Happenings Around Mizzou: Ombudsperson

Pam Bruzina

Working with our Faculty Council (FC), and with input from a committee that was tasked to explore and recommend the ombuds role for MU, we are pleased to recruit Dr. Pam Bruzina as MU’s Faculty Ombudsperson. Dr. Bruzina is not new to our campus and has served in various capacities. She is a professor of nutrition and exercise physiology in the College of Agriculture, Food and Natural Resources and the School of Medicine. She has been and continues to be our faculty athletics representative to the SEC and NCAA.

What does an ombuds do and why is this role important? As we explain on our website,

The primary function of the Faculty Ombudsperson is to provide informal assistance and impartial conflict/dispute resolution. The Ombudsperson provides faculty a confidential place to collaboratively explore complaints, clarify issues, and consider options and resources to address their concerns. The work of the Ombudsperson is meant to help address faculty conflicts at early stages and suggest appropriate resolutions.

Other than for some exceptions as required by MU’s Office of Institutional Equity, and MU’s Office of General Counsel, the ombudsperson preserves confidentiality during conversations with faculty and is available to assist with the resolution of concerns in an independent, impartial and informal manner. The International Ombuds Association is a resource that is also linked on our website and offers us the opportunity to understand how this role can be effective in helping faculty address concerns. 

While this role used to exist at MU several years ago, we have not had one again until this year. I am really pleased with the partnership with FC, and grateful to Dr. Kate Trauth (previous chair of FC), who played a major role in stewarding this conversation and helping recruit the ombuds. I encourage faculty to reach out to our ombuds when you have concerns. Only when we all feel a sense of belonging can we do our very best. Achieving this goal takes all of us working together and the ombuds is an important part of this process.

Thank you Dr. Bruzina for your service.