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Search begins for 2 new ombuds

February 19, 2024

Provost Charles Isbell and the Ombuds Office announce the search for two ombuds — one to begin service in June and another in December 2024. Based on the current priorities of the ombuds team, we are seeking retired University of Wisconsin–Madison faculty, academic staff and university staff. To ensure consideration, applications should be submitted by March 11, 2024.

The Ombuds Office was created to provide an alternative resource for all UW–Madison employees — faculty, academic staff, university staff, graduate assistants, postdoctoral fellows and student staff members — seeking assistance with work-related issues.

The role of an ombuds

UW–Madison’s six ombuds are retired UW employees representing faculty, academic staff and university staff who have developed their expertise from decades of service on this campus in different disciplines and different roles. Ombuds provide an informal, safe, confidential opportunity for employees 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, issue reframing and development of options, including referral to other offices on campus, and helping people help themselves.

Time commitment and compensation for ombuds

Ombuds generally serve a single term of 37 months, 3 years plus one month in training with an ombuds who is completing their term. They are appointed part-time, receiving compensation for approximately 10 hours of work per week.

The University of Wisconsin–Madison is an Equal Opportunity and Affirmative Action Employer. For more information, see the Ombuds website.

How recruit an ombuds or apply to become an ombuds

The recruitment process usually entails reaching out to former employees who have been retired from 1 to 4 years at the time of appointment.

To ensure consideration, individuals interested in becoming an ombuds should send the following materials, preferably via email, to or to Office of the Provost UW–Madison, Room 150 Bascom Hall, 500 Lincoln Drive, Madison, WI 53706, no later than March 11, 2024:

  1. A letter of no more than two pages stating 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 of no more than four pages.
  3. The names and contact information of three references who can speak to your skills and abilities. References will not be contacted until candidates have been notified.

Contact information

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