The university has a Faculty Ombudsman, who is appointed by the President for a three-year term. The Ombudsman is a designated neutral, neither an employee nor a management advocate. In addition to the explicit responsibilities detailed below, the Ombudsman is empowered to develop procedures, consistent with this policy, to facilitate the timely and equitable adjudication of faculty grievances and, via the Faculty Senate, to recommend changes in the policy itself.
Dr. Vince Luizzi, Philosophy, College of Liberal Arts
The Ombudsman is a neutral person with whom faculty members can voice concerns, evaluate situations, organize thoughts, and identify options. Since the ombudsman keeps no records identifying faculty members, the Ombudsman can offer a good first step for faculty who don't know where else to turn or how to proceed. The Ombudsman adheres to the principles outlined in the Code of Ethics and Standards of Practice advocated by the International Ombudsman Association:
Independence: The Ombudsman is independent in structure, function, and appearance to the highest degree possible within Texas State. The Ombudsman is independent of the University's formal administrative structure and strives to consider all sides of an issue in an impartial and objective manner. The Ombudsman cannot impose solutions, but identifies options and strategies for resolution of disputes.
Neutrality and Impartiality: The Ombudsman, as a designated neutral, remains unaligned and impartial. The ombudsman strives to promote procedural fairness in the content and administration of Texas State's practices, processes, and policies. The Ombudsman does not engage in any situation that could create a conflict of interest.
Confidentiality: The Ombudsman holds all communications with those seeking assistance in strict confidence, and does not disclose confidential communications unless given permission to do so, except as required by law, or where, in the judgment of the ombudsman, there appears to be imminent risk of serious harm.
Informality: The Ombudsman, as an informal resource, does not participate in any formal adjudicative or administrative procedure related to concerns brought to his/her attention. The Ombudsman provides information relating to university policies and procedures and facilitates the resolution of problems and grievances through informal investigation and mediation, but does not replace or supersede other university grievances, complaint or appeal procedures.
Informal Resolution and Mediation
Faculty members must make a bona fide effort to resolve an issue collegially by discussing their concerns with their director/chair and dean.If this does not prove satisfactory, faculty members may consult with the faculty Ombudsman.The Ombudsman serves as a confidential, neutral, informal and independent resource for faculty concerns and conflicts at Texas State.As an independent resource for problem resolution, the Ombudsman works to ensure that all members of the faculty are treated equitably and fairly. The Ombudsman can provide confidential and informal assistance to help resolve issues related to both the workplace and academic environments.
Filing a Grievance
If informal resolution is neither possible nor satisfactory in the judgment of the concerned faculty member, the faculty member may file a formal grievance pursuant to procedures described in AA/PPS 04.02.32, paragraph 4.