Charge The IUPUI Ombudsteam is an elected faculty group designed to be available early on in the course of emerging concerns or potential grievances and to provide designated places for faculty to voice concerns and learn about options for channeling criticisms and addressing complaints prior to making decisions as to what steps, if any, to take to seek resolution. Its members are available to serve as impartial consultants for faculty/librarians and administrators who seek confidential informed advice from senior faculty colleagues. This support is for both faculty/librarians and administrators who may utilize faculty grievance procedures and full- and part-time faculty and librarians who lack standing to do so. The Ombudsteam members also are available to help resolve situations informally by encouraging and facilitating discussions between individuals involved in an emerging concern or potential grievance and through other means consistent with university policy, law, and the International Ombudsman Association Standards of Practice. At the conclusion of its work, the faculty Ombudsteam shall not compile any report or file containing the specific information of any concern or potential grievance brought to it (Excerpt from the IUPUI Faculty Council Bylaws Section IV.A.2).
Members with Term Expiring June 30, 2022
Bolchini, Davide (Informatics and Computing) (Chair) Scheurich, Jim (Education)
Members with Term Expiring June 30, 2023
Murphy, Miriam (Law Library) Yost, Robert (Science) Zimmers, Teresa (Medicine)
The IUPUI Ombudsteam is an elected faculty group designed to be available early on in the course of emerging or potential grievances, informal complaints, or other issues or concerns brought by faculty and to provide designated places for them to voice concerns and learn about options for channeling criticisms and addressing complaints prior to making decisions as to what steps, if any, to take to seek resolution.
Ombudsteam members seek to provide an informal, neutral and confidential environment for faculty to raise their concerns. To the extent permitted by applicable university policy and law, they are guided in their work by the principles established by the International Ombudsman Association Standards of Practice for independence, confidentiality, neutrality and informality.
Ombudsman team members are available to serve as informal, impartial consultants for faculty eligible to utilize faculty grievance procedures, including full-time tenured and tenure-track faculty and librarians, full-time clinical and scientist/scholar rank faculty, and full-time lecturers of the IUPUI campus. They are also available to serve full- and part-time faculty and librarians who lack standing to pursue formal grievance procedures but who otherwise seek advice for addressing their concerns.
You may wish to contact an Ombudsteam member to seek informal, impartial, and confidential advice regarding an issue or concern before pursuing formal channels, such as filing a grievance. Common issues for which an Ombudsteam member may assist include concerns about:
abrasive or uncivil conduct
interpersonal conflicts and communication challenges
workplace or classroom climate issues
perceived unfair decisions regarding your employment
whether policies and procedures were appropriately followed on decisions impacting you
When you meet with a member of the Ombudsteam, the representative will listen, make appropriate inquiries to understand your situation, and seek to support you through a number of means, including but not limited to:
encouraging and facilitating discussions between you and other parties involved with the emerging concern or potential grievance
identifying and evaluating options and possible solutions to respond to concerns
providing coaching, shuttle diplomacy or informal mediation
making referrals to appropriate resources within and outside the university for additional support
with your consent and without serving as your personal advocate, making formal inquires and ensuring your concerns are heard with relevant university administrators, offices and representatives
advocating for fair, objective processes for addressing and resolving grievances and informal complaints, issues and concerns
other actions consistent with the International Ombudsman Association Standards of Practice and applicable university policy and law
The Ombudsteam member will handle your situation and your information in a confidential manner to the extent permitted by applicable university policy and law. In general, the fact of your visit with an Ombudsteam member and the information you share will be held in confidence unless you give permission to reveal specific issues with appropriate university representatives who you agree may be consulted for the purpose of seeking resolution of your concern. In addition, the Ombudsteam member will not compile any report or file containing the specific information and documents you share or that are discussed, and will destroy any such information, notes and documents after the conclusion of the representative’s engagement with you.
The Ombudsteam member will inform you of circumstances in which your information cannot be held in confidence due to university policy and legal requirements. Ombudsteam members will disclose confidential information if and when there is, in their judgment, an imminent risk of physical harm to any person or if required to do so per the Indiana University Sexual Misconduct Policy, Title IX, the Clery Act or any other applicable policy or law requiring disclosure.
Lastly, contact with one member of the Ombudsteam is presumed to be contact with all Ombudsteam members who may freely discuss your concerns with one another with the sole intent of acting in your best interests. To the extent you have concerns about your information being shared with any particular Ombudsteam member, please inform the Ombudsteam member with whom you meet so that steps may be taken to recuse that team member from involvement with your concern.
Faculty Ombudsteam members will make every effort to protect the confidentiality of your contact and visit and the information you share. As noted in the proceeding FAQ, however, there are circumstances by which they will be required to break confidentiality and put the university on notice of your concern. They will inform you if this will be required in your situation and can refer you and assist you in disclosing the information to the appropriate university official responsible for addressing the matter. Depending on the circumstances, the Ombudsteam may be required to disclose this information even if you choose not to do so on your own. Notwithstanding these limitations, please understand that most situations for which the Ombudsteam is available to assist should not require a breach of confidence and disclosure.
Ombudsteam members do not conduct formal investigations or act as factfinders or decision-makers and will refer matters requiring formal investigation and adjudication to appropriate university officials. Ombudsteam members do not provide legal advice, offer psychological counseling, or compel anyone to take any specific action. Further, while they serve as advocates for fair, objective processes and will seek to ensure your concerns are appropriately and fully addressed, they do not serve as personal advocates for you.
The Ombudsteam does not address formal grievances. The Faculty Board of Review considers formal grievances, via a formal hearing, and gathers appropriate information, and considers its findings in light of existing policies and principles of fairness. You may consult informally with a member of the Ombudsteam before filing a formal grievance for a Board of Review, but are not required to do so. You may instead request that your grievance be considered by a Faculty Board of Review without first presenting it to the Ombudsteam. The Ombudsteam’s informal engagement with you and your concern will end upon your filing a formal grievance. Ombudsteam members may not serve concurrently on the Faculty Board of Review nor serve in any capacity, including as witness or representative, in the deliberation of your formal grievance.
Ombudsteam members have been elected to serve by the IUPUI Faculty Council. They are senior faculty colleagues with background and experience with many of the issues of common concern to faculty, particularly matters involving promotion, tenure, performance, discipline, and treatment. Many Ombudsteam members are tenured full professors.
Ombudsteam members have also received training in conflict resolution, mediation, coaching, and the principles of Ombuds practice. They also meet regularly to review their methods and update facilitation techniques.
You can telephone or email any Ombudsteam member. The best way to reach an Ombudsteam member is by email, providing the email address or phone number where you can be contacted. Because maintaining confidentiality is not assured via e-mail, you are encouraged to offer only minimal information, such as a means and time for an Ombudsteam member to contact you.