California State University, Channel Islands, Ombuds

Semester: 2019 Fall

Students: Sunnie Ning & Areeb Salim

California State University, Channel Islands (CSUCI) is the newest university in the California State University system (est. 2002) with a focus on serving the Hispanic community and first-generation college students. 

CSUCI employs approximately 1,100 faculty and staff and has a student population of approximately 7,100. Enrollment is expected to rise in coming years, and the employment of faculty and staff will increase accordingly. The President of CSUCI is establishing an ombuds office to play a leading role in helping to mature and strengthen the structures for dealing with workplace conflict.

The objectives of this project are to: 1) assess the most common and pervasive sources of conflict for University staff and faculty; 2) understand how employees and administration currently manage conflict; and 3) make recommendations regarding structures and services the University Ombuds office might employ and provide, per the International Ombudsman Association Standards of Conduct. The project will also assess how the CSUCI Ombuds Office can work most effectively within the California State University system—in partnership with stakeholders at the University and the Chancellor’s Office, as well as with other ombuds offices in the state university system.

Activities & Deliverables

  • Assessment of stakeholder attitudes and goals regarding conflict resolution and the ombuds’ role in managing conflict and enhancing the organizational culture;
  • Legal and policy research on the impact of establishing the office and how the charter might maximize the capabilities of an ombuds practicing to the highest professional standards within that system;
  • A report that:
    • Provides a roadmap for creating/refining the Ombuds Office foundational documents and processes;
    • Provides recommendations for establishing the office physically within the campus environment;
    • Prioritizes University outreach efforts, employee skills development efforts, and confidence-building efforts for stakeholders and potential visitors; and
    • Recommends milestones for development and evaluation of the office’s effectiveness in the future.
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