Job Listings

Faculty Ombudsperson - Office of the Provost

West Virginia University
Job Location:
Administrative Assistants


The Office of the Provost at West Virginia University invites applications for the position of Faculty Ombuds (FO). The FO is a part-time (approximately 10 hours per week or 25% FTE) designated neutral and impartial dispute resolution practitioner whose major function is to provide confidential and informal assistance to all faculty members of the university community. The university anticipates hiring for a three-year appointment.

Serving as a designated neutral, the FO is neither an advocate for any individual nor an advocate for the organization, but rather is an advocate for fairness who acts as a source of information and referral, aids in answering individual's questions, and assists in the resolution of concerns and critical situations. In considering any given instance or concern, the point of view of all parties that might be involved are taken into account. The FO office supplements, but does not replace, the University's existing resources for formal conflict resolution.

The FO function is independent of existing administrative structures and reports directly to the Provost. The FO does not accept notice on behalf of the university. While maintaining confidentiality of communications with inquirers, the FO will prepare and deliver a yearly report to the Provost and Faculty Senate Executive Committee. Based on anonymousnaggregate data, this report discusses trends in the reporting of issues or concerns, identifies patterns or problem areas in existing policies and practices, may recommend revisions and improvements, and may assess the climate of the campus.


Communication and Problem-Solving Skills
The ombuds must have outstanding communication skills and be able to communicate effectively with individuals at all levels of the organization, as well as with people of all cultures. The ombuds should maintain a professional demeanor, should have strong presentation skills, and should be able to organize and communicate information to groups of varying size and hierarchical levels in the organization. It is imperative that the FO has excellent problem-solving skills and be able to gather information, analyze it and, as necessary, help the inquirer develop appropriate options and actions.

Decision-Making/Strategic Thinking Skills
The ombuds must be aware of how all decisions might impact the inquirer, as well as other stakeholders and the university/college. The FO must know how to proceed with issues and help the inquirer assess who should be involved and at what stage.

Conflict Resolution Skills
An essential element of the FO's role is that of facilitating the resolution of conflict between parties. It is important that the FO have a thorough understanding of what leads to conflict, the nature of conflict, and methods of resolution. The skills used to assist inquirers to resolve their conflicts include:

  • helping people learn how to deal with matters directly if they wish to do so
  • serving as a facilitator between the relevant parties via shuttle diplomacy
  • informally bringing the parties together and serving as a facilitator or mediator
  • approaching the conflict issue generically within the larger environment (especially when the inquirer is afraid of retaliation)
  • influencing systems change which could obviate the individual problem

The FO may also have the ability to help the inquirer determine which conflict resolution method would be appropriate for the specific situation.

Organizational Knowledge and Networking Skills
The ombuds must be knowledgeable about the college or university and its structure, culture, policies, and practices. The FO must have excellent networking skills, understand and participate in collaboration with others, and be able to establish and maintain broad contacts throughout the organization.

Sensitivity to Diversity Issues
The FO must be sensitive to dealing with individuals from a wide variety of backgrounds and cultures. The FO must be open, objective, and must seek to understand issues from multiple perspectives. The FO should be innovative in developing options that are responsive to differing needs.

The ombuds should have a reputation for honesty and integrity and for dealing fairly, effectively and in a timely fashion with all constituents. An ombuds office is based on the assurance of confidentiality to the extent to which the law allows. 

Therefore the FO must keep information confidential in accordance with the Code of Ethics and Standards of Practice of the International Ombudsman Association. An ombuds should not be risk-averse and should understand that this position may, on occasion, challenge even the highest levels of the administration in an effort to foster fair and just practices.

The FO must be an active or retired faculty member at the rank of associate professor/professor or emeritus associate professor/professor. Experience in mediation and/or conflict resolution is required. Experience working with people of diverse backgrounds and cultures, supervising administrative staff, and managing a programmatic budget is highly desirable.

Individuals interested in applying for the position of the West Virginia University Faculty Ombuds should submit the following materials:

*     a letter of interest (no more than two pages)
*     a vita
*     three professional references.

Candidates must currently serve as a full-time permanent faculty member at West Virginia University in Morgantown; tenured, tenure-track, nontenure-track faculty are all encouraged to apply.

At West Virginia University, we leverage our talents and resources to create a better future for our state and the world. As West Virginia's land-grant university, WVU has three campuses that touch each corner of the state. The WVU System includes 518 buildings on 15,880 acres, Extension Service offices in all 55 counties, ten experimental farms and four forests.

From the groundbreaking R1 research of our flagship campus in Morgantown to the career-oriented programs of WVU Potomac State in Keyser to the technology-intensive programs at WVU Tech in Beckley - the contributions of WVU employees directly impact the 1.8 million people of West Virginia every day, no matter their role or position. 

Service, curiosity, respect, accountability, and appreciation are the core values that unite Mountaineers, inspiring one another to work tirelessly and support others as they seek to reach new heights. After all, when you're a Mountaineer, impossible is just another mountain to climb.

To learn more about West Virginia University, visit View current career opportunities at

West Virginia University is proud to be an Equal Opportunity employer and is the recipient of an NSF ADVANCE award for gender equity. The University values diversity among its faculty, staff, and students, and invites applications from all qualified applicants regardless of race, ethnicity, color, religion, gender identity, sexual orientation, age, nationality, genetics, disability, or Veteran status.

HigherEd360 is part of the HigherEdJobs network.