Who We Are

Brief History

UNM Ombuds Services was originally created in 1994 as The Dispute Resolution Department.  In 2010, UNM created Ombuds Services for Staff and changed the name of this office accordingly.

The creation of Ombuds Services did not impact our fundamental mission.  It did, however, provide us with a title that connects us more obviously with the International Ombudsman Association (IOA).  Our ethical code and standards of practice are best expressed by the IOA.

Most of our higher education peer institutions also refer to their confidential, neutral, informal, and independent conflict management programs with the title of Ombuds.

Value to UNM

The work of Ombuds Services for Staff is a valuable workplace initiative that supports employees’ effort to reduce the human and organizational costs of conflict.  When UNM staff engage our services, we support them in building communication and collaboration which reduces the frequency and costs associated with on-going conflict and adversarial process.   

Our mission is to promote a culture of constructive conflict management on campus.

Staff

Staff Ombudsperson

JoEllen Ransom
As Staff Ombuds, I support your efforts to build communication and collaboration.  My background includes work as a mediator (since 1987), lawyer, adjunct faculty, facilitator, hearing officer, trainer and constructive conflict management program designer/coordinator. In each of these roles, I am inspired by how effectively people can reduce human suffering and reduce the organizational costs of conflict by engaging in collaborative process.

The people who visit this office are taking a constructive approach to addressing workplace concerns. You have my respect and support in your efforts to be proactive about improving your situation in an informal and confidential setting. You also have my commitment to integrity in our work.


Associate Ombuds

Anne Lightsey
I am fortunate to be a part of the UNM Ombuds Services for Staff team.  Every day I see staff come in with a _______ (problem, question, conflict), and they leave with their goals identified and prioritized and with a game plan for how to create a collaborative and productive workplace for themselves.

I also teach UNM Staff Basic Mediation Skills Training (a 40 hour course) where, as one participant said, she "learned how to make magic happen."  I have trained and mediated for over 25 years, and as a part of Ombuds Services for Staff, I feel privileged to witness the strength, creativity, and dedication of staff to making this university a great place to work.

Jon Lee
UNM Staff help students and faculty every day, but who is there to help staff?  It is my role as an ombuds to be a resource for staff when they face challenges at work.  My background is in counseling psychology, art, education, and law, and my facilitation style incorporates characteristics from each of those disciplines.  They include active and non-judgmental listening, creativity, perspective reframing, a sensitivity to language, and divergent problem solving.  I value self-determination, the ability to think, feel, and speak freely in a safe environment, and the realizations that come from engaging in a simultaneously creative and analytical process.

The one-on-one ombuds visit allows you an opportunity to gain clarity of your situation and all its moving pieces.  I believe that you are the expert of your own experience, and it is my role to help you by slowing things down so you can think out loud and see what you're going through in a multitude of ways.  My hope is that when you leave Ombuds Services, you'll have an actionable plan on how to move forward in a way that's practical, authentic, and meets your needs.


Ombuds Administrative Assistant

Edith Mendoza
I believe that one of the best traits a person can have is the willingness to help others, and I admire the work that is done in this office for that reason, and I’m grateful that I have the opportunity to be a part of Ombuds Services for Staff. I look forward to doing my part in assisting staff by connecting them with the people and services that will help them overcome their work-related problems in safe, neutral, and confidential environment.