Who We Are

UW-Madison Ombuds remain available to serve the university community. At this time we are primarily working remotely by phone or video conferencing. In-person meetings are possible by special arrangement. Contact us at: 608-265-9992 and leave a message, or via email at uwombuds@mailplus.wisc.edu.

The UW-Madison Ombuds Office is a place where university employees can seek guidance regarding workplace concerns at any time, without fear of reprisal, and at no cost to them. Ombuds confidentially receive questions and concerns related to individual situations as well as broader systemic issues. The response of the ombuds is tailored to the dynamics of the situation and the nature of the concerns. Ombuds assist parties in reaching resolutions that are consistent with the ideals and objectives of the university.

The Ombuds Office is part of the university’s efforts to enhance diversity and climate, and was developed from recommendations from the Committee on Women in the University and the Provost’s Campus Climate Network, as well as other governance bodies. The Ombuds Office was established in 2003.

The Ombuds Office employs retired faculty and staff who work part-time as a team of consultants. There are six individuals who share these responsibilities and who report to the provost.

Important qualifications for Ombuds include:

  • Knowledge of university policies and resources
  • Extensive cross-campus experience
  • Strong communication skills
  • Ability to be objective and impartial


The Ombuds Office does not have regular office hours. To arrange an appointment, please contact us by phone or email.



Feedback and Poster

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Download and print an Ombuds Office Poster (available in English, Spanish, Hmong, Tibetan, Chinese and Napali).

Current Ombuds

Beth Dawson

Beth retired in 2022 after over 30 years working on the UW-Madison campus. She held various roles for UW-System, UW-Extension, the School of Veterinary Medicine, the College of Engineering and the School of Nursing. Her work mostly involved student services and career advising. She also served on many campus-wide committees. In retirement, Beth enjoys spending time with her family and friends, and spending time outdoors walking her dog, golfing, biking and gardening.

Jane Dymond

Jane retired in 2018 after nearly 20 years at UW-Madison. She has extensive experience working with departments across campus.

Jane worked in the Office of Human Resource Development (now the Learning and Talent Development Office), the Office of the Vice Provost for Diversity and Climate and the Office of Quality Improvement.

During her time at the university she served as president of the Council for Non-Represented Classified Staff, and as a long-time member of the Campus Diversity and Climate Committee and the Diversity Oversight Committee. She has been a docent at the Chazen Museum of Art since 2011.

Jane is an avid reader and knitter. Her favorite activity is spending time with her children and grandchildren.

Gloria Hawkins

Gloria Hawkins retired in 2019 after 34 years of continuous service on the UW-Madison campus. She held academic staff positions in four colleges — the School of Education, School of Human Ecology, College of Letters and Science, and the School of Medicine and Public Health. Prior to her retirement, she was an Assistant Vice Provost and Director of the Mercile J. Lee Scholarship Program within the Division of Diversity, Equity and Educational Achievement (DDEEA).

Rob Howell

Rob Howell retired in 2018 after 34 years on the faculty at UW-Madison. He was a professor in the Department of German, Nordic and Slavic with research specializations in Germanic historical linguistics, early Germanic languages and historical sociolinguistics with emphasis on the early modern period. He taught all of the early Germanic languages, the history of German and Dutch, dialectology, and language contact as well as modern German and Dutch.

In the 1990s Rob served twice as the Resident Director of the Academic Year in Freiburg program. Subsequently he chaired the Department of German, served as director of International Academic Programs, as Associate Dean in the International Division and, in his final years before retirement, as director of the Language Institute.

In retirement Rob enjoys international travel and ongoing research activity. He also spends as much time as possible with his four sons and their families.

Tom Kuech

Tom Kuech retired in 2020 after almost 30 years on the faculty of the Chemical Engineering Department within the College of Engineering. Prior to that, Tom worked at the IBM Research Center. At UW, he twice served as chair of the department and had enjoyed teaching and research throughout the years. His research focused on semiconductor materials and devices. He enjoyed teaching principally undergraduates. A firm believer in faculty governance and while an active faculty member, he served on many university and college committees. He was a member of the Divisional Executive Committee, Graduate Research Committee, Committee on Honorary Degrees, Chemical and Biological Safety Committee, numerous search and screen committees, college promotion committee, was the inaugural director of the UW Materials Science Research and Engineering Center, among others. Upon retiring from the university, he become a program director in the Division of Civil, Mechanical, and Manufacturing Innovation at the National Science Foundation until 2022. His retirement activities include continued learning about the world and science, wood working, genealogy, travel, rediscovering old interests, and enjoying his family.


Robin Kurtz

Robin Kurtz first attended UW-Madison as an undergraduate and received her BS in Bacteriology in 1978. After graduation, she worked as a lab technician in the private sector for 2 years, then returned to campus and received her PhD. In Bacteriology in 1984. Robin extended her training as a Postdoctoral fellow until 1990 when she accepted a position as an instructor in the Department of Bacteriology. After 32 years she became a Distinguished Faculty Associate in 2012 and finally a Distinguished Teaching Professor in 2022. In addition to teaching a variety of both lecture and laboratory classes, Robin served as an advisor for both Bacteriology and Biology students, Director of the NSF funded Research Experience for Undergraduates in Microbiology for 13 years, and on many committees at the department, college, and campus level. Robin received college awards for Teaching and Service from the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences.

In addition to teaching-related activities, Robin was active in Academic Staff Governance, serving on the Professional Development and Recognition Committee, Academic Staff Executive Committees, and Districting and Representation Committee. Robin also served on the CALS Academic Planning Council (APC), University Academic Planning Counsel, and as an Academic Staff representative on the University Book Store Board of Directors. Robin retired in May 2022.

Former Ombuds

  • Bruno Browning
  • Lezli Redmond
  • Gery Essenmacher
  • Rick Nordheim
  • Mike Ashmore
  • Ann Hoyt
  • Jean Peterson
  • Charles (Chuck) Snowdon
  • John Dowling
  • Rosa Garner
  • Dale Burke
  • Steven (Steve) Bauman
  • Ann Burgess
  • Jo Ann Carr
  • Peg Davey
  • Ted Finman
  • Sandra (Sandy) Guthrie
  • Roger Howard
  • Christopher (Chris) Kleinhenz
  • John Mather
  • Linda Newman
  • Richard (Rich) Ralston
  • Thomas (Tom) Schaub
  • Doris Slesinger
  • Kathryn (Kay) Simmons
  • Jane Voichick
  • Patricia (Pat) Wolleat