University of Virginia
Published
June 3, 2022
Location
Charlottesville, Virginia
Job Type

Description

Description

The University of Virginia (UVA) seeks applications for the University Ombudsperson.  The University’s Ombudsperson (Ombuds) serves as the designated dispute resolution practitioner for the university, acting as an independent, confidential, and impartial resource available to all students, staff, and faculty.  UVA’s Ombuds is not an advocate for any individual, unit, department, or the institution.  Rather, the Ombuds serves as an advocate for fairness and aids in finding and providing information and answers to concerns and questions regarding university policies, processes, and resources; makes referrals to other appropriate resources; and offers guidance and facilitation in the resolution of concerns and critical situations.

As a practitioner of dispute resolution, the Ombuds also serves as a primary resource to develop, guide and coordinate ADR efforts throughout the university, and to educate and train others on alternative dispute resolution practices and facilitation skills.  To this end, the Ombuds provides an invaluable resource to the university in increasing its collective understanding, development, and use of alternative resolution approaches and practices to conflict – both in offering and applying dispute resolution practices and related skills, including but not limited to shuttle mediation, restorative justice practices, and social justice mediation, to facilitate resolution of conflicts; as well as in working to build the competency of others within the university in their own use of alternative resolution in a variety of settings.

The Ombuds office sits within the Division for Diversity, Equity, Inclusion & Community Partnerships (DDEI), reporting to the AVP of Equal Opportunity and Civil Rights (EOCR) for purposes of administrative and budgetary support.  Crucially, however, the Ombuds is independent in their work and maintains as confidential all records and information with respect to services provided. While maintaining confidentiality of communications with inquirers, the Ombuds maintains direct lines of communication with university leadership to keep the university informed of the work and any patterns or systemic issues of concern.

Dispute Resolution, Consultation, and Referral

  • Provide impartial and confidential conflict resolution services to members of the university community who are aggrieved or concerned about an issue, remaining independent and neutral, and exercising good judgment.
  • Assist inquirers in obtaining and providing relevant information regarding university policies and procedures, in clarifying issues, and in generating and suggesting options for resolution.
  • Engage in informal information gathering to better understand an issue from all perspectives; and consult with appropriate resources (e.g., HR, Dean of Students, Academic Affairs, EOCR, department managers, etc.) to develop cooperative strategies for resolving concerns.
  • When appropriate, facilitate group meetings, use shuttle diplomacy, and apply restorative practices, mediation and/or negotiation skills, to facilitate communication and resolution of issues among parties in conflict.
  • Follow up with individuals to determine outcomes and further need of assistance.

Outreach, Education & Training

  • Engage in intentional and ongoing outreach to the university community to increase awareness of the Ombuds as a resource, and to raise the community’s awareness, understanding, and utilization of dispute resolution and related practices, such as mediation, nonviolent communication, restorative practices, social conflict resolution, de-escalation techniques, etc.
  • Design and facilitate conflict resolution skills training for key university partners, students, and others identified within the community, to develop a pool of resolution practitioners; work with university partners to grow and sustain dispute resolution capabilities throughout the university.
  • Maintain the Ombuds website, develop and post relevant educational materials, and employ other methods to inform the university community regarding the existence, purpose, and function of the Ombuds.
  • Maintain active membership in relevant professional associations, such as the International Ombudsman Association, and stay on the leading edge of critical ombuds and other ADR and conflict resolution practices.
  • Engage in professional development opportunities and related training and educational programs to maintain, grow, and enhance skills and competencies with regard to all forms of alternative dispute resolution, including but not limited to mediation, nonviolent communication, restorative practices, social conflict resolution, de-escalation techniques, etc.

Policy Analysis and Feedback

  • Serve as resource to the university in formulating, reviewing or modifying policy and procedures, raising issues that might surface as a result of a gap between the stated goals of the institution and actual practice.
  • Act as a liaison between individuals or groups and the university’s administrative structure, serving as a communicator or informal facilitator, as appropriate, and providing upward feedback
  • Function as a sensor within the university community to identify problems or trends that affect the entire campus or significant parts of the community; if appropriate, recommend possible solutions and ways to address these concerns.

UVA hopes to have this position filled before the start of the Fall 2022 semester.  Salary will be commensurate with education and experience. This is an Exempt level, benefited position.  For more information on the benefits at UVA, visit hr.virginia.edu/benefits.

This position will remain open until filled.  Primary consideration will be given to candidates who apply by May 30, 2022.   The University will perform background checks on all new hires prior to employment.

To Apply:

Please apply through Workday, and search for R0035965. Internal applicants must apply through their UVA Workday profile by searching 'Find Jobs'.   Complete an application online with the following documents:

  • CV
  • Cover letter

Upload all materials into the resume submission field, multiple documents can be submitted into this one field. Alternatively, merge all documents into one PDF for submission.  Applications that do not contain all required documents will not receive full consideration.

References will be completed via UVA’s standardized process Skill Survey.  A total of five references will be requested via Skill Survey during the final phase of the interview process.

For questions about the application process, please contact Ashley Cochran, Senior Recruiter at alc6dk@virginia.edu.

For more information about UVA and the Charlottesville community please see http://www.virginia.edu/life/charlottesville and https://embarkcva.com/.

 

Requirements

Qualifications:

  • Master's degree required. Equivalent education and experience may substitute for all minimum qualification.
  • Masters or other advanced degree or advanced certificate in mediation, other conflict or dispute resolution, organizational psychology, higher education, counseling, or related fields preferred.
  • Four years of relevant experience utilizing alternative dispute resolution practices and skills in resolution of potential conflicts required.
  • Five years of professional work experience in areas of conflict resolution, as an Ombuds in a professional workplace, or in a closely related position in a university setting strongly preferred.
  • Understanding of the Standards of Practice as outlined by the International Ombudsman Association and ability to adhere to those standards.
  • Experience working in and understanding of the unique environments of a higher education institution preferred.
  • Experience incorporating restorative justice practices, nonviolent communication skills, and/or social justice conflict resolution strategies into one’s practice preferred.
  • Membership in the International Ombuds Association, including completion of at least the beginner-level training for ombuds or commitment to obtain membership and complete training as soon as practicable.

This is primarily a sedentary job involving extensive use of desktop computers. The job does occasionally require traveling some distance to attend meetings, and programs.

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