Faculty Ombuds

The faculty ombuds offers an informal, impartial and neutral avenue for faculty to discuss problems or issues within the University. The faculty ombuds strives for impartiality, fairness and objectivity in the treatment of people and the consideration of issues. 

The identity of all persons meeting with the faculty ombuds are kept confidential, as are all discussions between the faculty member and the faculty ombuds, unless permission is given to disclose the identity and/or information. The only exception to confidentiality is when such a disclosure is required by law, University policy or where there appears to be imminent risk of serious harm.

The faculty ombuds does not take a side in disputes. As an informal resource, she does not participate in any formal adjudicative or administrative procedure related to concerns brought to her attention. The faculty ombuds advocates for fair and equitably administered processes and does not advocate on behalf of any individual within the organization. These unique characteristics distinguish the ombudsman from mediators, arbitrators and other alternative dispute resolution professionals.

Communications made to the faculty ombuds are not notice to the organization. However, the Ombudsman may refer individuals to the appropriate place where formal notice to the University can be made. 

While the faculty ombuds reports administratively to the senior vice chancellor for academic affairs, she operates in an independent and confidential manner and has no formal decision-making authority. While maintaining confidentiality, the faculty ombuds will provide feedback to the administration (or others in authority) when a common issue or trend occurs.

The faculty ombuds adheres to the principles of the International Ombudsman Association.

  • Diane Daane  

    Diane M. Daane, MS, JD
    Faculty Ombuds Distinguished Professor Emertitus

    • 864-597-6122 (Call or text)
    • The George, Room 291
    • 160 East St. John Street
    • Spartanburg, SC 29306 
  • Diane Daane retired from her position as Professor of Criminal Justice in December 2015. She began her position as Interim Faculty Ombuds on March 1, 2016 and the interim title was dropped in March 2017.

    Diane has over 30 years of teaching experience. She came to USC Upstate in August 1992. Among other service during her time at USC Upstate, she served on Faculty Senate for nine years and as Faculty Chair during the 2000 - 2001 academic year. She served as a member of the SACS Leadership Committee from 2009 to 2011 and as Chair of the SACS Self-Study Financial Resources Committee from 1999 to 2001. Diane chaired NCAA Division 1 Self-Study Steering Committee, and served on or chaired numerous other university and community committees. Diane is also a founding member of the Center for Child Advocacy Studies.

    Diane holds a Master of Science in Criminal Justice Administration and a Juris Doctor. Prior to teaching she worked in the field of corrections as a caseworker, a classification director and a halfway house supervisor. During law school she was awarded an internship with the U.S. Department of Justice working with the General Counsel for the Bureau of Prisons in Washington, DC, and then as a legal assistant to the North Central Regional Counsel for the Bureau of Prisons in Kansas City, Missouri. Diane practiced law with Legal Aid of Western Missouri working first in their Municipal Court Defense Unit then in the Law Center for Senior Citizens. She is licensed to practice law in Missouri and Nebraska.

    Diane is not licensed to practice law in South Carolina and does not serve as legal counsel for the University. Conversations with her do not and cannot include legal opinion or legal advice.

    Domestic Violence and sexual assault have been at the center or her research agenda. She has numerous publications and presentations in those areas. She continues to write and publish about sexual assault in retirement.

    Some of her honors and awards include:

    • 2016 Distinguished Service Award
    • 2010 Outstanding Faculty/Staff Award, Department of Athletics
    • 2002 Outstanding Advisor for a Student Group Award
    • 2001 Exemplary Faculty Award: Women’s Studies and Programs
    • 1999, 2004 and 2005 Who’s Who of American Teachers
    • 1996 “Doc’s List” Award for Service to USC Spartanburg Students
    • 1995 Nations Bank Excellence in Teaching Award (Teacher of the Year)
    • 1992 Liberty Bell Award for Outstanding Legal Education and Community Service