What Success Looks Like
Integrity and Personal Accountability: New faculty ombudsman builds relationships
April 20, 2010
When he was appointed as the faculty ombudsman, Jack Rall was excited about finding another way to take Ohio State from Excellence to Eminence.
Rall, who sits on the Culture Transformation Steering Committee, is focused on finding ways to create an even more positive environment at Ohio State. Helping colleagues across the university resolve conflict will do that by leveraging his skills and passion.
The position, newly created by the University Senate, is a way to head off potential conflict among colleagues university-wide. The faculty ombudsman will facilitate dispute resolution; without a means of early resolution, complaints go through time-consuming channels. The longer they languish, the more rancorous the disputes may become until compromise becomes almost impossible.
“An issue may start out small, but if not addressed it becomes much bigger over time,” Rall said. “There are so many times an ombudsman can help faculty before incidents cause permanent hard feelings.”
Examples of matters that may be brought to the ombudsman include inconsistent or biased decisions, and weaknesses in university policies.
Helping faculty quickly resolve issues minimizes conflict and encourages collaboration. It also encourages integrity and personal accountability. That’s what our culture transformation is all about, said Rall.
“Quickly resolving conflict is key to achieving our goals,” Rall said. “Conflict impedes development toward eminence.”
Tim Gerber, current chair of the Faculty Council, agreed having an ombudsman will help in transforming the work culture. He said Rall is a perfect fit for the position with his experience serving as an unofficial ombudsman within his department in the College of Medicine for more than three decades.
“Coming to the job directly from the faculty, Jack Rall is one of our most experienced and thoughtful leaders,” Gerber said. “I’m delighted with his selection.”
Rall, who will start serving in this role in the autumn, knows the new position isn’t without challenges. He’s eager to embrace the opportunity, and is excited to help take the University from Excellence to eminence.
“Ombudsmen help organizations become eminent,” he said. “Who wouldn’t want to work for an eminent university?”
The opportunity came at an appropriate time in Rall’s career, he said.
“I’m at a point where I want to focus on giving back to university. I have a genuine desire to see faculty members succeed, and I like the idea of being able to help them, one by one.”
See this onCampus story for more information about Rall and the faculty ombudsman position: New ombudsman eager to give back to university, onCampus, April 7, 2010