Dedicated faculty ombuds joins office

The Office of the Ombuds and Employee Assistance Program is expanding to include a part-time ombuds dedicated to serving faculty needs. Associate professor Kathy Rickard from the psychology department will serve as an additional resource for faculty who seek informal resolution to workplace conflicts and concerns.

“I am very pleased to welcome Kathy in this new, important role serving faculty at CSU,” said Lanai Greenhalgh, university ombuds and office director. “Her knowledge of CSU and deep understanding of faculty issues is an asset to the office and the university as a whole.”

Kathy Rickard, Faculty Ombuds, Associate Professor of Psychology, Colorado State University, August 10, 2016
Kathy Rickard, Faculty Ombuds, Associate Professor of Psychology, Colorado State University, August 10, 2016

Ombuds office works to resolve workplace concerns

The university ombuds office is a confidential, informal  and impartial resource for all employees – faculty and staff – who are seeking solutions to workplace conflict, concern and issues. The office strives to ensure that employees are treated with respect while helping resolve issues, and is committed to confidentiality, neutrality, informality and independence from other offices and structures the university.

In her role as faculty ombuds, Rickard will assist faculty members in resolving workplace conflicts by listening to concerns, exploring informal and formal options, providing information about relevant policies and procedures, facilitating conversations about solutions and informally mediating disputes.

“I am excited about joining the Ombuds Office and I am hopeful that in this role I will be able to make a difference to some individuals who may not otherwise have a place to go,” Rickard said. “I have spent more than three decades of my life as a faculty member at Colorado State, and I recognize that the role presents its own challenges and unique pressures. It is clear to me that positive leadership and affirming and supportive policies are important, as is facilitating changes in policies that are not serving the organization and its faculty. The faculty ombuds has access to all levels of individuals at the university, and I look forward to the type of consulting that this role can provide.”

Rickard also cited opportunities to observe and contribute to conflict resolution through her work as a clinical psychologist, and the importance of a safe and confidential place to explore issues and resolutions.

Rickard has a long-standing commitment to Colorado State University, where she has been a faculty member in the Department of Psychology since 1983. She also has been a clinical psychologist in Colorado since 1983, and is a member of the International Ombudsman Association. Rickard earned her Ph.D. in clinical psychology and her master’s degree from the University of Georgia, and received her bachelor’s degree from the University of Alabama. She completed her internship at the Brown University School of Medicine.

New position result of campus committee work

The Office of the Ombuds, in conjunction with the Provost’s office, would like to acknowledge the work of the Standing Committee on the Status of Women Faculty for bringing this position to fruition, Greenhalgh said.

“We would like to thank the Standing Committee on the Status of Women Faculty for their work in advocating for the establishment of this position and seeing it through,” said Dan Bush, vice provost for faculty affairs. “The committee has done an outstanding job bringing the faculty perspective to the forefront.”

“The Standing Committee on the Status of Women Faculty is pleased that the university supports our recommendation for a faculty ombuds position,” said Irene Vernon, chair of the committee. “We believe it provides faculty with more options in resolving workplace conflicts related to faculty issues.”

The faculty ombuds has the support of CSU’s president, provost and administration, but is not an advocate for any individual or the institution. The person in the position is an advocate for fairness and just practices, who acts as a source of information and referral and takes an active role in assisting in the resolution of concerns and critical situations.

Faculty wishing to schedule an appointment with Rickard can call (970) 491-5121 or email

More information about the university ombuds