Faculty Ombuds Office
The Faculty Ombuds Office is a confidential, informal and neutral resource for faculty members to help find the appropriate course of action to address a concern, problem or conflict related to their engagement with the university. The office is independent of the university administration. Faculty members contacting the Faculty Ombuds Office do so voluntarily. The Faculty Ombuds Office does not participate in any formal process or proceedings of the university.
The Faculty Ombuds Office was created in February, 2022 ,by Provost Jianmin Qu as an initiative called for in Stevens Institute’s strategic plan, Stevens 2032: Inspired by Humanity, Powered by Technology. This initiative is associated with the strategic plan’s Goal 7: University Culture, to “foster a vibrant, supportive, and sustainable culture … where all constituencies are mutually committed to helping each other achieve their full potential to advance the mission of Stevens.”
Although the Faculty Ombuds Office is established under the Office of the Provost, it acts as an independent entity with annual reporting limited to operational and demographic statistical data and the communication of patterns of issues and systemic problems to leadership without compromising the confidentiality of faculty visitors who have engaged with the office.
Dr. Keith Sheppard
Dr. Keith Sheppard, Emeritus Professor of Materials Science and Engineering, was appointed as the inaugural Faculty Ombuds in February 2023. In addition to being a faculty member at Stevens for more than 40 years, he held academic leadership roles. From 1997 through 2015, Dr. Sheppard served as associate dean of the Charles V. Schaefer, Jr. School of Engineering and Science (SES). In 2015 he became the interim dean of SES for 18 months, prior to the appointment of Dr. Jean Zu. As a faculty member he served on numerous committees, many as chair, including promotion and tenure committees at the department, school and university levels. He also served briefly on the Stevens Board of Trustees and was the faculty representative on two board committees. He was a co-principal investigator in the National Science Foundation-funded ADVANCE Stevens program, established to increase the representation and advancement of women in academic science and engineering careers. Dr. Sheppard retired from his position as professor in May 2022 and was presented with the inaugural SES Lifetime Achievement Award.