Skip to main content

Student and Faculty Ombudsperson - Office of the Provost

Job Details

Carnegie Mellon University is a private, global research university that stands among the world’s most renowned education institutions. With ground-breaking brain science, path-breaking performances, creative start-ups, big data, big ambitions, hands-on learning, and a whole lot of robots, CMU doesn’t imagine the future, we invent it. If you’re passionate about joining a community that challenges the curious to deliver work that matters, your journey starts here!

The Student and Faculty Ombudsperson position was established to support a climate of mutual respect, inclusion, accountability, honesty, and integrity at Carnegie Mellon University. The Ombudsperson provides informal, impartial, confidential, and independent assistance to students and faculty in managing or resolving issues affecting their work or academics. The Ombudsperson also provides a confidential, neutral, and impartial forum for students and faculty to voice concerns, develop options, problem-solve, and help promote accountability and fair treatment. The Ombudsperson may direct individuals to appropriate formal and/or informal processes to resolve concerns. The Office of the Student and Faculty Ombudsperson operates within a complex, distributed, and multilayered organization that functions well with significant collaboration among administrative offices and academic units. As such, the Ombudsperson works collaboratively with other offices and personnel whose responsibilities include legal or policy analysis or dispute resolution, consults with campus departments and academic units to resolve complex problems through informal discussion, and develops cooperative strategies to prevent future problems. The Ombudsperson reports to the Provost.

Core Responsibilities:
The Ombudsperson performs various functions in carrying out their duties and responsibilities. They include:

Dispute and Complaint Investigation and Resolution
  • Providing a respectful, safe, and humanized place for individuals to discuss problems, including helping them to clarify their concerns, identifying their goals, and developing and considering a range of options;
  • Coaching individuals regarding written and verbal communications and in general, how to help themselves;
  • Explaining relevant University policies, procedures, and practices;
  • Providing referrals to other offices and services;
  • Looking into problems by gathering data and the perspectives of others;
  • Assisting in resolving interpersonal conflicts;
  • Communicating as an intermediary between two parties who are reluctant to speak directly; and
  • Facilitating one-on-one and group conversations and other measures consistent with the mission of the Office of the Staff Ombudsperson.
Trend Identification and Policy Development
  • Providing information to the university leadership on trends and patterns of complaints without breaching confidentiality to prevent problems from escalating or reoccurring, and to identify systemic issues and trends;
  • Serving as a campus consultant for senior officials who are formulating policies and procedures. In the capacity of a consultant, the ombuds may raise potential discrepancies between institutional goals and practice.
Management and Oversight
  • Supervising the Ombudsperson Coordinator who provides ombudsperson service to the students and coordinates the activities of the Office of the Student and Faculty Ombudsperson.
Training, Education and Outreach
  • Developing and conducting training and information sessions for the campus community related to the Student and Faculty Ombudsperson Office and its role on campus, as well as related issues that support conflict resolution, equity, and a campus climate of respect;
  • Coordinating with staff and faculty within units who have informally acted in an ombudsperson-like role.
  • Other duties as assigned.
Inclusion and cultural sensitivity are valued competencies at CMU. Therefore, we are in search of a team member who can effectively interact with a varied population of diverse audiences. We are looking for someone who shares our values and who will support the mission of the university through their work.

Required Qualifications:
  • Bachelor's degree in related area and/or equivalent experience and/or training
  • Expert knowledge of the nature of conflict and conflict resolution, techniques, and principles
  • Expert conflict resolution and mediation skills and expert skills in developing effective options for conflict resolution.
  • Expert knowledge of standards of practice and codes of ethics for professional ombuds practice, and the ways in which these are applied with the policies of an academic institution.
  • Thorough understanding of all applicable laws, rules, regulations, policies and procedures, research methods, techniques, and/or sources of information
  • Excellent management skills with the ability to guide, mentor and develop staff.
  • Expert interpersonal communication skills to work effectively with a broad range of diverse populations within a complex and multi-layered organization, including effective listening, discernment, empathy, and sensitivity skills.
  • Skills in research assessment, critical thinking, and problem-solving skills
  • Expert analytical skills with the ability to analyze statistical data to provide institutional feedback regarding trends, practices, policies, procedures, etc.
  • Expert training skills
  • Skills to understand risk and liability issues including the principles of university governance and academic freedom.
  • Expert skills to identify issues and provide effective options, recognizing policy, legal and practical implications.
  • Skill to identify systemic issues and recommend changes.
  • Skill to work collaboratively to build and sustain highly effective and positive relationships at all organizational levels to promote systemic change.
  • Demonstrated ability to maintain effective working relationships at all levels of administration.
Preferred Qualifications:
  • Juris Doctor, Master’s Degree in Conflict Resolution, or equivalent advanced degree in an allied field.
  • Minimum of 3 years of experience as an organizational ombuds, a professional mediator, conflict resolution specialist, organizational development professional or equivalent combination of relevant education and experience.
  • Successful background check

Ferra Executive Search has been retained to manage the search. If you have any inquiries or nominations, please send an email to:

Kevin Ferra, Founding Partner

Ferra Executive Search

Please use ‘Student and Faculty Ombudsperson’ as the subject line when you contact Kevin.

