Michele Hannoosh, professor of French, and Robert Ortega, associate professor of social work, will serve as the University of Michigan’s faculty ombuds under the Office of the Provost.
The ombuds is a confidential, impartial, informal and independent resource for information or conflict management that serves faculty members of the Ann Arbor campus and Michigan Medicine community.
The office assists those who seek guidance with the resolution of academic or administrative issues and disputes that are not being adequately addressed through other university processes.
“The ombuds is an important part of the structure of faculty governance at the university, where faculty can seek impartial and independent support and advice as needed, in full confidentiality,” says Hannoosh.
“I am pleased to be entrusted as an advocate for fairness, and ensure equitable treatment for all university faculty,” adds Ortega. “I embrace the goals of an ombuds to provide a neutral, independent, informal and confidential place to discuss sensitive matters.”
Hannoosh and Ortega both began their part-time ombuds appointments on June 1, and continue to serve the university in their regular faculty appointments.
Ombuds serve by helping to resolve complaints, by providing information and referrals and by making recommendations for constructive change when university policies or procedures generate conflicts or concerns.
In addition to the university faculty ombuds, schools and colleges have unit ombuds who also are available as a source of information concerning university policies or for conflict management.
The Office of the Provost worked with the Senate Advisory Committee on University Affairs on the search to fill the faculty ombuds vacancy created when Bruno Giordani, professor of psychiatry, neurology and psychology, and an adjunct professor of nursing, left the role after four and a half years to serve as director of the Mary A. Rackham Institute.