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 firstname.lastname@example.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.