Faculty Ombuds

Faculty Ombuds flower image

“What happened here?  What have I done?  What can I do?  How can I do it?  How should I do it?”

Questions like these naturally occur during the course of a career. When such concerns arise, the Faculty Ombuds is here to help. A trusted confidant, the Ombuds will listen without judgment and strategize ways to answer those questions so you can move forward.      

The Faculty Ombuds is a valuable resource for full-time faculty, providing impartial, confidential and informal assistance to help resolve conflicts or issues that may arise in the academic or workplace environment. Following the standards of practice of the International Ombudsperson Association, the Ombuds advocates for the principles of fairness and equity, rather than individuals, groups or entities. The Provost and Faculty Leaders collaborated to create the Faculty Ombuds position.

  • Conflicts that may arise when working with an advisor, supervisor, someone you manage, a colleague, a team or a group
  • Dealing with a conflict that is keeping you from doing your job well
  • Interpersonal or intragroup conflicts, misunderstandings, disputes or miscommunications
  • Raising concerns about misconduct: academic, financial or research
  • Policy issues
  • Fear of coming forward or of acting to stop unacceptable behavior
  • Retaliation or fear of retaliation
  • Grades, academic credit or intellectual property disputes
  • Harassment, discrimination, abuse of power, bullying or unfair treatment
  • Ethical dilemmas
  • Cultural misunderstandings
  • Perceived or potential conflicts of interest
  • Annoying or frustrating behaviors
  • Incivility or rudeness
  • Working conditions
  • Unfair treatment
  • Suggestions for improvement at Villanova
  • Provide impartial and confidential consultation
  • Help clarify issues
  • Analyze and develop options
  • Work together to gather information
  • Understand an issue from all perspectives
  • Identify University policies
  • Facilitate meetings to enhance communication between parties
  • Encourage the use of mediation and other informal means of resolution, when appropriate
  • Report on any matters discussed, except in limited circumstances such as where there is imminent risk of serious harm
  • Participate in any formal investigations or proceedings
  • Provide legal advice
  • Receive claims against the University

*The Ombuds is not a mandatory reporter for purposes of Title IX*

Who are Ombuds?  

Who are ombuds video

Using the Ombuds Services

Ombuds office map

Full-time faculty are welcome to meet with the Ombuds if they need assistance in resolving a conflict. To best support the confidential nature of this work, the Ombuds office is located on West Campus in St. Mary’s Hall, Suite 2L.

  • The entrance to the office is adjacent to the Chapel in St. Mary's and can be located on the corner of N. Spring Mill (RT 320) and County Line roads; facing Garey Hall.  
  • The office is the second suite on the left and is located on the ground floor when entered from this entrance.

The Ombuds office can be reached by email or by phone (x9-3273).

About the Faculty Ombuds

Megan Willoughby Faculty Ombuds

Meg Willoughby joined Villanova in 2019 as the University’s first professional Faculty Ombuds. She is a member of the International Ombudsman Association. Willoughby also serves as Senior Attorney and Subject Matter Expert in the U.S. Department of Education, Office for Civil Rights, where she has practiced since 2005. In this role, she serves as an objective investigator of complaints against schools, including by their faculty and staff members, alleging discrimination and retaliation. While maintaining neutrality, Willoughby negotiates between the parties to the complaints, upholding strict confidentiality in these high-stakes resolutions. She was previously a litigation associate handling civil rights and commercial matters at Stradley, Ronon, Stevens & Young LLP, where she successfully resolved cases through alternative dispute resolution methods, including negotiation, mediation and arbitration, as well as through traditional litigation. Willoughby received a JD from Rutgers University, Camden School of Law; a Masters of Public Affairs and Politics from Rutgers University, Bloustein School of Planning and Public Policy; and a BS In Marketing from Boston College.