MSU Denver


Metropolitan State University of Denver in November announced the launch of a new University ombuds team to provide independent, confidential support for the University community.  

The primary mission of the ombuds team is to provide a resource to resolve conflicts outside of formal University channels. All employees are encouraged to have direct conversations, leverage senior Human Resources partners and contact the Equal Opportunity Office with discrimination concerns. The ombuds team is an additional avenue to facilitate and strengthen effective relationships between organizational departments and professionals to foster early, informal resolution of conflicts.  

Meet the ombuds team   

The University ombuds team will be managed by MWI, a nationally recognized dispute-resolution firm, and will provide regular reports to the Office of the President on trends and patterns it sees in the course of its work. The University ombuds services are confidential, and the team operates independently — it is not subject to oversight by the President’s Office or any other University office. 

LaCrisia (Cris) Gilbert and Roy Baroff serve as the University’s ombuds team, and their virtual offices are now open and operational. Employees seeking ombuds services can contact the ombuds team directly via MWI’s dedicated MSU Denver webpage.  

A note from the MSU Denver ombuds team 

Exhaustion is a common factor that arises when people talk about their work issues over the past two years. People are fatigued, and they’ve used up their buckets of resiliency. Understandably, thinking big about plans for 2023 is difficult to say the least.  

Instead, MSU Denver employees are invited to think small! Is there one small thing you could change now that would help you move forward at work? One approach is to make a list of all the small things you could do that could be helpful to you at work. Then, pick one or two ideas to try.  

You can do this on your own, but you can also work with your organizational ombuds and use them as a confidential sounding board for your ideas. Ombuds are independent, informal and impartial. This means they will support you with an objective perspective yet won’t be your direct advocate or representative. They will raise items for your consideration to help you think through and then chart a path forward. An ombuds can help you think strategically and do as Dudley Weeks, Ph.D., suggests and “look to the future first, then learn from the past.”  

Additionally, because the ombuds is an informal resource, you control what happens with the conversation. You decide what to do or how far you will go, when to rest or when to change direction. The most important step is to get started — to take at least one small step. A great first step is to talk with your ombuds.  

Thus, you are invited to think about your goals at work and consider one small step you can take to start making big changes for the better. And if you want or need help thinking about your first step, the ombuds team is here to help.  

-Cris Gilbert and Roy Baroff 

Learn more  

Explore Frequently Asked Questions 

Visit the MSU Denver Office of the Ombuds website