Auburn University Ombuds Position Announcement

Reporting to the President, the University Ombuds serves as the organizational ombudsperson for the faculty, staff, and students at Auburn University.  The primary function of the Ombuds is to provide independent, confidential, impartial and informal assistance by listening to concerns, clarifying issues, and acting as a facilitator and/or mediator, and when appropriate facilitating informal, nonbinding mediation.  This position does not have authority to make or change decisions and is not an advocate for the faculty, staff, students or the University. This position functions in accordance with the Code of Ethics and Standards of Practice of the International Ombudsman Association (IOA) as a neutral party to promote fair practices and foster integrity and timeliness in the administration of the University policies and practices that may affect faculty, staff, and students. The Ombuds will maintain all matters in the strictest confidence to the extent permitted by law.  

Duties and Responsibilities: 

  • Provides programmatic leadership and direction for the Ombuds office.

  • Provides independent, neutral, informal, and confidential (off-the-record) process for faculty, staff, and students to address a variety of concerns that may arise at the University; operates independently as a supplement to existing administrative and formal dispute resolution processes.

  • Provides confidential advice and guidance to university staff, students, and faculty by offering even-handed, high-level assistance in dealing with difficult and complex issues.

  • Serves as a resource for senior officials in the formulation of policies and procedures; makes recommendation on the formulation and revision of policies and procedures.

  • Has authority to raise issues, while preserving the confidentiality of communications with inquirers that may arise as a result of discrepancies between stated goals and objectives of the University and actual practice.

  • Compiles anonymous trend data and composes statistical and narrative reports; identifies trends and inconsistencies with, or potential issues existing with current policies, procedures and practices by using empirical and statistical data. Makes an annual report to the University Senate, Administrative and Professional Assembly and the Staff Council.

  • Responsible for ensuring and preserving confidentiality of communications with inquirers to the extent allowed by law.

  • Responsible for staying well informed of organizational ombuds standard practices and procedures and keeping abreast of changes in the field.

  • Responsible for the development of informational and marketing materials and presentations; maintains involvement in outreach and education by designing and developing training programs for the University community in conflict resolution.


Minimum Qualifications:

  1. Master's degree in a related field or J.D.  Minimum of three years Ombuds experience or related experience in mediation, counseling or employment law.

  2. Advanced knowledge and demonstrated experience in mediation, negotiation, and other conflict resolution practices on a wide range of issues.

  3. Excellent interpersonal skills including ability to relate to a variety people throughout the organization.

  4. Ability to remain calm in tense or emotional situations.

  5. Demonstrated ability to evaluate and analyze complex issues and to respond in a sensitive and unbiased manner.

  6. Superior written and verbal communication.

  7. Demonstrated ability to work in a multi-cultural environment.

  8. Ability to maintain strict confidentiality of (privileged) information and aware of practices to maintain confidentiality.

  9. Preferred Qualifications: 
  1. Experience working at an institution of higher education.

  2. Experience as an Ombuds in a large organization.

  3. Working knowledge of applicable laws governing confidentiality and the protection of information (FERPA, HIPAA, FMLA, ADA, etc.).

  4. Participation in appropriate professional organizations such as the International Ombudsman Association.

  5. Certification by Board of Certified Organizational Ombudsman Practitioners or willingness to pursue certification in the future.

Appointment Term

This is a full-time, twelve-month, position with benefits.

To Apply

Applications should include a letter of interest detailing how the applicant views the ombuds role and how the applicant meets the qualifications, curriculum vitae or expanded resume, and list of at least three professional references.  

While applications and nominations will be accepted until the position is filled, interested parties are encouraged to submit their materials as electronic attachments to the email address below by March 5, 2013 to assure optimal consideration.  For details please see:

Dr. J. Emmett Winn
Chair of the AU Ombuds Search Committee
Professor and Associate Provost

Women and minorities are encouraged to apply. 
~Equal Opportunity/Affirmative Action Employer~

The candidate selected for this position must be able to meet eligibility requirements to work in the United States at the time appointment is scheduled to begin and continue working legally for the proposed term of employment.

Last Updated: February 13, 2013