Heath Turner / hturner@eng.ua.edu ; 348-1733 / Engineering / Term 2016-19
Roxanne Mitchell / rmitchell@bamaed.ua.edu; 348-0348 / Education / Term 2017-20
Seth Appiah-Opoku / sappiah@ua.edu; 348-2731 / Arts & Sciences/ Term 2018-21

About the Faculty Ombudspersons

The faculty ombudsperson is an impartial and confidential resource to assist faculty in resolving problems, complaints, conflicts, and other issues. The ombudsperson’s ultimate goal is to assist faculty in finding equitable, just, and timely resolutions to problems. As a neutral resource, the ombudsperson does not take sides; instead, he/she attempts to address issues in an impartial and objective manner.

Three persons serve as ombudspersons, serving staggered three year terms. One ombudsperson is elected each year conjunction with the Faculty Senate election. For conditions of service as Faculty Ombudspersons, see Article II, Section 10 of the Faculty Senate By-Laws.

What does an ombudsperson specifically do?

  • Listens carefully to your complaint or problem
  • Responds to your requests for information
  • Informally investigates your complaint or problem
  • Helps you identify and evaluate options and strategies for solving your problem
  • Opens channels of communication
  • Helps mediate a resolution to your problem
  • Identifies, clarifies, and interprets University policies and procedures
  • Refers you to appropriate campus resources
  • Recommends changes in University policies or procedures that are unfair, outdated, or ineffective

What doesn’t an ombudsperson do?

  • Represent you formally in a grievance procedure
  • Provide you legal advice or legal representation
  • Address a non-University related problem or complaint
  • Intervene in a formal grievance procedure
  • Overturn decisions by University officials
  • Advocate for you (i.e., assume a non-neutral role)

When should I contact the ombudsperson? When:

  • You don’t know where to turn or who to talk to about a University problem
  • You need to have a confidential discussion about a work-related problem
  • You feel a University policy or procedure has been unfairly applied to you
  • You need more information about faculty rights and University policies and procedures
  • You need help in facilitating a resolution to a work-related problem
  • You need help in communicating or negotiating with other faculty, staff, or University administrators
  • You want to know your options for solving a work-related problem
  • You prefer to resolve a dispute in an informal manner
  • You want to know what University resources are available to you