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The Faculty Ombuds is a faculty member who acts as a neutral agent on behalf of other faculty members who have questions about academic rights, responsibilities, and the working environment. This service is offered by UHD to support faculty members in their professional lives. Faculty members may consult the Faculty Ombuds concerning interpretations and applications of university policy, as well as matters of interpersonal conflict with administrative personnel, colleagues, or other members of the university community.
The Faculty Ombuds is selected by the Faculty Senate in consultation with the Provost and appointed by the President. The full details of the charge of the Faculty Ombuds and the university procedures for the faculty member holding that office can be found in PS 10.A.18.
A major reason for the creation of this office is to offer avenues for some issues to be clarified or settled before they grow into a formal grievance (e.g., questions on promotion, tenure, and annual evaluations). However, the Faculty Ombuds, though not participating in the formal grievance process, can also act as resource for faculty members involved in a grievance.
Faculty should consult the Campus Relations Officer, not the Faculty Ombuds, regarding issues of sexual harassment or discrimination.
Faculty Ombuds’ Service
The current UHD Faculty Ombuds is Dr. William Gilbert, Associate Professor of English. Dr. Gilbert came to this role in October 2010, after service to UHD since 1976, including nine years as department chair. He is a member of the International Ombudsman Association (IOA) and has participated in professional training sessions offered by that organization.
The Code of Ethics for the IOA states that someone in an ombuds role should offer visitors to the office assurance that they will be listened to confidentially and dealt with impartially. The Faculty Ombuds will work to offer alternatives to a faculty member who is uncertain how to proceed when confronted with a difficult professional situation. It is also part of the Ombuds’ duty to report to the Faculty Senate and the University Administration matters of general concern or trends that threaten UHD as a supportive, professional workplace. All such reports keep sources confidential to the extent permitted by law.
Contact the Faculty Ombuds
Faculty members may consult the Faculty Ombuds by calling 832.236.1648 and leaving a message or by sending an email message for an appointment with Dr. William Gilbert. If you use email, for the sake of your privacy, please do not include information about the nature of your inquiry in your message. Also, Dr. Gilbert is available to speak with departments, committees, or other faculty groups on matters of UHD policy and the service of the Faculty Ombuds.
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Last updated or reviewed on 8/22/14