Faculty Ombuds

Dr. Sahra Sedigh Sarvestani, associate professor of electrical and computer engineering, has been appointed by Provost Potts as S&T’s ombuds, a new part-time position created through the S&T ADVANCE program to provide confidential and information assistance to faculty.

Sedigh Sarvestani will begin the role June 1 and complete training through the International Ombuds Association. She will report to Dr. Daniel Forciniti, associate provost of faculty affairs.

Sedigh Sarvestani served as president for S&T’s Faculty Senate August 2017 through July 2018. She holds a bachelor’s in electrical engineering from Sharif University of Technology in Tehran, Iran, and her master’s and Ph.D. in electrical engineering from Purdue University.

What is an Ombuds? 

The ombuds acts as a source of information and referral, aids in answering faculty questions, and assists faculty in the resolution of concerns. The ombuds does not replace the existing resources for formal conflict resolution.

Responsibilities include:

  • Provide impartial and confidential conflict resolution services to faculty who feel concerned about an issue.
  • Remain independent and impartial, and exercise good judgment.
  • Assist faculty in obtaining relevant information regarding university policies and procedures.
  • Assist faculty in clarifying issues and generating options for resolution.
  • Facilitate faculty members’ assessment of the pros and cons of possible options.
  • Whenever appropriate, provide faculty with referrals to other resources, such as Human Resources, the Employee Assistance Program, the Wellness Center, University Police, the Office of Equity and Title IX, etc.
  • Follow up with faculty as appropriate to determine outcomes and further needs for assistance.

While maintaining confidentiality, the ombuds may prepare reports for the provost to demonstrate trends in the reporting of problem areas in policies and practices. The ombuds is a mandated reporter under current university policy.