October 08, 2008

Ombuds Prompts Changes at University of Iowa

In response to the latest annual report by University Ombuds Cynthia Joyce, UI faculty are revising their code of conduct. According to a new code faculty leaders are developing, "(Faculty) will not use threatening, intimidating or abusive language; and not engage in conduct that creates a hostile work environment ... and comply with the university policy on violence." The revision is endorsed by provost's office and comes in response to the Ombuds' report of increasing disrespectful behavior among faculty, staff and students. The UI Ombuds Office is also planning to focus on outreach to students this year. (Iowa City Press Citizen; Daily Iowan.)

This type of upward feedback and institutional response exemplify the unique benefit of an Organizational Ombuds. No other ADR mechanism provides this kind of early warning and opportunity for systemic change. A credible and effective Ombuds program has clearly benefited the University of Iowa. The proposed changes in the faculty code will improve the campus climate for many.

Related post: University of Iowa Ombuds Issues Annual Report.

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