Dear Faculty:

In recent weeks, I have been engaging in conversations with faculty leaders around the University's advocacy and support for each of you and your important work. As an institution fully dedicated to teaching, research, and service, we are deeply committed to identifying ways in which we can increase the current levels of advocacy and support. As such, I am pleased to announce the University's forthcoming engagement in a thoughtful process to develop and review a proposed structure for establishing a University Faculty Ombuds Office to be led by a director-level position. As many of you are aware, this is a common practice at many complex institutions, but not currently in place at Old Dominion University.

Members of the Faculty Mediation Committee have agreed to play a critical role in establishing the necessary framework for this important effort. The group will also conduct a thorough review of policies for alignment with the initial establishment and future operation of this office. Their detailed work will be led by Professor and Eminent Scholar Nina Brown, Ed.D. and occur over the summer months. Please join me in extending our sincere appreciation to Dr. Brown and members of this devoted group for agreeing to take on this significant role.

The overarching goal is to have a recommended structure to be reviewed and implemented with the Fall 2022 semester. Initially, it is anticipated that the office will be led by an interim director as a comprehensive search for a permanent director will likely occur at the beginning of the 2022-2023 academic year. This new office, related staffing, and necessary investment will represent a collaborative effort among the faculty and the administration, including my office, the Office of the Provost, and the Office of Research.

I look forward to receiving the Faculty Mediation Committee's report and working collaboratively with Professor Michael Carhart, Ph.D. on behalf of the Faculty Senate; Dr. Brown on behalf of the Faculty Mediation Committee; Provost and Vice President for Academic Affairs Austin Agho, Ph.D.; and Vice President for Research Morris Foster, Ph.D. This is an important step in providing our world-class faculty with the level of advocacy and support needed as we move forward together!

With Monarch Pride,

Brian O. Hemphill, Ph.D.