May 21, 2015

Meet the Ombuds at Life University

Jeremy Smith has been the Ombudsman at Life University since 2013. As the Ombuds for the small private university in the Atlanta suburb of Marietta, Smith mediates situations on campus, involving faculty, staff and students. He said, “It seemed like it was a position tailor-made for me.” Though he’s worked in corporate employee relations with Hewlett-Packard, he’s always enjoyed working in higher education, having served in employee relations at both Colorado State University and Vanderbilt University. 

 He also says that he never quite leaves his job behind.

“You don’t get a ‘turn off’ button,” he laughs. “Mediation is 24/7. Just last night, I had two phone calls! Friends and family members always try to pull me in with, ‘Well, I want to run something past you.’ The thing about a mediator is that you want someone neutral.” Though he tries to avoid mediating between friends and family, as a member of the International Ombudsman Association, he tries to interject and diffuse conflict in public when he can. Besides his obligation to the IOA, conflict resolution is part of who he is.

Smith graduated from the University of North Colorado. He went on to earn an MS in Human Resource Management and an ADR certificate at Colorado State University. (Faces of Life; LinkedIn.)

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