On March 26, 2018, the traditional university in Chile named Patricio Merino Beas as its first Ombuds. In December, UCSC (Catholic University of the Most Holy Conception) decided to create an Ombuds program to act as an independent, impartial, and confidential resource for the campus community. The position directly reports to the UCSC Rector and will listen, offer advice or options, facilitate agreements or solutions, and mediate conflicts. Merino will serve an initial appointment of three years.
Merino joined the faculty of the Department of Theology in 1999 and has served as chair. He recently completed a five-year project for UCSC to develop two universities in Colombia, serving as Dean of the Faculty of Theology of the Universidad Santo Tomás in Colombia and as Academic Vice-Rector of the Biblical, Theological, Pastoral Centre for Latin America and the Caribbean. He graduated from Pontificia Universidad Catolica de Chile, earned a masters from UCSC, and a PhD from the Universidad Pontificia de Salamanca. (UCSC Internal News.)