Faculty Ombudsperson


Who is the Faculty Ombudsperson


The current ombudsperson is Professor Sandy McKeown from the Criminal Justice program. She will serve in this capacity through the end of the 2023-2024 academic year. Sandy's phone number is 658-6767 and her email is sandy.mckeown@usd.edu. You can also reach her on her mobile phone at 605-212-8952 or by submitting information using the Faculty Ombudsperson form at this link.



  • The University Senate, using a process of its own choosing, will select up to three nominees from the faculty at large and forward their names to Academic Affairs for final selection no later than the end of the spring term. Nominees may come from the professorial, lecturer/instructor, librarian, or professor of practice ranks as defined in Section 4:11 of the BOR Policy Manual. Tenured applicants are preferred but non-tenured applicants will be considered if their experience is suited to fulfilling the duties of the position.
  • The ombudsperson is appointed to a 2-year term, serving from the start of the fall semester of Year 1 through the end of the summer semester of Year 2. The ombudsperson may be reappointed for subsequent terms using the Senate’s process and subject to final selection by Academic Affairs.
  • The ombudsperson will receive an annual stipend of $5000 from the Office of Academic Affairs.
  • This service to the university counts as part of annual service workload, with the exact percentage to be determined in consultation with the ombudsperson’s chair and/or dean.


Conflicts of Interest:

Recognizing that some situations may create a conflict of interest for the ombudsperson, an alternate ombudsperson will also be selected from the pool of nominees submitted by the University Senate. A conflict of interest exists when the ombudsperson or a member of their immediate household is subject to the authority of any party in a potential dispute. This designated alternate should have no readily identifiable overlap with the ombudsperson in terms of administrative reporting structure or other relevant factors. Should the designated alternate’s services be required, they will receive $100 per incident.



  • Must know and remain current with SDBOR policies, USD policies, and unit policies related to faculty working conditions.
  • Be able to counsel faculty on SDBOR and USD policy within areas of his/her realm of responsibility.



  • Confidential advisor to faculty and adjuncts who have questions about their working conditions as defined by the Board of Regents or USD policy. In most instances, this role will be educational in that the limitations of faculty or adjunct rights will need to be clarified to the employee. 
  • Notify administration when a department, college, school or any other unit is not in compliance with BOR or USD policy.
  • Supervise faculty elections for promotion and tenure committees from the College of Arts & Sciences, Beacom School of Business, School of Education, College of Fine Arts, School of Health Sciences, and University Libraries as well as the Institutional Promotion and Tenure Committee.
  • Solicit nominations and conduct elections for the chairs of promotion and tenure committees at all levels.
  • Grievance advisor, as requested by faculty. 
  • Appeals advisor for annual reviews and disciplinary proceedings as requested by faculty.
  • The Ombudsperson will have the authority and right to advise a member of the faculty or an adjunct on request at every level of supervision. 
  • In situations that lack clear precedent or where process may not be explicitly defined in policy, the faculty ombudsperson will consult with the provost and university counsel to chart a path forward that is consistent with Board of Regents and USD policy, in order to minimize potential procedural or other disagreements as to applicable policies.
  • In all situations, the ombudsperson is an advisor rather than an advocate, providing counsel about policy and process rather than acting as the faculty member’s representative.


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Wed 9/27/23 10:31 AM
Wed 11/1/23 11:26 AM
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