Tom Sebok University of Colorado, Boulder Boulder, Colorado
After attending my first CCCUO conference in November of 1990, the late Ron Wilson, Ombudsman from the University of California Irvine and Editor of the CCCUO Journal, asked me to write an article for the Journal about my first year on the job. I called that article “Reflections of a First-Year Ombudsman.” As I am planning to retire at the end of this year, in this article, I will describe some of the most significant events and challenges in my 25 year career. I am calling this one “Reflections of a Last-Year Ombudsman. I describe the importance of mentors, colleagues, and community, how one “simple” question affected my thinking about the work, persistent legal challenges, the impact of adding a faculty ombuds component to our office, my involvement in both the University and College Ombuds Association and International Ombudsman Associations, exploring the edges of ombuds practice, and the persistent problem of workplace bullying.
Challenges and Successes: Starting an Ombuds Office in Troubled Waters
Dusty Bates Farned Faulkner University, Jones School of Law Montgomery, Alabama
This article chronicles the creation of a new ombuds service at a flagship state university undergoing numerous institutional changes. There were ample administrative challenges, including office funding and location, probable conflicts of interest, boundaries with existing programs within the organization, and a general lack of administrative support. These challenges migrated from extreme indifference to the new ombuds service to extreme control over its operation—including misuse of university police. In spite of these circumstances, there were also ample successes, which included assisting over one hundred and fifty visitors in the first year alone.