Connie Schaffer, Ed.D., an associate professor for UNO's Teacher Education program, was selected as UNO’s newest Director of Ombuds Services in the Spring of 2020. Schaffer will be succeeding previous Ombuds Director Shereen Bingham, Ph.D., a professor in the School of Communication, as she is set to retire.
Ombuds Services provides confidential, informal, impartial, independent assistance to all university students and employees who seek help with resolving university-related problems and conflicts. Ombuds are selected from different units of the university to help avoid situations that could jeopardize their impartiality.
While the Ombuds is not mean to replace other UNO channels, formal or informal, for the resolution of problems or conflicts, their services are often a helpful supplement to other resources for members of the UNO community.
Shereen Bingham is professor Communication Studies at UNO and has served as an ombudsperson since 2013. She was appointed Director of Ombuds Services in 2018. Under her leadership, the office was significantly professionalized to enhance service to the UNO campus community. Notable accomplishments include the development of clear guidelines for ombuds services, identification of professional development standards and opportunities, and a strong history of collaborative work with university leaders.
Also working as university ombudsmen are Tracie Anderson, UNO assistant registrar in athletic certification and Joseph (Joe) Price, Ph.D., administrative coordinator for UNO’s Master of Arts in Critical and Creative Thinking program.
Bingham, the outgoing Director of Ombuds Services at UNO, says she is not worried about handing the reigns off to another well qualified colleague.
“I trust that Connie and ombuds colleagues Tracie Anderson and Joseph Price will continue to develop and improve Ombuds Services to become an ever more effective, familiar and valued resource for all UNO students and employees.”
For Schaffer, taking on the role of director is an opportunity to help UNO continue to be not only a community leader in innovation and problem solving, but a global contributor as well.
“I have consistently encountered dedicated and talented individuals who work tirelessly to better our campus, community and world.” Schaffer says, “It’s an honor to employ my skills and knowledge of UNO to assist students, faculty and staff members with campus-related issues that may interfere with their ability to conduct this work.”
Schaffer received her bachelor’s degree from Kansas State University before earning her master’s and doctoral degree from UNO. She has been a part of UNO for 20 years, beginning as a staff member in what was once Student Services and most recently serving as a College of Education faculty member.
Schaffer has served as a board member of the Nebraska State Council for Social Studies as well as chair of the UNO Academic Assessment Committee along with numerous other department, college and campus committees. Most recently, she was an active member of the faculty team that supported the Samuel Bak exhibit “Witness.”
For more information about Ombuds Services, please visit the website at https://www.unomaha.edu/ombuds-services/index.php
About the University of Nebraska at Omaha
Located in one of America’s best cities to live, work and learn, the University of Nebraska at Omaha (UNO) is Nebraska’s premier metropolitan university. With more than 15,000 students enrolled in 200-plus programs of study, UNO is recognized nationally for its online education, graduate education, military friendliness and community engagement efforts. Founded in 1908, UNO has served learners of all backgrounds for more than 100 years and is dedicated to another century of excellence both in the classroom and in the community.