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Icabone to speak on the role of ombuds

April 1, 2004

KALAMAZOO--Western Michigan University's ombuds will speak about her profession at a presentation Wednesday, April 7, on the WMU campus.

Dr. Dona G. Icabone will present "Ombuds 101: Confidentiality, Impartiality, Independence, Informality" at 3:30 p.m. in the Bernhard Center's Brown and Gold Room. The presentation, which is free and open to the public, is sponsored by the University's Center for the Study of Ethics in Society.

The WMU ombuds, Icabone says, serves as a "listening ear" for all members of the University community who have concerns, conflicts or questions. "The ombuds role is one of confidentiality, impartiality, independence and informality. As such, the ombuds does not advocate for any one group or individual; rather, she advocates for fairness and justice in the development and application of policies and procedures."

In her talk, Icabone will briefly discuss the evolution of the ombuds role from its initiation in Sweden in the 1700s to its present-day incarnation at WMU. She will also explore the four principles adhered to by all ombuds: confidentiality, impartiality, independence and informality.

Before become ombuds at WMU, Icabone served in numerous administrative and academic positions at the University, including program coordinator for special education, assistant and associate professor of special education, and associate professor of educational studies. Icabone earned her doctoral degree in educational psychology-cognition from the University of Minnesota.

WMU's Center for the Study of Ethics in Society was established to encourage and support the research, teaching, and service to the university and community in areas of applied and professional ethics. For more information contact (269) 387-4397.

Media contact: Jessica English, 269 387-8400, jessica.english@wmich.edu

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