For several years, there has been interest in establishing an ombudsperson to represent UT staff members. As I have expressed at Staff Council meetings and other venues, I am open-minded about this. I believe it has been helpful to have an ombudsperson serving students and faculty.
But I want to make sure that such a move would be consistent with Staff Council priorities. I am aware that the Staff Council leadership had concerns about the structure of a previous proposal for an ombudsperson, as well as how it would be implemented.
As a result, I asked Staff Council Chair Ben Bond to review the subject and make a recommendation. In January the Staff Council created an ad hoc committee to study the staff grievance process and the role of an ombudsperson. The committee is chaired by Staff Council Representative Jennifer L. Smith of the Texas Interdisciplinary Plan. The committee was charged with proposing options for establishing a staff ombudsperson at UT. Its final report is due to the Staff Council in May.
I look forward to hearing from the Staff Council and reviewing its recommendation in the weeks ahead.