November 11, 2009

Northwestern University Approves Faculty Ombuds Program

The private research university in Evanston, IL has approved an Ombuds program that is markedly different that the model adopted by peer institutions. Instead of a single office with a full-time professional Ombuds serving the entire campus community, Northwestern will have a network of volunteer faculty Ombuds assisting only other faculty. Moreover, while most university Ombuds handle any issue related to the campus, Northwestern's faculty Ombuds will not be able to offer advice or services related to cases involving alleged sexual harassment. Otherwise, the program follows IOA standards of practice with respect to confidentiality, neutrality and informality. Potentially, Northwestern could appoint more than a dozen Faculty Ombuds; none have been announced yet. (Northwestern Ombuds Guidelines.)

Related posts: Ombuds Rising: Three More Universities Considering Ombuds Offices; General Counsel Limits Scope of Proposed Ombuds Program at Northwestern.

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