September 07, 2023

Job Posting (and Transitions): University of South Carolina

The public research university in Columbia, South Carolina, has opened a search for its first Staff Ombudsperson. The full-time position will serve nearly 15,000 staff and report to the Director of Organizational Development. The job description says that the Staff Ombuds is "neutral and confidential" and services include "informal mediations," but does not reference the IOA standards.

Applicants must have a relevant Bachelor’s degree and at least four years experience in an Ombuds or similar role (i.e. assisting employees with resolving problems or conflict management). Preferred qualifications include knowledge of the policies, processes and systems of SC would be helpful. The position will pay $59,581 to $70,000 per year and applications are due by September 19, 2023. (UofSC Posting.)

Separately, there have been changes in the other Ombuds programs at SC. Earlier this year, the Office of the Student Ombuds was renamed the Office of Student Advocacy. It remains within the department of Student Affairs and Academic Support. (UofSC Student Advocacy.)

Also, SC's long-time Faculty Ombuds, Jim Augustine, retired earlier this year. He established the program in 2006 and was unrelenting in his efforts to maintain compliance with IOA standards. Robin DiPietro was named as his successor. She is also a Professor in the School of Hospitality and Tourism Management and Director of the International Institute for Foodservice Research and Education. She earned her BS, MBA, an PhD at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln. (UofSC Faculty Ombuds.)

Meanwhile, Dale Moore continues as the Graduate School Ombuds, a position he created in 2012. This summer, his website was updated to state that "the Graduate School Ombuds has been designated as a mandatory reporter for Title IX & Civil Rights violations," and to remove reference to and links to the IOA standards. (UofSC Grad School Ombuds.)


  1. Lots to be concerned about with this posting, thanks for highlighting! In addition to the reporting structure the starting salary range is listed as $59,581 - $70,000.

  2. If someone from UofSC ever reads these comments may I suggest UofSC either rename all the positions to something else than an Ombudsperson because these positions are now OINOs (Ombuds In Name Only) or model their program after any of the academic programs that have been set up properly. Or, consult with the IOA.

  3. The problem is that under the current IOA structure and philosophy anything can be called an ombuds and be embraced by IOA. The uniqueness of what organizational ombuds have been is being watered down and diminished one OINO after another.

    More "ombuds" is not better if so many of the "ombuds" positions are not created in ways that are consistent with what organizational ombuds have been and should be.