DECEMBER 9, 2013


B. Annual Report of the University Faculty Ombudsperson for 2012-2013 (D 10991).

Faculty Ombuds Mary Steinhardt (professor, kinesiology and health education) began by informing Faculty Council members of the three ombuds offices on campus, which had been established to provide students, staff and faculty “with a prompt and professional way to resolve concerns, conflicts and complaints beyond coming to their supervisors.” She stated that the faculty ombuds services are available to all faculty members and post-doctoral scholars with University appointments. Professor Steinhardt presented a slide that illustrated the increasing number of faculty visiting the faculty ombuds office over the years from forty visitors on average in 2004 through 2008 up to ninety-four this past year. The visitors had sought help or advice on concerns involving the tenure process, denial of promotion and tenure, post-tenure review, salary/gender equity, professional conflicts, concerns regarding appropriate procedures being followed, and help having a difficult conversation. She commented that most cases brought to the ombuds could be resolved without filing a formal grievance. She expressed her gratitude for the extraordinary cooperation from all levels including the deans, chairs and especially from Renee Wallace and the UT lawyers who she said were “fabulous and helped her do her job better.” Dr. Steinhardt reminded people “to choose actions that best demonstrate fairness and respect, and where appropriate, advocacy for rewards.” Nonetheless, she stated, “conflicts will arise. Well-meaning, bright people sometimes disagree and most can be resolved amicably.”1

1See Appendix B for the complete faculty ombuds PowerPoint presentation.

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