadness, in that I had originally envisioned remaining at the helm of the program for some time yet. However, a combination of professional and personal circumstances required more immediate action. My departure, however, creates a great new opportunity for an outstanding member of the ombuds community to join the University of Oregon and to continue to build and shape its ombuds program. The campus and the community are simply outstanding, and I am confident that my successor will enjoy a marvelous professional and personal set of experiences. If anyone has questions about the University or the University of Oregon Ombuds Program, they should feel very free to contact me at


    Bruce MacAllister, University of Oregon Ombudsperson

    I will post the official announcement in a following post.

  2. Colleagues, Here is a copy of the letter announcing my departure from the University of Oregon.

    I look forward to continuing to work actively within the Ombuds Community for many years to come!

    Bruce MacAllister

    Dear Colleagues,
    I want to let you know about a departure from the university family. Ombudsperson Bruce MacAllister has decided to leave the university so that he can return to his home in Santa Fe, NM, to pursue ongoing consulting commitments. His last day will be November 30.  We will communicate interim plans soon, as we simultaneously assess program needs and plan for a new recruitment.
    We are deeply grateful to Bruce for launching the University of Oregon’s ombuds office, which is an independent and neutral problem-solving resource for students, faculty and staff. Prior to joining UO, Bruce helped design and implement a number of ombuds programs, including the ombuds office for the University of California at Los Alamos National Laboratory. He has more than 20 years of experience as an organizational ombudsman.
    We’re sorry to see Bruce go, and we wish him the very best of luck.
    Greg Stripp