March 22, 2011

Florida International University Creates Ombuds for Department Chairs

The public university in Miami has opened a second Ombuds Office: John Stuart has been appointed as the Department Chairs' Ombuds. In his role as part-time Ombuds, Stuart serves as an independent, neutral, informal, and confidential, resource for all chairs of university departments and directors who serve as chairs. The new program supplements the work of the existing FIU Ombuds for Students.

According to the website for the new program, the FIU Department Chairs' Ombuds is a resource for department chairs who seek guidance on how to address and resolve workplace issues. In addition, the Ombuds attempts to identify recurrent academic workplace issues or themes brought up by department chairs and discuss with the Provost possible changes in policy, practice, or procedures to address them.

John Stuart is a Professor in the FIU Department of Architecture and principal of his own firm. He is currently Fellow at the Van Alen Institute. Stuart earned undergraduate degrees in classics and applied mathematics from Brown University, a graduate degree from Princeton University, and a professional architecture degree from Columbia University.  (FIU Faculty Chairs' Ombuds, School of Architecture Profile, Student Ombuds.)