Jacqueline Bowman named U-M’s first ombudsperson for staff
Jacqueline Bowman has been appointed to lead the university’s new Office of the Staff Ombuds.
All U-M staff working on the Ann Arbor campus and in Michigan Medicine will be eligible for ombuds services when the office opens in early 2019. A new staff ombuds website and more details on the location and appointment process will be available at that time.
“Jacquie is the ideal person to support our staff in this new role,” said Robert Sellers, vice provost for equity and inclusion. “Her training in counseling and educational psychology, direct experience as an ombudsperson and specific knowledge of U-M are precisely the mix we sought to ensure an effective neutral third party.”
The new role was recommended by the Staff Committee on Diversity, Equity and Inclusion, and reinforced by staff feedback calling for support to resolve concerns and navigate university programs and resources.
Sellers convened the Staff Ombudsperson Program Proposal Committee to research the new role and charged a search committee last April to consider applicants and make staffing recommendations.
Bowman holds a Ph.D., in educational psychology from U-M and has been lead counselor and program specialist at the Center for the Education of Women since 2008.
Before that, she established a new ombuds office at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign and worked as a corporate ombudsperson for a Fortune 500 company, providing confidential, informal dispute resolution services.
She will report directly to Kevin Hegarty, executive vice president and chief financial officer.
“Having this new role will be so significant in providing confidential and impartial support for staff,” Hegarty said. “The university is very complex, and Jacquie has a history of helping staff navigate successfully to resolve concerns.”
Bowman said she embraces the mission of assisting staff in resolving issues and helping to create a positive and equitable workplace.
“My entire professional career is anchored by a commitment to diversity, equity and inclusion. As someone with deep and enduring ties to this campus, it is an honor to support the staff and the mission to ensure an equitable community.”