Faculty Ombudsperson

Welcome from the Faculty Ombudsperson

Thank you for visiting!  My name is Carrie Ball, and I am delighted to serve as the ISU Faculty Ombuds.  I joined ISU in 2011 and am currently a Professor in the Department of Applied Clinical and Educational Sciences.  I am pleased that my role as faculty obmuds allows me to capitalize on my experience with faculty governance, my professional background in psychology, and my passions for empowering individuals and strengthening organizations for positive change.

Please take a moment to explore the information and resources below for more information about the roles functions of an ombuds.  In part, you will find that I strive to offer a confidential, impartial, informal, and independent environment in which faculty feel comfortable discussing their questions and concerns. 

I welcome you to contact me directly using the information to the right.  I am pleased to communicate via e-mail or to schedule phone calls or individual meetings that best protect your confidentiality.  I would also be pleased to visit your College, Department, committee, or other group function to share information and answer questions about the resources provided by this office.  Thank you for allowing me to serve you in this capacity!

What is the role of a faculty ombuds?

What I strive to do:

  • Confidentially hear and impartially discuss your concerns
  • Help you locate and understand relevant University and College policies and procedures
  • Help you identify and select options for resolving questions, concerns, or problems in the workplace
  • Refer you to appropriate University resources, services, or programs
  • Empower you to pursue your professional potential
  • Encourage collegial relationships and effective interpersonal problem-solving
  • Monitor trends across the university and advocate for systemic change when needed

What I do not do:

  • Offer psychological counseling services
  • Offer legal advice
  • Maintain confidentiality regarding reportable Title IX violations
  • Establish, change, or enforce policies and procedures
  • Make decisions or findings of fact, determine “fault,” or participate in grievance proceedings

Common topics addressed:

  • Promotion and tenure proceedings at the Department, College, and University level
  • Conditions and processes for making non-teaching appointment decisions (e.g., appointment and removal of program coordinators)
  • Workplace bullying or incivility
  • Questions about filing grievances at the College or University level

For more information about the role of an ombuds, this brief informational video may be helpful:

What can I expect if I meet with you?

I will strive to create a safe environment in which you can confidentially discuss your questions and concerns, receive consultation and guidance, and feel empowered to pursue a course of action that you decide is right for you.  The ombuds role is guided by four ethical principles that establish our standards for practice:

  1. Independence - the ombuds operates independently from other organizational entities and and is not part of the formal management or reporting structure.
  2. Neutrality and Impartiality – the ombuds exercises and advocates for fairness, objectivity, and equity in the treatment of all persons and issues; the ombuds does not accept roles that have the potential to create a real or perceived conflict of interest.
  3. Confidentiality – All communications are held in strict confidence unless the visitor gives permission to disclose information.  The only exceptions are in cases where there is imminent risk of serious harm or when the ombuds is required to report as a responsible employee of the organization.  All record-keeping and reporting and any actions taken by the ombuds are done in a way that safeguards confidentiality.
  4. Informality – The ombuds supplements but does not replace formal channels within the organization, does not make binding decisions, and does not participate in any formal proceedings.  While striving to help people solve problems informally, the ombuds examines trends within the organization and makes recommendations for systemic improvements when appropriate. 

For more information, please refer to the International Ombudsperson Association (IOA) Code of Ethics and the IOA Standards of Practice.

Contact Information

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Carrie Ball, PhD, HSPP, NCSP
E-mail: isu-facultyombuds@indstate.edu
Phone: (812) 237-2875
Office Locations (hours by appointment):
University Hall, Room 310d
College of Health and Human Services, Room A456