Northeastern Illinois University, located in Chicago, Illinois, invites applications for the position of Ombuds, in the Office of the Presiden.

In this role you will

The Ombuds’ major function is to provide confidential, informal, and impartial assistance to University employees and students by listening to concerns, clarifying issues, developing options for managing or resolving their concerns, and providing information and referrals. The Ombuds also coaches people on oral and written communications, mediates, facilitates meetings, and conducts professional development workshops. The Ombuds offers university-wide communication/facilitation support. Additionally, the Ombuds must consistently outreach to employees and students about the role of the Ombuds, collaborate and develop good working relationships with administrators, faculty, staff, and students across the University.

Minimum Qualifications

  • Graduate or professional degree
  • Mediation training (a minimum of 30 hours) 
  • Knowledge of and adherence to the IOA Code of Ethics and Standards of Practice
  • Substantial work experience that focused on mediation, facilitation, conflict management training, employee relations, negotiation, coaching, or related skills
  • Demonstrated skills, knowledge and abilities in the following areas:
  •  Communication
    • outstanding communication skills, listening skills, coaching skills and the ability to convey empathy and approachability
    • experience in navigating the cognitive content of emotion as it shapes meaning in conversations across differences
    • effective communication with individuals at all levels of the University and collaboration with other campus leadership to improve and maintain a healthy campus climate and positive community engagement
  •  Impartiality, confidentiality and sensitivity 
    • deep understanding of conflict and an excellent ability to facilitate the resolution of conflicts
    • unwavering commitment to impartiality in discharging their duties
    • excellent judgment and the ability to maintain confidence to the utmost extent permitted by law 
    • skill at diffusing highly charged situations with tact and sensitivity 
  •  Human behavior and relationships
    • substantial understanding of individual and group behavior and excellent relationship building and management skills
    • identification of and proposed alternatives to breakdowns in authenticity, empathy and logic
  • Cultural competence
    • ability to value and work with individuals from a wide variety of backgrounds and cultures
    • strong understanding of intercultural communications, challenges and conflict resolution
  •  Organizational knowledge and networking
    • commitment to developing a deep understanding of the University's policies, processes, values, culture, politics, departments, and resources
    • active building of bridges and networks across the community in order to serve as an effective referral source and informal mediator
    • aptitude in leveraging knowledge of the broader organization to strategically solve complex problems 
  •  Data analysis and dissemination
    • solid foundation in qualitative and quantitative skills necessary for interviewing, collection and analysis of data and facts, and identification of trends 
    • enthusiasm for sharing data/trends with the University community through creation and distribution of an annual report
    • capability to conduct outreach efforts to increase the visibility of the office and ensure that accurate information about the Ombuds is disseminated

Preferred Qualifications

  • Experience with, and understanding of, the structure of public institutions of higher education (including shared governance structures) and student development
  • Previous experience as an Ombuds and completion of Foundations of Organizational Ombuds Practice course offered by the International Ombudsman Association
  • Background in navigating communication breakdowns shaped by legacies of racial and economic segregation
  • Trained in the principles and practice of trauma-informed care 

 (This position requires a background check.)

About Northeastern Illinois University

Northeastern Illinois University’s Main Campus is located on 67 acres in a residential area on the Northwest Side of Chicago with additional locations in the metropolitan area: The Jacob H. Carruthers Center for Inner City Studies and El Centro. Northeastern also is a founding member of the University Center of Lake County consortium campus in suburban Lake County, north of Chicago.

Salary & Benefits

Salary is commensurate with qualifications and experience. Comprehensive benefits package including health, dental, and vision benefits, sick and vacation days, and participation in the State Universities Retirement System.

Full-time, Continuing Position

The Ombuds will continue a sole practitioner Organizational Ombuds Office, established in 2012, that serves faculty, staff, and students and adheres to the Code of Ethics and Standards of Practice of the International Ombudsman Association (IOA). The Ombuds Office is an independent office that reports to the President for administrative and budgetary purposes only.


Review of applications begins immediately and continues until position is filled.  

To Apply

Applicants are expected to respond based upon the entire job description. You must submit the following online forms (see links below) and send the remaining documents to OmbudsSearch@neiu.edu with the job title in the subject line

Copies of unofficial transcripts are accepted; however, official transcripts for all earned degrees will be required of candidates selected for final interviews.

Northeastern Illinois University is an Equal Opportunity/Affirmative Action Employer and invites applications from Women, Minorities, Veterans and Persons with Disabilities, as well as Other Qualified Individuals. Northeastern Illinois University positions are contingent upon the University's receipt of its State of Illinois appropriation.