The person in this position will serve as a designated neutral or impartial dispute resolution practitioner whose major function is to provide confidential and informal assistance to UNC Greensboro faculty and staff members and their supervisors. In keeping with the confidential nature of the University Ombuds services, the University Ombuds will not be regarded as an “office of notice” or otherwise have independent authority to resolve employee grievances or disputes.
Serving as a designated neutral party, the University Ombuds is neither an advocate for any individual nor the university, but instead is an advocate for resolving conflict. The person in this position will act as a source of information and referral for employees, aid in answering questions, and provide resources to assist in informal conflict resolution, as appropriate.
The Ombuds has direct responsibility for secure handling of sensitive and/or confidential information and direct access to, or responsibility for, information or areas designated by the University as safety or security sensitive. To provide for the independence of the Faculty/Staff Ombuds, the position reports to the Provost and Executive Vice Chancellor. The Ombuds will have regular meetings with the Chancellor as well.
The Ombuds regularly briefs the Provost and may engage the Office of General Counsel, Office of Faculty Personnel Services, and/or the Department of Human Resources for guidance on the interpretation and implementation of University personnel policies. The Ombuds will hold the following specific responsibilities:
- Develop and maintain a comprehensive understanding of UNCG policies and procedures and applicable laws, particularly as they relate to faculty and staff personnel matters.
- Serve as a resource for faculty and staff to facilitate informal resolution of concerns.
- Educate and train faculty and staff regarding their rights and responsibilities under applicable policy and law.
- Educate and train faculty and staff and their supervisors, as appropriate, on effective methods of de-escalating and resolving interpersonal conflicts.
- Refer faculty and staff to University offices, services, or formal resolution processes, as appropriate and applicable.
- Coach individuals in written and in-person communications, emphasizing de-escalation techniques.
- Engage in shuttle diplomacy or informal mediation, as appropriate.
- Provide periodic reports to the Provost containing meaningful, de-identified summaries of trends and the types of issues faculty and staff are reporting or experiencing, including recommendations for improvement.
- Maintain an informational website, posting relevant educational materials, and employing other communication methods to inform constituents regarding the existence, purpose, and function of the Ombuds.
- Meet with faculty and staff across UNCG to facilitate inclusion, retention, and collegiality among faculty and staff.
- Supervise part-time Ombuds staff and/or graduate assistants.