UW Ombuds Office seeking recent retirees to serve as ombudspersons

Recently retired faculty, academic and university staff, Vice Chancellors, Deans, Department Chairs, and Program Directors:

Provost Karl Scholz and the Ombuds Office announce the search for retirees (who have retired within the past 3 years) to begin service as part-time ombudspersons during the 2021 calendar year. Ombuds generally serve a fixed term of 3 years and receive compensation for approximately 10 hours of work per week.

The Ombuds Office was created to provide a resource for all UW–Madison employees including Extension (faculty, academic staff, university staff, graduate assistants, post-docs, and student staff members) seeking assistance with work-related issues. The Ombuds Office is comprised of retired UW employees representing faculty, academic staff, and university staff from different disciplines who have served on this campus for many years. Ombuds provide a non-formal, safe, confidential opportunity for employees to be heard, to have their concerns explored, and to be provided with resources, options and strategies for next steps to address workplace problems. Ombuds are impartial and work independently from university administrative offices, advocating for fairness and equity in the workplace, rather than representing any side in a dispute. Essential skills routinely used by an ombuds include engaged listening, reframing issues and developing options, and helping people help themselves.

Ombuds are selected from among interested retired faculty, academic staff, and university staff to achieve the greatest breadth and depth for the program. A balance among these 3 categories is desired. Of the current 5 ombuds, 3 are former academic staff, 1 is former university staff, and 1 is former faculty. The 2 individuals whose terms end during 2021 are the university staff and faculty members. Thus, in order to maintain representation from all employee categories, we are seeking faculty and university staff with broad campus experience to fill the positions that will become vacant this year. Such experience might include interaction with a range of campus departments and other units, service on committees, and productive involvement resolving work-related challenges among university employees.

To ensure consideration, applications should be submitted by February 5, 2021. We particularly encourage applications from women and members of underrepresented groups on campus.

To apply, interested individuals should send the following materials, preferably via email, to or by hard copy to Office of the Provost UW–Madison; Room 150 Bascom Hall; 500 Lincoln Drive; Madison, WI 53706; no later than Feb. 5, 2021:

  1. A letter of no more than 2 pages in which you state your qualifications for and interest in the position. Provide information about your experiences with the “essential skills” used by ombuds as described above.
  2. A brief curriculum vitae (resume) emphasizing experiences related to ombuds needs (no more than 4 pages).

If you have questions about the position, call (608) 265-9992, or contact one of the current ombuds:

The University of Wisconsin–Madison is an equal opportunity and affirmative action educator and employer.