Joining the CMU team opens the door to an array of exceptional benefits available to eligible employees.

Those employees who are benefits eligible have the opportunity to experience the full spectrum of advantages from comprehensive medical, prescription, dental, and vision insurance to an enticing retirement savings program offering a generous employer contribution. You can also unlock your potential with tuition benefits and take well-deserved breaks with ample paid time off and observed holidays . Finally, rest easy knowing you are covered by life and accidental death and disability insurance.

Other perks include a free Pittsburgh Regional Transit bus pass, our Family Concierge Team to help navigate childcare needs, fitness center access , and so much more!

For a comprehensive overview of the benefits that may be awaiting you, explore our Benefits page .

At Carnegie Mellon, we value the whole package when extending offers of employment. Beyond just credentials, we consider the role and responsibilities, your invaluable work experience, and the knowledge gained through education and training. We acknowledge and appreciate your unique skills and the diverse perspective you bring. Your journey with us is about more than just a job; it’s about finding the perfect fit for your professional growth and personal aspirations.

Are you interested in an exciting opportunity with an exceptional organization?! Apply today!


Pittsburgh, PA

Job Function

HR Services and Operations

Position Type

Staff – Regular

Full Time/Part time

Full time

Pay Basis


More Information:
  • Please visit Why Carnegie Mellon to learn more about becoming part of an institution inspiring innovations that change the world.

  • Click here to view a listing of employee benefits

  • Carnegie Mellon University is an Equal Opportunity Employer/Disability/Veteran .

  • Statement of Assurance


Carnegie Mellon University


Carnegie Mellon University challenges the curious and passionate to imagine and deliver work that matters.

A private, global research university, Carnegie Mellon stands among the world's most renowned educational institutions, and sets its own course.

Carnegie Mellon was founded in 1900 by Andrew Carnegie under the premise that a school established to foster and develop the technical skills of its students would soon produce students and graduates whose work would astound Pittsburgh and the world. Over 120 years later, our institution continues to produce talented alumni and draws faculty and staff eager to be a part of the university's creative, passionate and close-knit community. We place emphasis on practical problem solving, interdisciplinary learning, an entrepreneurial spirit, and collaboration.

Over the past 10 years, more than 400 startups linked to CMU have raised more than $7 billion in follow-on funding. Those investment numbers are especially high because of the sheer size of Pittsburgh’s growing autonomous vehicles cluster – including Uber, Aurora, Waymo and Motional – all of which are here because of their strong ties to CMU.

With cutting-edge brain science, path-breaking performances, innovative startups, driverless cars, big data, big ambitions, Nobel and Turing prizes, hands-on learning, and a whole lot of robots, CMU doesn't imagine the future, we create it. 

Pittsburgh is home to over 86,000 students from 10 colleges and universities. Pittsburgh was ranked as one of the top U.S. cities for millennials.

Some 177,000 people work in Pittsburgh's tech-related industries, and their ranks continue to grow as the city tops lists for jobs. Networking opportunities, small business accelerators, and an innovative community make the city appealing to entrepreneurs, especially recent graduates.

Pittsburgh is emerging as a tech and culture hub that The Washington Post praises for its "world-class art museums and colorful neighborhoods."

Robotics and software engineering lead the way. The city is home to GoogleUber and Apple offices and a budding ecosystem of tech startups including DuolingoModcloth and 4Moms, all of which have CMU roots.

Many seek Pittsburgh for being a hot spot for entrepreneurship and a model for future cities. Others come for the city's burgeoning food scene.

You’ll find CMU locations nationwide — and worldwide. Silicon Valley. Qatar. Africa. Washington, D.C. To name a few.

If your heart is in your work, come work with us.

Carnegie Mellon University isn't just one of the world’s most renowned educational institutions — it’s also a hotspot for some of the most talented doers, dreamers and difference-makers on the planet. When you join our staff, you’ll become an important part of our mission to create a healthier, safer and more just life for all. No matter what your role or location, you’ll connect and collaborate with dedicated, passionate colleagues — and you’ll have the satisfaction of delivering work that truly matters.

Carnegie Mellon University offers a wide range of competitive employee benefits to help you live well. Benefit eligibility varies based on the hours per week employees are scheduled to work and the employee's geographic location

We seek to cultivate diverse populations and perspectives and promote equity and inclusion. Our devotion to these ideals springs from a core belief in the power of education to be a transformative and enriching force for every person, irrespective of their background, identity or life circumstances. 

Inclusion and belonging are intricately interwoven into the very essence of our university, helping to shape our values, policies and practices. Diversity, equity, inclusion and belonging are not only central to our ethos but also indispensable to our pursuit of academic excellence and innovation.

Get job alerts

Create a job alert and receive personalized job recommendations straight to your inbox.

Create alert

Similar jobs