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Ombudsperson

Employer
Williams College
Location
Massachusetts, United States
Salary
Salary Not Specified
Start date
Jun 16, 2021

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Position Type
Administrative, Academic Affairs, Academic Administration, Faculty Affairs
Employment Type
Full Time
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Opening Details

Williams seeks an inaugural ombudsperson to serve faculty and staff. The Ombudsperson will serve as a resource for individuals seeking assistance with a variety of workplace issues, and for administrative and academic units seeking help with communication, conflict, and interpersonal dynamics. They will provide guidance and improves the understanding of the College’s policies and procedures while fostering a fair, equitable, and respectful work environment for all faculty and staff. The Ombudsperson listens to concerns, facilitates equitable resolutions, fosters communication, provides information and referral services, serves as a resource to facilitate and improve conflict management.

Reporting directly to the President, the Ombudsperson works independently of all administrative and academic offices. The ombudsperson offers a neutral, informal and confidential place for faculty and staff to bring their concerns. The Ombudsperson will help individuals clarify their interests and goals, understand and weigh their options, and develop strategies for handling difficult situations. The ombudsperson can coach individuals in written and verbal communications; identify and explain relevant college policies and practices; provide referrals to other offices and services; assist in resolving interpersonal conflict by facilitating one-on-one and group conversations. This is a half-time, fully-benefited position with a flexible schedule.

Responsibilities

Role and responsibilities include but are not limited to:

  • Serve as a neutral party that can offer impartial assessments of concerns and provide information about available policies, resources, and options.
  • Provide individuals with a respectful, confidential, and safe place to discuss challenges and issues; help individuals consider appropriate options and understand relevant policies and processes; and, provide referrals to other resources.
  • Empower individuals to resolve conflict for themselves and/or between themselves and others through impartial, informal, and confidential processes such as conflict resolution coaching, problem-solving, and/or facilitated conversations or meetings between individuals and within groups. When appropriate, serve as a consultant, facilitator, or mediator for two or more individuals, or for administrative departments or academic units.
  • Track de-identified concerns and complaints for annual reporting purposes and identify recurring issues that may benefit from changes to policies or practices.
  • Conduct outreach and education about their services to faculty and staff .
  • Design and conduct training programs that could include: individual and group conflict management; giving and receiving feedback; email and conflict escalation; effective and collaborative communication; and related topics.

Qualifications

  • J.D., Ph.D., or master’s degree in counseling, conflict resolution, or related field; or equivalent combination of education and relevant work experience required;
  • Certification from International Ombudsman Association highly preferred;
  • Experience in facilitation and mediation; dispute and conflict resolution; bias, equity, and inclusion essential;
  • Understanding of, commitment to, and demonstrated cultural competency in providing services to a diverse and inclusive community are critical;
  • Outstanding listening skills and the ability to cultivate trust and credibility among various and diverse constituencies are necessary;
  • Experience in and/or knowledge about higher education and college governance strongly preferred;
  • Experience in performance management processes, and coaching employees and managers around performance issues desirable.

Application review will begin on July 13, 2021, and continue until the position is filled. Job band 2-C.

Conditions of Employment

Employment at Williams is contingent on the verification of background information submitted by the applicant, including the completion of a criminal record check, and education when applicable.

Equal Employment Opportunity

Williams College is a coeducational liberal arts institution located in the Berkshire Hills of western Massachusetts with easy access to the culturally rich cities of Albany, Boston, and New York City. The college is committed to building and supporting a diverse population of approximately 2000 students, and to fostering an inclusive faculty, staff, and curriculum. Williams has built its reputation on outstanding teaching and scholarship and on the academic excellence of its students. Beyond meeting fully its legal obligations for non-discrimination, Williams College is committed to building a diverse and inclusive community where members from all backgrounds can live, learn and thrive.

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