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Faculty Ombuds


Many people who seek guidance from the Faculty Ombuds have concerns or problems that are similar to those others have faced. Here are some common topics that can help you get started on a path toward resolution.

Resources to Help You Now

These topics include a wealth of resources that may help. Find the topic that best matches your concern and select it to access the references. If you have a question or concern that's not listed and you'd like to discuss it with the Faculty Ombuds, just call 803-777-2600.

Academic Freedom in the 21st-Century College and University: Academic Freedom for All Faculty and Instructional Staff
The AFT Statement on Academic Freedom.

Defining Academic Freedom: What it does do and what it doesn’t do
Cary Nelson is president of the American Association of University Professors and professor of English at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. He is the author, most recently, of "No University Is an Island: Saving Academic Freedom" (NYU, 2010).

On the Relationship of Faculty Governance to Academic Freedom
This statement was approved in May 1994 by the Association’s Committee on College and University Governance (Committee T).

Resources on Academic Freedom: AAUP Policy Statements, Reports & Analysis
The policies published in the AAUP’s Policy Documents and Reports, also known as the "Redbook," have been formulated by standing and special AAUP committees and governing bodies, and at times in cooperation with other organizations.

Annual Reviews — USC Columbia
Office of the Provost

Getting Past a Poor Third-Year Review
Advice from the collaborative blog Tenure, She Wrote devoted to chronicling the (mis)adventures of women in academia, from undergraduate to full professor.

The Third-Year Review Blues
It can be challenging to receive criticism, writes Kerry Ann Rockquemore, but it can also provide an opportunity to discern the difference between how you believe things should be and how they actually are.

What to Do After a Bad Performance Review
Harvard Business Review

"Advice for New Faculty Members: Nihil Nimus," by Robert Boice (First Edition)
A unique and essential guide to the start of a successful academic career. As its title suggests (nothing in excess), it advocates moderation in ways of working based on the single-most reliable difference between new faculty members who thrive and those who struggle.

Advice for New Faculty: Six Lessons from the Front Lines
From Faculty Focus

Know the Vital Players in Your Career: The Chair
In every department, certain figures can profoundly affect your progress in academe. Written by David D. Perlmutter.

Top Ten Things New Faculty Members Would Like to Hear From Colleagues
Mary Deane Sorcinelli, associate provost for faculty development at the University of Massachusetts, on optimizing your first few years as a professor; from the Academic Ladder 

Can we Agree to Disagree? Faculty-Faculty Conflict                                                                                                      Book: "Mending the Cracks in the Ivory Tower: Strategies for Conflict Management in Higher Education," 
Susan A. Holton, Editor. Includes: by Cynthia Berryman-Fink

Handling Conflict within an Academic Setting
From "Chairing the Academic Department: Leadership Among Peers," by Allan Tucker

Mediating Disputes on the Job
Advice from the Program on Negotiation at Harvard Law School

Trouble in Haven: Resolving Conflicts in Academia
Finding the right way to deal with conflict is not easy, but it is necessary in order to ensure a harmonious work environment.

Advice for Visitors Who Need to Get Along With Their Bosses
These tips may be useful for those having trouble getting along with their boss. From The Happiness Blog.

Handling a Tyrant Boss
Lynn Taylor, a workplace expert and contributor to Business Week magazine, offers suggestions on how employees can manage difficult bosses.

How to Deal with your Department Chair?
Do you talk with your chair? It depends! Here's a real story. Did you seek the job? — If so, why? Do you want a counteroffer from your current department?

How to Apologize
Over at, Vivian Scott discusses the four elements of an effective apology. See also Apology, the detailed advisory crafted by Marsha Wagner, ombuds of Columbia University.

How to Complain
Hint: It's best to avoid name-calling, personal attacks and conspiracy theories.

How to Resign
Advice on writing the letter, breaking the news and other details of your departure

The Economy of Forgiveness [pdf]
Some thoughts on this subject from the book "Brain Power: Improve Your Mind as You Age," by Michael Gelb

A Researcher Speaks to Ombudsmen about Workplace Bullying [pdf]
By Loraleigh Keashly in the Journal of the International Ombudsman Association. Volume 3:10-23, 2010.

A Survivor's Guide to Academic Bulling [pdf]
By Morteza Mahmoudi.

Bullying In Higher Education: What Current Research, Theorizing and Practice Tell Us? [pdf]
Loraleigh Keashly and Joel H. Neuman In J. Lester (ed). "Workplace bullying in higher education." Routledge (2013).

Bullying More Harmful Than Sexual Harassment on the Job, Say Researchers
Workplace bullying, such as belittling comments, persistent criticism of work and withholding resources, appears to inflict more harm on employees than sexual harassment, according to researchers.

Is There A Bully In Your Department?
How can you identify or mitigate bullies in academe? Jason B. Jones reviews Leah P. Hollis’s "Bully in the Ivory Tower."

Study Shows That Ridicule Undermines Workplace Performance
Research published in the Journal of Management Studies finds that perceived workplace injustices directly affect employees' ability to cope with workload demands and performance-related expectations.

The Power of Emotional Detachment
When ombuds are consulted by people targeted by a bully, they try to identify a range of options for responding. Often, the visitor may choose to cope with the situation by disengaging. Author Bob Sutton seems to agree that emotional detachment is an important job skill.

Tips for Dealing with Workplace Bullying [pdf]
More than a third of U.S. workers have experienced workplace bullying, the repeated mistreatment by a boss or co-workers, which includes verbal abuse, threatening conduct, intimidation, harassment or social exclusion, according to the Workplace Bullying Institute.

Tit for Tat? The Spiraling Effect of Incivility in the Workplace [pdf]
Lynne M. Andersson and Christine M. Pearson. The Academy of Management Review, Vol. 24, No. 3 (Jul., 1999), pp. 452-471.

Workplace Bullying: A Review of Litigated Cases [pdf]
William Martin & Helen LaVan. Employ Respons Rights J (2010) 22:175-194.

Workplace Bullying in Higher Education
Research-based chapters cover the impact of bullying on the workforce; the ways bullying manifests within different subcultures and at different institutions, including community colleges; the legal and ethical issues of bullying; and recommendations to address bullying on campus.

Workplace Bullying, Mobbing and General Harassment: A Review [pdf]
By Sara Branch, Sheryl Ramsay and Michelle Barker. International Journal of Management Reviews, Vol. 15, 280-299 (2013).

Research: Uncovering Misconduct
Cases of scientific wrongdoing seem to be rising, but when should researchers blow the whistle? Virginia Gewin. This article was originally published online in the journal Nature 485:137-139, (2012).

Responding To Research Wrongdoing: A User-Friendly Guide
Developed under a grant from the National Institutes of Neurological Disorders and Stroke and the HHS Office of Research Integrity, No. R01 NS049573 

A Delicate Balance: The Role of the Ombuds in Resolving Campus Conflict
By Jane Morson for HigherEdJobs

An Informal Approach to Solving Problems [pdf]
Ombuds help organizations deal with conflicts and complaints.

The Ombudsman: The Best Conversation That Never Happened
Dora Farkas addresses the concerns of an anonymous graduate student considering the university ombuds office.


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