University Faculty Ombudsperson (2018-2022)
Mohamad A. Ansari, Associate Professor of Mathematics, Penn State Berks
Office Hours: By Appointment
Dr. Mohamad Ansari was elected by the Senate for a 4-year term as the University Faculty Ombudsperson. In 2017-2018 he served as the University Faculty Ombudsperson Elect. A Penn State faculty member since 1983, Dr. Ansari served as chair of the University Faculty Senate during the 2015-2016 academic year. He has represented the Berks campus as a faculty senator since 2001, with his current term expiring in 2020. He also served as chair of the Berks Faculty Senate several times, most recently from 2011 to 2013. Dr. Ansari has also served multiple years on the Senate Committee on Faculty Rights and Responsibilities.
The University Faculty Ombudsperson coordinates the training of all college and campus ombudspersons. Dr. Ansari will disseminate important information among the various colleges and campus ombudspersons. He also serves as the University-level contact for all unit ombudspersons. For consultation or questions, email: firstname.lastname@example.org or call 1-610-396-6129.
Welcome Unit Ombudspersons
It is my great honor to serve as the University Faculty Ombudsperson. I strive to follow the duties that are outlined in the University Faculty Senate Standing Rules as well as The International Ombudsman Association Standards Of Practice.
My fellow Ombudspersons and I are committed to listening to the faculty; answering questions; explaining policies and procedures; providing information and advice; exploring possible solutions; suggesting appropriate referrals; assisting in pursuing a resolution; and informally mediating a dispute where appropriate.
Please do not hesitate to contact me if I can be of any assistance.
Mohamad A. Ansari
University Faculty Ombudsperson
Ombudspersons training occurs at the beginning of the fall semester for all unit ombudspersons and additional consultation is available throughout the year upon request.
The Ombudsperson Orientation will be held August 21st 2018 from 10:00 am to 12:00 pm in Kern 102 at the University Park campus. Zoom connections are available for those who cannot attend in person.
At the end of the academic year each unit ombudsperson will be asked to complete a survey on their activities for the year. Dr. Ansari will summarize the findings of the survey and present to them to the Senate Council. When requested, the University Faculty Ombudsperson will also present an overview to the full Senate. Privacy and confidentiality of individual cases will be protected.
Academic Unit (College and Campus) Ombudspersons (AC76)
“Colleges and campuses should have a person or group to serve in the role of ombudsperson. The individual or group should be selected by procedures approved by a majority of the faculty in the unit.” AC 76
The objective of the Academic Unit Faculty Ombudsperson is:
- To enhance communication;
- To clarify possible misunderstandings in situations which involve potential disputes;
- To advise faculty members and administrators as to appropriate courses of action;
- To help to settle matters before they become hardened into serious disputes;
- To assist in the informal resolution of differences;
- To assure that appropriate department, college and/or campus procedures are exhausted before referring the case to higher levels.
Note: According to AC 76 they are also responsible for Informing the Office of the Executive Vice President and Provost and appropriate college or campus officials if a matter cannot be resolved at the lower level and the case is to be referred to the Committee on Faculty Rights and Responsibilities. However, in practice, notification is now done by the Senate office automatically when a case comes to FR&R.
The unit ombudsperson should not:
- Hold hearings;
- Exceed the role of conciliator and adviser;
- Substitute his or her judgment for that of appropriate administrative and/or faculty bodies;
- Serve as counsel for either party to a complaint before the Hearing Board.