January 30, 2017

Meet Ohio University's New Ombuds

In July 2016, Mac Strickland was named the University Ombudsperson for OU.  The former Assistant Director of Housing and Residence Life continues a program that was established four decades ago as part of the first wave of campus Ombuds programs at large universities.  Strickland was the subject of a recent profile by the OU newsletter. 

Among other things, Stricklen talks about the work he does on a daily basis:

“The ombuds positon concentrates on what I found most rewarding in the other positions I’ve held over the years—particularly working with conflict resolution, supporting people when they find themselves struggling, and helping to facilitate problem solving,” Stricklen said.
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“The International Ombudsman Association’s standards of practice call for an ombudsperson to be confidential, neutral, informal, and independent,” Stricklen said. “In a large organization like Ohio University, those four principles allow my position to provide something unique even among the numerous other resources available to faculty, staff, and students. Often, people who find their way to me aren’t sure where to turn, what to do, or whether or not they even want anyone to know they’re seeking help with a situation. The ombuds office provides a place where someone can feel comfortable exploring a full range of options and still feel like they’re in the driver’s seat when choosing which way to go next.”
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“I can help mediate or help coach someone on effective communication when a working relationship isn’t really working,” Stricklen said. “I can connect people with other resources and processes that might best fit their needs, I can make sure policies and procedures are being applied accurately and fairly, and I do a lot of listening. Many people who come to the office just need a place to feel comfortable thinking out loud and to have a confidential sounding board. One of my favorite experiences in the job is watching people see solutions emerge from their own thinking when they have that first opportunity to have someone really listen.”
(OU Compass.)

Related posts: Ohio U. Ombuds Issues Annual Report and Considers Adopting IOA Reporting Categories; Ohio U. Selects Interim Ombuds; Ohio University Ombuds Reports on Eventful Year; Ohio University Names Permanent Ombuds Ohio University to Seek New OmbudsOhio University Faculty Seek Changes to Confidentiality Rules; Job Posting; Ohio University Names New Ombuds.

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