Recent AFA Ombudsperson Activities

The AFA Ombuds was engaged on fewer than ten cases between announcement of the Ombuds position in December 2019 and April 2020. The individuals who raised concerns included students, recent graduates, and faculty. Some individuals contacted the Ombuds via ombuds@afajof.org and others visited her as a walk-in at the ASSA meetings. The AFA Ombuds always observes strict confidentiality and thus this summary of issues raised has been anonymized and generalized. The Ombuds was consulted to address concerns raised regarding perceptions of:  gender-inequity; misrepresentation of research; abuse of power and bullying; unfair process; and policy non-compliance. All but one concern was related to activity at an academic institution with which the individual had some association. The Ombuds directed the individuals to appropriate resources and helped guide them through their situations

The AFA Ombudsperson provides informal, confidential problem-solving assistance to the AFA and its constituents and stakeholders, and collects data in aggregate form only. The Ombuds is a neutral arbiter, not an advocate, and does not represent the AFA or the complainant and is not authorized to receive notice of claims against the AFA. Therefore, communication with the Ombuds does not constitute legal notice to the AFA, and will not trigger a formal course of action or legal process by the AFA.

Who is the AFA Ombuds?

The Ombuds is independent, and not a member, of the AFA.

Starting January 1, 2020, the role will be filled by Ms. Francine Montemurro.

When should I contact the AFA Ombuds?

You may contact the Ombuds whenever you are most comfortable doing so, and you are encouraged to do so at the early stage of a concern. Consulting with the Ombuds early on often preserves more choices for you to address your concern.

Will the Ombuds make a permanent record of my conversations?

No. The Ombuds maintains only anonymous, aggregate data. Informal notes may be temporarily created only as needed for case management. You are not required to provide your name or personally identifiable information to the Ombuds. If you choose to do so, no records containing identifiable information will preserved.