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Beth Dawson has joined UW–Madison ombuds as of June 1

June 19, 2023
Beth Dawson

Beth Dawson

Interim Provost Eric Wilcots has appointed Beth Dawson, emerit academic staff member, as a University of Wisconsin—Madison ombuds. Dawson began her three-year term on June 1. Interim Provost Wilcots expressed his appreciation and thanks to outgoing Ombuds Lezli Redmond, who will complete her three years of service as an ombuds at the end of June.

The Ombuds Office comprises six retired University of Wisconsin–Madison employees representing faculty, academic staff and university staff, who have developed their expertise from having served decades on this campus and in different disciplines. Ombuds provide an informal, safe, confidential opportunity to be heard, explore concerns and consider 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.

Before retiring in August 2022, Dawson worked as a human resources specialist, an academic advisor, a freshman seminar instructor, director of a large advising office and a career advisor. She also has served on several campus-wide committees.

After receiving her bachelor of arts degree, Dawson worked as an advisor in the Higher Education Location Program for the University of Wisconsin System. In this position, she served as a conduit of information and support for potential students, parents, guidance counselors, faculty and staff navigating UW System and its campuses. She also developed and implemented a new staff training program.

Dawson worked as a human resources specialist, coordinating hiring processes for extension agents. From 1997-2005, she was a student service program manager at the University of Wisconsin School of Veterinary Medicine, providing advising for current and prospective veterinary students.  She also served as the minority and disadvantaged coordinator working on campus diversity initiatives.

From 2005 to 2016, Dawson was an academic advisor in the College of Engineering and the director of the Engineering General Resources Office from 2012 to 2015, where she supervised several professional and student staff members, oversaw the departmental admissions and readmissions processes and represented the College of Engineering on campus-level committees. From 2016 to 2018, she was the assistant director of Career Services and International Engineering.

From 2018 to 2022, Dawson was the career advisor, academic advisor and scholarship officer at the UW School of Nursing and continued her service on several campus-wide committees.

You can contact the Ombuds by email at or by phone at 608-265-9992. More information is available at