About the office

The Ohio State University established the position of faculty ombudsman in 2010 to deal with faculty concerns and complaints. According to Ohio State university rules (3335-5-45.3), the responsibilities of the faculty ombudsman include:

  • Serve as an advisor to faculty to assist them in determining the viability of their complaints and issues.
  • Direct faculty to appropriate offices, committees, and university rules and policies.
  • Serve when appropriate as an informal mediator of early-stage complaints, to mediate as an impartial party rather than as an advocate for faculty involved in complaints.
Sally Rudmann

Sally V. Rudmann, PhD
Professor Emeritus
School of Health and Rehabilitation Sciences
Office: 378 Bricker Hall, 190 N. Oval Mall, Columbus campus
E-mail (preferred): facultyombudsman@osu.edu
Alternate email: Rudmann.1@osu.edu

NOTE: Sensitive or confidential content should NOT be emailed.

Phone (alt. contact): 614-292-2240

After serving in a number of technical and administrative roles as a Clinical Laboratory Scientist and specialist in transfusion medicine, Dr. Rudmann joined the faculty of the School of Allied Medical Professions, College of Medicine in 1983. She maintained an active research program investigating expert problem solving and medical error, and her research in immunohematology and transfusion is widely published in books, book chapters and peer-reviewed journals. Dr. Rudmann taught and advised undergraduate-professional and graduate students and served as the Division Director for the Medical Technology Division and as Program Director for the Medical Laboratory Science accredited program.

Dr. Rudmann was actively involved in service at the university and at the local and national levels in her professional organization (American Association of Blood Banks). Dr. Rudmann represented the College of Medicine in the University Senate, where she served on a number of committees including Steering Committee, Rules Committee, and Committee on Academic Freedom and Responsibility (CAFR). In addition, Dr. Rudmann was elected to Chair of Faculty Council and also served as the Secretary of the Faculty. Dr. Rudmann received a number of recognitions for her teaching and service including the College of Medicine Excellence in Teaching Award and the university-wide Faculty Award for Distinguished University Service.

She earned a BA in natural science from Russell Sage College, an MS in microbiology and immunology from Wright State University and a PhD in health education from The Ohio State University.

Dr. Rudmann, a member of the Emeritus Academy, is a Professor Emeritus in the School of Health and Rehabilitation Sciences.

Principles

The Ohio State faculty ombudsman operates according to the standards of practice of the International Ombudsman Association (IOA). These include:

Independence

Though the faculty ombudsman reports annually to the Faculty Council and Office of Academic Affairs, the ombudsman functions independently of all university offices, and neither represents the university administration nor any individual.

Neutrality and impartiality

The ombudsman does not take sides and remains neutral. The ombudsman is not an advocate for faculty or for the university, but rather, acts as a facilitator and is even-handed. The ombudsman does not have the power to change decisions, but can advise, refer, review, and/or persuade as a neutral and impartial agent. The ombudsman promotes fair practices and fosters integrity and timeliness in the administration of university policies and practices that affect faculty.

Confidentiality

To the extent permitted by law, conversations with the faculty ombudsman are confidential except where there appears to be imminent risk of serious harm, where harassment or other illegal activity may be involved, and where there is no other reasonable option.

Informality

Meeting with the faculty ombudsman is an informal and off-the-record process, which includes such means as: listening, providing and receiving information, identifying and reframing issues, and developing a range of responsible options. The faculty ombudsman pursues resolution of concerns and looks into procedural irregularities and/or broader systemic problems. The faculty ombudsman does not make binding decisions. The ombudsman, as an informal resource, does not participate in any university adjudicative or administrative hearing, process, or procedure related to concerns brought to his attention.

History

The modern use of the term began in Sweden with the Swedish Parliamentary Ombudsman, instituted to safeguard the rights of citizens by establishing a supervisory agency independent of the executive branch. Currently, more than 200 colleges and universities have ombudsman offices.