The Role of Ombuds in the Office of Faculty Affairs
Deans for Faculty Affairs also serve in an ombuds role for the faculty of the Biological Sciences Division. We aim to be an open place for a member of the faculty to come for informal, yet confidential discussion and assistance with finding support or strategies to solve workplace problems or problems that arise at the intersection of workplace and personal matters. Often issues are best resolved within departments, and we encourage faculty to speak with their chairs, section chiefs or other appropriate department appointees as first options for support and guidance.
In their capacity as ombuds, the Deans for Faculty Affairs listen to faculty members and act as sounding boards. They do not conduct investigations or oversee grievance processes, but may be able to suggest options for addressing issues raised, such as mechanisms for conflict resolution, specific services, or resources available at the University. The Deans can support faculty as they work toward resolution of an issue or strategize on next steps. They can also maintain faculty anonymity while communicating complaints or other input to appropriate offices in the Division or University. All discussions are confidential and information will not be disclosed unless there is an imminent threat to safety, serious harm, or if required by law. The Deans for Faculty Affairs also monitor patterns of problems, such as recurring confusion about a policy, and bring such situations to the attention of the Division or the University.
The Physicians’ Assistance Committee
The Physicians’ Assistance Committee (PAC) works to reduce morbidity and assist physicians with conditions relating to their well-being. The PAC helps and protects physicians who may suffer from:
- Cognitive impairment
- Psychological impairment
- Physical impairment
- Etoh/substance abuse
- Work life stressors
Along with providing recommendations, assistance, counseling and education, the PAC ensures confidential, off-site treatment.