The NC State Faculty Ombuds Office was profiled in a recent article jointly published by The Journal of the California Caucus of College and University Ombuds and the Journal of the International Ombudsman Association -“Ombuds and Conflict Resolution Specialists: Navigating Workplace Challenges in Higher Education.” The article explores various ombuds practices and impacts on an organization based on research conducted by Nova Southeast faculty member Neil H. Katz and two of his graduate students Katherine J. Sosa and Linda N. Kovack.
The researchers identified three primary functions of an ombuds and/or conflict resolution office including (1) addressing constituent issues, (2) educational outreach, and (3) system review. In each area the ombuds sought to positively impact both the individual and the institution by providing ombuds services within a framework of independence, confidentiality, informality, and impartiality.
Overall the impacts were seen as positive and the researchers conclude that institutions that support ombuds and/or conflict resolution programs “are implementing ‘best practices.'” It’s certainly the goal of the NC State Faculty & Staff Ombuds office to support constructive engagement around conflicts or issues of concern. And, doing so, may help all utilize best practices and promote a vibrant workplace.