Horvath to be next UAB ombuds

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Michelle Horvath INSIDE 350Michelle Horvath, J.D., is the new university ombuds.Michelle Horvath, J.D., a certified mediator, has been selected as the next university ombuds.

The UAB Ombuds Office is a neutral resource available to all university faculty, staff, and mentored graduate and postdoctoral students to discuss workplace issues, academic concerns, issues relating to administrative paperwork and processes, and explanations and interpretations of policies and procedures, among other issues.

“The UAB Ombuds Office provides a safe place for the UAB community to navigate policies, issues, concerns and conflicts,” said UAB Provost Pam Benoit. “We are confident Michelle Horvath will promote an ethical university culture committed to problem-solving and dispute resolution consistent with our shared values.”

“Accepting the role of UAB’s next ombuds is not a privilege that I take lightly,” Horvath said, “but is one that I excitedly undertake. Having the honor of supporting the professional and personal needs of the Blazer community — one individual at a time in a safe and confidential manner — provides the opportunity to apply the shared institutional values in furtherance of UAB’s mission and vision. I look forward to joining the UAB and Birmingham communities, appreciate the opportunity to serve, and welcome any invitation to collaborate.”

“Accepting the role of UAB’s next ombuds is not a privilege that I take lightly, but is one that I excitedly undertake.“

Horvath, who was selected following a national search, has more than eight years of experience in planning, training, adjudication and alternative dispute resolution in a higher education setting. Most recently, she was assistant dean of Students responsible for Student Conduct and Academic Integrity and Deputy Title IX Coordinator at Florida International University in Miami, Florida. Her previous roles in higher education have included judicial administrator and deputy Title IX coordinator at Cornell University in New York and director of the Office of Citizenship and Community Standards at Truman State University in Missouri. Prior to entering higher education, she was a solo practitioner in Metro Detroit.

Originally from Michigan, Horvath holds a Bachelor of Science degree in history from Grand Valley State University, a juris doctorate from Thomas M. Cooley Law School (now Western Michigan Cooley Law School), and a Master of Arts degree in higher education/student personnel from the University of Mississippi.

“I want to thank the search committee for all their work and commitment to the ombuds search,” said Chief Human Resources Officer Janet May. “They brought forth an excellent group of finalists to be considered.”

The search committee comprised Executive Director of Employee Relations Earlisha Williams (committee chair), Interim Chair of Restorative Medicine and Chair of the Faculty Senate’s Faculty Policies and Procedures Committee Daniel Givan, Hill Student Center Director and Staff Council Chair Jeremiah Johnson, Title IX Coordinator Kasey Robinson, and Associate Provost for Academic Administration Steve Yoder, and was assisted by executive search firm LeadExec.

The UAB Ombuds Office operates under the Code of Ethics and Standards of Practice of the International Ombudsman Association. Email ombuds@uab.edu or call 205-934-7230 to make an appointment.