March 09, 2021

Caffera Resumes Duties at University of Mississippi

In an email last week, Ole Miss Chancellor, Glenn F. Boyce announced that the University Ombuds, Paul Caffera, will return to work. However, the message notably omitted any mention of the Ombuds' confidentiality, which continues to be a legal issue in the university's motion to dismiss Caffera's lawsuit in state chancery court. The undated email, which was provided by a university insider, says:

Dear faculty, staff and graduate students,
Paul Caffera will resume his responsibilities as the University ombuds, effective immediately. I look forward to him once again serving the UM community.
I want to thank William W. Berry III, Montague Professor of Law in the University of Mississippi School of Law, for his service as Acting University Ombuds since December.
As I shared in a previous message, the university is committed to maintaining this important function on our campus as a neutral, independent and informal place to seek assistance voluntarily to bring forth and resolve campus-related concerns.
Glenn F. Boyce
A hearing on UM's motion to dismiss Caffera's suit is set for hearing on March 24, 2021.

Confidentiality, is of course, a primary ethical tenet of Ombuds practice. The controversy over Caffera's efforts to protect his visitors' identities is widely known on the UM campus. It thus remains to be seen whether anyone would dare communicate with him under the circumstances.

Update: The Mississippi Free Press reached Caffera's attorney for comment. He said Caffera refused to identify any of his visitors despite significant pressure from the university. (MFP.)


  1. Do the administrators down there stand around twisting their mustaches while cackling maniacally? It sounds like the chancellor is intent on killing the program.

    I trust that Paul will continue to practice to IOA standards even if he has to swim upstream to do so.

  2. It certainly seems like the university decision makers didn't think through the likely outcomes and the impacts. Really, there are no good outcomes for anyone. (Okay, maybe the Civil-War-sympathizing donors.)
    -The Angry Ombuds

  3. Thanks for zeroing in on the key issue: confidentiality. This sure looks like a tactical misdirection by UMiss. "Nothing to see here, folks-- Caffera is back." I hope Paul is able to find a way to highlight that the university is de facto revoking his charter.

  4. FYI

  5. Olr Miss put him back but didn't adhere to the charter and pay his legal bills? It sounds like a pyrrhic victory.