WMU News

Gossman tapped for post as University ombudsman

Jan. 23, 2001

KALAMAZOO -- Dr. Thomas L. Gossman, professor of finance and commercial law at Western Michigan University, has been appointed University ombudsman.

His two-year appointment, effective immediately, was approved by the WMU Board of Trustees at its Jan. 19 meeting. Gossman will continue his teaching duties through the winter semester and will work as ombudsman half-time until May 1, when he assumes the role full time. He replaces Dr. Thomas C. Bailey, ombudsman since 1994, who was recently promoted to associate vice president for academic affairs.

The position of University ombudsman, which reports to the provost, was established in 1970 as a result of recommendations from the WMU Faculty Senate. The ombudsman is an intervention agent and impartial person who helps students, faculty and staff resolve academic and non-academic concerns.

"This position assures that students, faculty and staff will have a place to go when they feel aggrieved or need intervention to resolve differences with others," says Dr. Fred Dobney, provost and vice president for academic affairs at WMU. "The ombudsman provides a non-threatening venue for such discussions. Tom Gossman is ideally suited for this position, based on his background and his personality. I am very pleased that Tom has accepted this challenge."

Gossman, an expert in business law, joined the University as an assistant professor in 1970. He has served on numerous department and University committees, including the Committee to Advise the President on Priorities in Non-Academic Areas. He is the co-author of "Business Law," a 55-chapter textbook which is used in undergraduate and graduate business courses around the nation. Before joining WMU, Gossman was on the faculty of Northwest Missouri State University, and prior to that he served as a municipal judge and an attorney. Gossman earned both his bachelor's and juris doctoral degrees from Indiana University.

Media contact: Jessica English, 616 387-8400, jessica.english@wmich.edu

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