FAQ

What does the Faculty Ombuds do?
  • Listens to your concerns
  • Discusses possible options for resolving your situation, but does not give legal advice
  • Explains Upstate applicable policies and procedure if any apply to your situation
  • Makes referrals to help connect you to services and resources
  • Remains neutral and does not take a side in disputes or advocate for individual faculty members or groups
  • Points out trends and patterns of issues and concerns to the administration without breaching confidentiality
  • Provides an annual report on the website
Will anyone know if I visit the Faculty Ombuds?

Visits to the Faculty Ombuds are strictly confidential. No one will be informed that you visited or about the content of your discussion unless you give permission for such disclosure. The only exception to confidentiality includes when such a disclosure is required by law, University policy, or where there appears to be imminent risk of serious harm. Examples of this are when someone discloses sexually harassing or sexually assaulting someone, or if it reasonably appears that someone’s safety is in jeopardy.

Who can use the services of the Faculty Ombuds?

The Faculty Ombuds works exclusively with Faculty, including all faculty. Staff seeking advice should contact Sharon Woods, Director, Office of Employee Relations and Equal Opportunity at 864-503-5344, Administration Building, Room 310. Students seeking advice should contact Laura Puckett-Boler, Vice Chancellor of Student Affairs and Dean of Students at 864-503-5107, Campus Life Center, Room 302.

Will the Faculty Ombuds represent me in a hearing or conduct mediation with a person with whom I have a dispute?

No. The Faculty Ombuds plays a strictly informal and neutral role and does not participate in any formal adjudicative or administrative procedure. The Faculty Ombuds is not a mediator, arbitrator, or dispute resolution professional.

Does the Ombuds accept formal notice or complaints for the University?

No. The Faculty Ombuds will refer the visitor to the appropriate person for formal notice and complaints.

To whom does the faculty Ombuds report?

The Faculty Ombuds reports directly to the Senior Vice Chancellor for Academic Affairs. The Faculty Ombuds operates in an independent and confidential manner and has no formal decision-making authority.

What types of issues can I discuss with a Faculty Ombuds*?
  • Responsibilities, Compensaiton, and Benefits
  • Evaluative Relationships
  • Peer and Colleague Relationships
  • Career Progression and Development
  • Safety, Health, and Physical Environment
  • Services/Administrative Issues

*For a more complete list, see the International Ombudsman Association Uniform Reporting Categories on the Faculty Ombuds website.

Where do the discussions with the Faculty Ombuds take place?

The Faculty Ombuds typically meets with visitors in the Ombuds office. Since it is an informal process, discussions can also take place in public settings over lunch or coffee if the faculty member prefers that. On occasion, faculty may prefer a phone conversation. Faculty located exclusively on a Greenville campus may request a meeting in a public location in Greenville.

How do I contact the Faculty ombuds?

You may call, text, or email the Faculty Ombuds to schedule an appointment. Texting and email are appropriate only for establishing a meeting time, not for discussing confidential information.