The UNM Ombudsperson for Faculty is a designated neutral or impartial dispute resolution practitioner whose major function is to provide confidential and informal assistance to UNM faculty.
The UNM Ombudsperson for Faculty works in a manner to preserve confidentiality of faculty seeking services, maintains a neutral/impartial position with respect to the concerns raised, works at an informal level to improve communication and resolve conflicts, and is independent from other UNM administrative entities. The UNM Ombudsperson for Faculty does not conduct investigations. Successfully fulfilling these functions is consistent with the Code of Ethics and Standards of Practice of the International Ombudsman Association.
Ombuds/Dispute Resolution Services for Faculty
UNM’s Ombuds for Faculty provides alternative dispute resolution services to faculty seeking assistance with managing conflicts they encounter in their work experience. Ombuds services include mediation services, consultations, mediation training, and workshops. The long-term vision for Ombuds is a widespread network of trained UNM faculty who are committed to constructive conflict management.
A Faculty Outreach team works with the Ombudsperson for Faculty on matters pertaining to the development and conduct of the Ombuds program. The Ombudsperson confers with the faculty outreach team as needs arise and at a monthly meeting. The Ombudsperson also participates in ongoing conversations with faculty groups and maintains good working relationships with campus support offices such as the Office of Equal Opportunity, CARS – Counseling, Assistance and Referral Services/Employee Assistance Program, and the Academic Freedom and Tenure Committee.
The Ombudsperson works independently and provides a report to the Provost’s designee in the form of summary data. No names of indviduals or departments appear in summary statements of Ombuds activities. Measures of effectiveness of the Ombuds program include a summary report of workshops and trainings, the numbers of requests for services, services provided, mediations reaching agreement or not, and anonymous feedback from parties who participate in mediations, and faculty feedback of mediation training sessions.
The Ombudsperson also provides a quarterly report of numerical data to the State of NM Alternative Dispute Resolution Division/Risk Management Department(RMD). The UNM Ombuds programs for faculty and staff have been recognized for their work:
UNM has “been able to create a workplace in which fewer and less expensive claims are filed against it relative to other RMD-insured entities.” (January 20, 2010)