April 24, 2019

North American Society for Bat Research Implements Ombuds Program

The professional association dedicated to the promotion and development of the scientific study of bats has named two its first two Ombuds: Matina Kalcounis-Rüppell and Terry Zinn. The society's website recently announced: "As part of an effort to create an environment in which members feel comfortable reporting potential violations of NASBR by-laws or policies, two Ombudsperson positions were approved by the Board in Knoxville last year." The Ombuds will serve an initial three-year term.

According to NABSR's Code of Conduct, "Any individual covered by this policy who believes that he/she has been subjected to harassment or discrimination should contact the Ombudsperson or a member of the NASBR Board of Directors." Although the Ombuds are primarily an informal resource, if anyone makes a formal complaint, the NASBR Ombuds may be appointed by the Board to conduct a impartial investigation.

Kalcounis-Rüppell is a Professor and Head of the Department of Biology at the University of North Carolina at Greensboro. Zinn is an environmental attorney in private practice in Gainesville, Florida, and an adjunct law professor at the University of Florida. Both are Ex Officio members of the NASBR board. (NABSR News, Code of Conduct; UNCG; Florida Wildflower.)

Related post: National Academies of Sciences, Engineering and Medicine Endorses Ombuds for Higher Ed's Sexual Harassment Problem.


  1. interesting - this seems to be a combination of ombuds roles - I'd be curious about the consequences of an investigation....