An internal search committee for the part-time ombudsperson position for the College has recommended that the role remain vacant at this time, and President Phil Hanlon ’77 has accepted the recommendation.
The role has been vacant since July 2017, when Sean Nolon left the position to return to teaching at Vermont Law School in South Royalton, Vt.
The committee, which submitted its recommendation to President Hanlon in late March, reviewed the scope of the position and determined that the assistance previously provided by the ombudsperson is available through a range of services, including the employee assistance program, the office of the Title IX coordinator, the Dartmouth Compliance and Ethics Hotline, the Office of Institutional Diversity and Equity, and the Office of Human Resources.
Members of the committee were Scot Bemis, chief human resources officer; Evelynn Ellis, vice president for institutional diversity and equity; Laura Hercod, chief of staff in the Office of the President and secretary to the board of trustees; Sandhya Iyer, general counsel; Rick Mills, executive vice president; and Marion Simpson, executive director of the president’s office.
“The role of the ombudsperson has been to provide confidential, objective, and informal assistance to non-union staff who may feel troubled by a workplace or campus issue,” says Mills. “The committee felt that employees now have access to expanded support and guidance through the full-time Title IX coordinator role and our enhanced partnership with ComPsych GuidanceResources.” These resources seek to address employee concerns while ensuring institutional accountability for preserving an equitable learning and working environment.
The Chicago-based ComPsych, in business since 1984, has a diverse customer base that includes colleges and universities, private industry, hospitals and health centers, and municipalities and federal agencies. The company offers assistance 24 hours a day and employs master’s- and doctorate-level professionals.
Dartmouth has worked with ComPsych since the retirement of James Platt, the former director of the Faculty/Employee Assistance Program, known on campus as F/EAP. Working with Platt as his retirement neared, the College evaluated the best approach to establish the F/EAP for the future and concluded that it would offer services in a hybrid format. Employees seeking assistance call the F/EAP office and are then connected to a third-party provider whose counselors offer guidance over the phone and, when appropriate, referrals to local providers.
The program’s office remains at the College, on the second floor of the Nugget Arcade building, with F/EAP counselor Sharon Morisi and administrative assistant Lisa Meehan coordinating services between the College and ComPsych.
Information about the resources available to Dartmouth staff can be found online:
Faculty/Employee Assistance Program
Office of the Title IX Coordinator and Clery Act Compliance Officer
Office of Institutional Diversity and Equity