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Inside Iowa State, a newspaper for faculty and staff, is published by the Office of University Relations.

Aug. 25, 2006

Ombuds office now open

by Samantha Beres

The new ombuds office at Iowa State is officially open and located on the east side of Physics, room 69.

Two ombuds officers will provide unbiased, confidential help with work-related problems and disputes to Iowa State faculty, staff and graduate and professional students. (Merit staff have separate services for dispute resolution.)

The appointed ombuds officers are Ed Lewis and Grace Weigel. The two will be in the office part-time and will work mostly by appointment. Those who want to use the services of the ombuds office are encouraged to call or e-mail anytime to set up an appointment. Lewis can be reached at 4-8251 or and Weigel at 4-0268 or

Lewis and Weigel bring to the ombuds office a thorough knowledge of institutional policies and resources. Lewis, in his 40-year career at Iowa State served as a psychology professor, counseling psychologist and chair of the university honors program. He retired in 1998 after a 10-year stint as associate provost.

Weigel served as Iowa State's assistant dean for judicial affairs from 1987 to 2004. In that position, she supervised student judicial services and was in charge of adjudicating all major student disciplinary cases.

The two will act as informal problem-solvers to help resolve issues and concerns before they become formal grievances. They may facilitate discussions between parties, make referrals to other services on campus and in some cases, recommend improvements to university policies and procedures. They will not act as legal advisers, do formal investigations or testify in formal hearings.

The office is in a pilot phase until 2008 when it will be assessed to determine whether or not it is meeting the needs of faculty, staff and graduate students on campus.

Ombuds Office

Physics 69

Edwin Lewis: 4-8251, Grace Weigel: 4-0268,