Faculty Ombuds FAQs

What is a Faculty Ombudsperson?

An Ombuds is a person who serves as an informal and impartial resource to assist faculty with issues and concerns related to their work experience. The goal of the Faculty Ombuds Office is to provide a free, confidential space for faculty to bring issues and concerns, to be heard, and to receive assistance in strategizing and exploring options. The work of the Ombudsperson is three fold:  1) listening; 2) strategizing, exploring options, and  information gathering; and 3) identifying patterns and instances of concern, and where appropriate, recommending policy or procedure change.

What are typical Faculty Ombuds issues?

Typical issues relate to working relationships, policies and job requirements, or simply needing a sounding board.  Examples include conflicts with co-workers, managers or staff; inappropriate or disrespectful behavior; bullying; perceived inequitable access to resources; understanding university policies and procedures; awareness of resources; and referrals.  Perhaps one simply needs a safe space to discuss a problem or get help deciding whether an issue is a problem; maybe one is unsure who to talk to or whether there are resources, or needs a fresh, impartial listener.

Why use the Faculty Ombuds Office?

The WCU Faculty Ombuds Office is not a substitute for any other department or office on campus but rather is an informal place where faculty can go to find out more about one’s options or air a concern. Faculty may wish to discuss an issue with an Ombuds first in order to weigh the options that may be available for resolution.

How do I contact the Faculty Ombuds Office?

You can contact the WCU Faculty Ombuds Office at 610-436-0731. Do not leave any confidential information on voicemail. Joan Woolfrey serves as the Faculty Ombudsperson. She can also be reached at the following:

Jwoolfrey@wcupa.edu or Facultyombuds@wcupa.edu

Please be aware that use of email is not a secure or confidential method off communication.

Is the information shared with the Faculty Ombuds confidential?

The Ombudsperson holds all communications with those seeking assistance in strict confidence, and does not disclose confidential communications unless given permission to do so by the Visitor. The only exceptions to this privilege of confidentiality is where there appears to be imminent risk of serious harm, sexual misconduct violations (Title IX or Title VII), or instances of child abuse and neglect.

Who can utilize the Faculty Ombuds Office?

All West Chester University faculty (non-teaching and teaching) may utilize the services of the Faculty Ombuds Office.
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