December 15, 2009

Penn State Seeking Faculty Ombuds to Lead Campus Program

The Pennsylvania State University Faculty Senate is seeking a current or emeritus faculty member for the position of University Ombudsperson. The position is a four-year renewable term. (Penn State Live.)

Since it was established in 1998, the Faculty Ombuds program at Penn State has relied on a network of campus volunteers to serve as unit Ombuds. Currently, there are 47 Ombuds or alternates. Emeritus professor David ("Duff") Gold coordinates the program and serves as the University Ombudsman. Although the tenth largest US university, Penn State's Ombuds handled just 43 cases in 2008-09. (PSU Faculty Senate Rules; PSU Ombuds Report 2008-09.)

At an Ombuds workshop in September, a faculty member presented an evaluation of the Penn State Ombuds program. The report found that undergraduate and graduate students lacked an independent, confidential and neutral dispute resolution resource and argued for broader Ombuds coverage. The report also found that Ombuds programs at similar institutions were staffed by full-time, experienced professionals. (PSU Ombuds Workshop, 9/18/09.)

Related posts: Penn State's First Ombuds Returns.

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