Kostelnik, Franco named to faculty ombuds roles

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Kostelnik, Franco named to faculty ombuds roles

Nebraska's Marjorie Kostelnik (left) and Rodrigo Franco Cruz have been named faculty ombuds.
Nebraska's Marjorie Kostelnik (left) and Rodrigo Franco Cruz have been named faculty ombuds.

Marjorie Kostelnik, professor of child, youth and family studies, and Rodrigo Franco Cruz, associate professor of veterinary medicine and biomedical sciences, are the University of Nebraska-Lincoln's new team of faculty ombuds.

Kostelnik and Cruz are training with national ombuds organizations and developing a program for Nebraska that will be introduced to campus in January. Both will provide support to all members of faculty, with Kostelnik having an office on City Campus and Franco on East Campus.

"It's important faculty know that when we say every person and every interaction matters, this includes them, as well," said Judy Walker, associate vice chancellor for faculty and academic affairs. "Marjorie and Rodrigo care deeply about our university and will be an excellent resource for our faculty."

A faculty ombud is someone who faculty members can talk to about workplace issues in complete confidence, listens to concerns as a neutral party and serves as an advocate for fairness and equity. The new ombud team will provide an additional level of support to faculty members outside of the formal grievance process.

"I am excited to have a team that is supported by both the offices of the Executive Vice Chancellor and the IANR Vice Chancellor," said Richard Bischoff, associate vice chancellor for faculty and academic leader success. "I am confident this team will provide outstanding support to our faculty community."

About the Ombuds

  • Marjorie Kostelnik teaches and conducts research on early childhood education. She joined the university as dean of the College of Human Resources and Family Sciences in 2000. Three years later, the college was combined with the Teachers College to become one of the first colleges of education and human sciences in the country. Kostelnik was instrumental in this merger and served as dean of the new college until 2017. Before returning to the faculty, she served as senior associate to the president of the University of Nebraska, leading the implementation of university-wide efforts to find significant cost savings while preserving academic quality and low tuition. Prior to Nebraska, she spent 22 years at Michigan State as a faculty member and chair of the Department of Family and Child Ecology.

  • Rodrigo Franco Cruz teaches and advises students and conducts high impact research in the role of redox signaling, protein/organelle quality control mechanisms, and metabolism in neuronal cell death, brain disease and injury. He is affiliated with and contributes to the mission of the university's Redox Biology Center and is an active member of the Society for Neuroscience and the Society of Toxicology. He has received national and international awards and recognition for his work. Franco has served on a number of university committees, including the Research Council, the Executive Committee of the Faculty Senate, Academic Integrity, Faculty Rights and the School of Veterinary Medicine and Biomedical Sciences Graduate Committee.