UM names its first ombudsperson
The University of Michigan has named Jacqueline Bowman as the university’s first person to lead the Office of the Staff Ombuds, set to open in 2019.
Already, UM has a student ombudsman, Tom Lehker.
But the Staff Committeeon Diversity, Equity and Inclusion recommended an ombudsperson for employees. Many staff members had called for support on resolving concerns and surrounding university programs and resources, officials said.
"The Staff Committee on DEI concluded that many resources exist on campus, but an organization the size of UM would benefit from a single entity able to receive confidential information, like an ombuds, responsible for coordinating assistance from those various resources to help resolve concerns from staff members," said UM spokesman Rick Fitzgerald.
"The goal was to better assist staff who sometimes feel reluctant to share concerns or are unsure what support is available to them," he said.
Bowman, who earned her Ph.D. in educational psychology from UM, has been lead counselor and program specialist at the Center for the Education of Women since 2008.
She established a new ombuds office at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign prior to her position at UM and worked as a corporate ombudsperson for a Fortune 500 company.
“Jacquie is the ideal person to support our staff in this new role,” said Robert Sellers, vice provost for equity and inclusion. “Her training in counseling and educational psychology, direct experience as an ombudsperson and specific knowledge of UM are precisely the mix we sought to ensure an effective neutral third party.”
Bowman will be paid $120,000 annually.