In a letter to LSA members sent earlier today, LSA President Larry Horn outlined recent actions taken by the Executive Committee, including the appointment of a new Ombuds Committee.

"Dear LSA Members:

The working group within the LSA Executive Committee (EC) charged with preparing procedures to review and resolve problems and complaints relating to the Society and its members has now completed its initial recommendations, which have been approved by the EC. The report [pdf] now being distributed to LSA members describes the need for problem resolution procedures, the nature of the procedures, and the two phases in which the procedures will be implemented.

The first phase, now in place, encompasses the establishment of an OMBUDS COMMITTEE, the creation of a form for requesting assistance from the committee, and the introduction of mechanisms by which members of the Society can submit suggestions. Those LSA members who have agreed to serve on the Ombuds Committee have received training materials that will help prepare them for their roles on the committee.

The second phase of the resolution effort will be devoted to the creation and codification of regulatory procedures to evaluate and mediate problems, as detailed in the report. Although the plans focus on the needs of LSA members, anyone who has encountered problems pertaining to operations within the aegis of the Society will find information about how to submit their concerns directly to the LSA Secretariat.

Sincerely,

Laurence Horn, LSA President, on behalf of the Ombuds Committee"

Download a PDF of the letter on LSA letterhead.

More information about the committee is available below:

The LSA is pleased to announce the creation of a new Ombuds Committee, which has been established to provide confidential off-the-record opportunities for LSA members to obtain assistance regarding a wide range of issues. The committee shall promote fairness, equity, and inclusion - especially within all purviews of the LSA. Every effort will be made to promote harmonious resolution of problems impacting LSA members.

Members can request to speak with an Ombuds Committee member by phone, or submit a written request for assistance. Both processes can be initiated through the LSA member portal. All requests for assistance will maintain strict confidentiality.

LSA Ombuds Code of Ethics

  • Confidentiality LSA Ombuds will maintain strict confidence and will not disclose confidential information unless given permission to do so.
  • Impartiality and Neutrality   LSA Ombuds will remain neutral and impartial, never engaging in situations that could create a conflict of interest.
  • Informality  LSA Ombuds represent an informal resource that does not participate in adjudicative procedures.
  • Independence LSA Ombuds operate independently and engage only at the direct request of a member.

Ombuds Shall

  • Heed, carefully and attentively
  • Attempt to identify a range of resolution options
  • Promote fairness, equity, inclusion and supportiveness
  • Strive to alleviate problems for LSA members.

Ombuds do not:

  • Take sides in a dispute
  • Serve as a judge or adjudicator
  • Offer legal advice
  • Tell anyone what they should do
  • Participation in official legal or grievance processes

Ombuds Standards of Practice

  • LSA Ombuds communication will be held in strict confidence and all reasonable steps will be taken to safeguard confidentiality.
  • Communication with LSA Ombuds is privileged and will not be shared without permission. LSA Ombuds will not testify in any formal process and will resist doing so, even when given permission.
  • LSA ombuds will provide feedback, and do so in ways that safeguard the identity of the relevant parties.
  • LSA Ombuds will attempt to identify a range of solutions and facilitate discussion that promotes remediation whenever possible.
  • LSA Ombuds are neutral, impartial and unaligned.
  • LSA Ombuds’ suggestions, proposals, and solutions are produced independently.
  • A two-step process will be used: a rapid confirmation response will be provided, followed by careful selection of 3-to-4 committee members to assess the specific issue being addressed.

Download a PDF flyer about this service.