What is an ombuds?
Ombudsman, ombudsperson, ombuds … three ways to refer to one individual who is serving APSU faculty and staff.
The core tenets are that the ombuds office is confidential, independent, impartial, and informal.
Any communication with the faculty/staff ombuds is confidential to the fullest extent of the law. The ombuds will not confirm that communications with a visitor have taken place without the visitor’s express permission. The only exceptions to confidentiality are in cases where there is an imminent risk of serious harm, where abuse or neglect are suspected.
The faculty/staff ombuds will not participate in any APSU formal process. The ombuds is not a designated responsible employee under Title IX.
The faculty/staff ombuds is independent to the highest degree possible. The ombuds does not report directly to APSU administration. The ombuds makes a yearly report to the president of faculty senate outlining the number of visitors and the activities of the ombuds for that year. No names or other identifying information will be included in this report.
The faculty/staff ombuds remains impartial and doesn’t take sides in any conflict, dispute or issue. The ombuds’ goal is first to insure that any visitor has a sense of having been listened to, and then to assist visitors as they come up with options.
The faculty/staff ombuds will avoid involvement in any matter where there may be a real or perceived conflict of interest.
The faculty/staff ombuds is a resource for the informal resolution of issues or disputes. The ombuds will not participate in any formal processes at APSU. Use of the ombuds is voluntary and not a required step in any grievance process, and faculty and staff members have the right to consult with the faculty/staff ombuds without retaliation.
Who is my faculty/staff ombuds?
APSU’s faculty/staff ombuds, Professor Barry Kitterman, has lived in Clarksville and taught at Austin Peay since 1995. He completed his training under the aegis of the International Ombudsman Association and is committed to meeting with individuals who are working to resolve the inevitable interpersonal conflicts that arise on any campus.
How can the ombuds help me?
In most cases involving a disagreement or dispute, it’s helpful to talk things over with someone who is willing to listen, and someone who doesn’t have a stake in the argument. We might turn to a friend or family member, to a mentor or a colleague. Those contacts remain important. The faculty/staff ombuds can also play a role, remaining independent, confidential, impartial, and informal. As a visitor, you won’t be judged on the issue or concern you bring; I will do my best to help you think through your situation. If I can, I will provide you with information on existing University services. We can brainstorm options together.
How do I make an appointment?
If you are faculty or staff at APSU and have need of the services offered by the office of the ombudsman, contact Barry Kitterman at firstname.lastname@example.org or call at 931-221-7878. Please don’t include any confidential information in an email or voicemail. Simply ask me to return your call or message and we can set up a time to meet.