The Office of the Faculty Ombudsperson was established in the fall of 2013 at the recommendation of Seattle University (SU) Faculty. The Office supports a culture that is ethical and civil, and in which mutual understanding can be reached and differences resolved through respectful dialogue and fair processes. To afford faculty the greatest freedom in using its services, the office is an independent, confidential, impartial, and informal resource made available to all SU faculty members.
The Faculty Ombudsperson is a designated neutral or impartial facilitator whose major function is to provide confidential and informal guidance to the university’s faculty to assist them with their complaints, concerns and issues; to assist faculty in identifying appropriate offices, committees, and university rules and policies; and serve when appropriate as an informal mediator of early-stage complaints and to mediate as an impartial party. The Faculty Ombudsperson is not an advocate either for faculty or administration. The Faculty Ombudsperson is not authorized to receive notice of any claims against SU. The office supplements, but does not replace, existing formal grievance mechanisms at the university. The Faculty Ombuds office operates according to the International Ombudsman Association standards of practice: Independence, Neutrality and Impartiality, Confidentiality and Informality utilizing the Organizational Model of Ombuds process.
McKenna Lang has served as the Faculty Ombudsperson at SU since its inception in 2013. She completed her training with the National Institutes of Health Office of the Ombudsman, Center for Cooperative Resolution. Her Master’s thesis focused on the multicultural origins of ombudsing. In 2014, she completed her doctorate at Tilburg University (Taos Institute) in the Netherlands in Social and Behavioral Sciences and her dissertation focused on International Ombudsing. She also holds degrees in Organizational Psychology and Economics. McKenna has consulted, written and lectured on a variety of issues related to ombudsing and organizational issues. She is a member of the International Ombudsman Association.