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Contact Faculty Ombuds

If you have a confidential issue to discuss with a Faculty Ombuds, please email ( to schedule a confidential appointment at a convenient time.

Faculty Ombuds

Michelle Bennett

Michelle Bennett serves as Clinical Faculty in the multidisciplinary studies and Bachelor of Applied Science programs. Bennett has 15 years of experience as communication faculty and six years as a department chair. Her academic training is in interpersonal communication, listening, conflict management, emotional intelligence, and public speaking. Prior to higher education, Bennett spent 20 years in professional communication roles in a variety of industries. She also volunteers as an interviewing and public speaking coach to youth.


Manda Hicks

Manda Hicks, a Professor in the Department of Communication and Media, has served for nine years as the Director of Forensics (a.k.a. Talkin’ Broncos speech and debate team). In her two years of service as a United States Army Equal Opportunity NCO, she worked frequently with individuals in conflict or distress. Manda’s academic training is in communication theory, which includes the areas of listening, conflict management, and matters of identity, culture, and difference.


Portrait of Michelle Mahoney

Michelle Mahoney is a Business Communication lecturer in the Marketing Department. Mahoney brings more than ten years of faculty experience to the ombuds role. In addition to higher education, Mahoney’s career spans television and radio news, public relations, and professional public speaking. Mahoney’s academic training focuses on journalism, public relations, and communication. She is an active member of the Northwest Communication Association and the International Ombuds Association.

Preparing for your meeting

It is usually not necessary to bring anything with you to the Faculty Ombuds. Sometimes it is helpful to have a “chronology of events,” or to bring a copy of a particular document central to your concern.

Important Notes About Discussions with the Ombuds

  1. Your contact with the Ombuds Office is absolutely confidential and off the record, unless you specifically request us to waive that confidentiality in any communications we may undertake on your behalf.  There are only two exceptions to this rule: (a)  if there is risk of harm to yourself or others, and (b) if the ombuds is subsequently ordered by a court of law should the matter enter the legal system.
  2. Contacting the Ombuds Office does not constitute “notice” to the university. (In other words, talking with the ombuds about a potential harassment or criminal act does not require the University to take action.) If a visitor wishes to create a record or make the university formally aware of a particular problem, the ombuds can provide information on how to do so.