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Ombudsman available to help employees resolve disputes

Posted: Thursday, July 26, 2007 · Volume: XL · Issue: 15

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Bonnie Blankmeyer, Ph.D., is the Health Science Center’s institutional ombudsman.
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Bonnie Blankmeyer, Ph.D., is the Health Science Center’s institutional ombudsman.clear graphic

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Bonnie Blankmeyer, Ph.D., professor of psychiatry and executive director of the equal employment opportunity/affirmative action office, also serves as the Health Science Center’s institutional employee adviser also known as the institution’s ombudsman. In this role, Dr. Blankmeyer is available to discuss with faculty, staff, students and campus visitors any concerns they have related to the Health Science Center in a safe, comfortable and confidential environment.

Advocate for fairness
In this role, Dr. Blankmeyer serves as a neutral dispute resolution practitioner – an advocate for fairness – in order to provide employees with an understanding of their rights, responsibilities and options so that they can better and more quickly resolve problems or concerns. This service is designed to supplement, but not replace, any of the Health Science Center’s existing resources for conflict resolution or formal complaints.

Associated with the Health Science Center for 35 years
“In my 35 years at the Health Science Center, I have held resident, classified, administrative and professional, and faculty positions,” Dr. Blankmeyer said. “So, I have a nice overview of the Health Science Center from all perspectives, which helps me connect with people who come to seek counsel. I want everyone to know they can come to me if they feel they don’t have a place to go to be heard. What is said in my office does not leave my office. If the person requests that I speak with others involved in their concerns, I always caution the other party that retaliation is against the law, no matter how subtle it is.”

Equal opportunity and affirmative action
The institutional office of the employee adviser is housed within the equal employment opportunity/affirmative action office and Dr. Blankmeyer reports to President Cigarroa. Among her duties as executive director of the equal employment opportunity/affirmative action office, is to ensure that everyone is given equal opportunity and freedom from all forms of discrimination. She also serves as the Americans with Disabilities Act coordinator, and has general oversight and responsibility for all issues dealing with sexual harassment.
Access the Health Science Center’s Web site of the Office of Equal Employment Opportunities and Affirmative Action for more information about these issues. In addition, Dr. Blankmeyer is the director of the eating disorders program in the department of psychiatry.

Dr. Blankmeyer received her Ph.D. from The University of Texas at Austin in 1985. She joined the Health Science Center in 1973 as a psychometrist.

Other grievance procedures
Dr. Blankmeyer’s office handles complaints filed under the Nondiscrimination Policy and Complaint Procedure and the Sexual Harrassment and Sexual Misconduct Policies, but does not handle formal complaints filed under the General Grievance Policy.

For more information
To schedule an appointment with Dr. Blankmeyer, call (210) 567-2691 or visit her office in the School of Medicine, Room 101F.

 
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