UT president appoints staff ombudsman

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UT President William Powers Jr. announced his appointment for the University’s first ombudsman for staff members in an email Thursday.

According to the email, Jennifer Sims will fill the new position beginning July 20. Sims has worked as an ombudsman at the University of Hawaii at Manoa and an associate ombudsman at the for-profit college, Bridgepoint Education.

Her role will be to offer the University’s staff members a neutral third-party resource for informal conflict resolution. That resource is already available to students and faculty through an ombudsman designated to each group. Unlike student and faculty positions, the staff position will be full-time.

“Like the student and faculty ombuds offices, the staff ombuds will report directly to my office,” Powers wrote in his email. “Formal staff grievances will continue to be handled by the Human Resource Services Conflict Management and Dispute Resolution Office.”