June 07, 2018

Geoffrey Wallace: Former UC Santa Barbara Ombuds

Geoffrey Wallace, who served as the Ombuds at the UCSB from 1970-2004, passed away on April 24, 2018. On May 2, 2018, Santa Barbara's Chancellor had the campus flag flown at half-mast to honor Geoffrey’s three decades of service to the campus. 

In an article for the Journal of IOA in 2013, Tom Sebok, summarized some of Wallace's contributions to the field:
Geoffrey Wallace was among the first individuals hired to serve as ombudsman on a campus of the University of California. While still a Ph.D. student in Sociology at the University of California at Santa Barbara (UCSB), he took graduate seminars – and much inspiration – from one of the world’s leading scholars on the ombudsman concept, political science professor Stanley V. Anderson. This makes him one of the only – if not the only – University Ombudsman to be introduced to the concept by one of the leading scholars in the world. Wallace is among a small number of individuals to serve in the same university ombudsman role for over 30 years (1970 to 2004). One of his most enduring pioneering achievements was collaborating with Don Hartsock and Bill Schatz to start the annual meeting of the CCCUO at the Asilomar Conference Grounds in Pacific Grove, CA.
(Memorial Website; JIOA.)


  1. I knew Geoff, just a very little, when I attended UCSB from 1973-1979. For some reason I thought about him today -- totally out of the blue -- and decided to see if I could drop him a note. I'm so sorry to learn he died 8 or so months ago. He was a fine gentleman, a humane and thoughtful guy who was always a pleasure to talk to. I hope the campus will consider naming a building or somesuch after him, as he's a man who ought be remembered.

  2. I knew Geoff very well, first as a student activist at UCSB where he mediated between us and the administration (I met him in 1985 when he got us out of jail after a campus anti-apartheid protest) and thereafter as a friend in Santa Barbara. After retirement he moved to Scotland and worked in universities helping to set up new programs for learning.