About Us

Jen Graf Sims, Staff OmbudsJen Graf Sims

Jen Graf Sims has been pleased with the reception of the Staff Ombuds Office at The University of Texas at Austin and looks forward to its increased involvement in the university community. She has worked as an ombuds at the University of Hawaii and for Bridgepoint Education. She has degrees in Anthropology, Psychology and Community and Cultural Psychology. Jen has worked as a facilitator in many capacities that range from resolving group conflict to addressing public policy issues. She is also a professional mediator and has trained others in facilitation and mediation. Jen is a member of the International Ombudsman Association, the Ombuds of Texas and Texas Organizational Ombuds Practitioners Alliance.




Mike McKinley, Staff Ombuds Adminstrative Associate

Mike McKinley is the first point of contact for the Staff Ombuds Office and is happy to welcome you when you call or drop by our office.  Mike graduated from UT-Austin with a BFA in Theatre and an MA in Communication.  He speaks Spanish fluently and has been in the Spanish Honors Program in the Department of Spanish and Portuguese for the last eight years.  In addition, he has studied at la Universidad de Guadalajara in Guadalajara, Jalisco, México.  Mike has over 15 years of experience working at UT in various areas including the School of Human Ecology where he received the Staff Excellence Award.




Peace BirdWhat we do

Our responses are tailored to the visitor’s particular situation and needs. We may:

  • Listen to your concerns
  • Offer information about university policies and procedures
  • Discuss and clarify issues
  • Help identify a range of options for solving problems
  • Gather information and offer referrals to other resources
  • Offer coaching to help you prepare for a difficult conversation
  • Facilitate communication
  • Track perceived issues and trends
  • Make recommendations for institutional improvements

What we do not do

  • Make decisions or findings of fact
  • Establish, change or override policies
  • Offer legal advice
  • Offer psychological counseling
  • Participate in grievances or other formal processes
  • Serve as an advocate for any person