Ralph Webb's Photo

Ralph Webb

Faculty Ombudsperson

(765) 494-3309


2142 Beering Hall


Ralph Webb

Faculty Ombudsperson

Ralph Webb is a professor of communication at Purdue. He joined the Purdue faculty in 1965. His primary research is interpersonal communication with specific interest in language, gender, intercultural communication and communication theory. He has received multiple prestigious awards, including the Charles B. Murphy Award and inclusion in the inaugural edition of the “Book of Great Teachers.” He received his PhD from the University of Wisconsin.

The faculty ombudsperson can answer your questions and assist with a variety of work-related concerns. To get started, contact the ombudsperson using the information below:

Please remember that due to the limits of technology, confidentiality of email messages cannot be assured. You are advised against sending sensitive information via email.

About the Faculty Ombudsperson

The faculty ombudsperson is someone you can safely talk to about workplace issues in complete confidence. You may have questions about your Purdue faculty rights and responsibilities or you may want help resolving a work-related problem. The ombudsperson will listen to your concerns as a neutral party and an advocate for fairness and equity.

Any guidance, suggestion or recommendation given to you by the faculty ombudsperson is designed to facilitate mutual understanding, identify possible common ground or create a solution. In disputes, the ombudsperson’s goal is to help you avoid the need for a grievance. But please keep in mind that this input is not binding on any party.

Specifically, the faculty ombudsperson:

  • Listens to faculty concerns.
  • Analyzes these concerns and explores with the faculty and administration options for resolving the concerns. (Your name will not be revealed unless you give your permission.)
  • Provides information to faculty about policies and services.
  • Facilitates dialogue between faculty and University offices and administrators.
  • Applies common sense conflict resolution and conciliation methods to assist with the informal resolution of faculty concerns prior to the filing of a grievance.
  • Recommends changes in policy and/or work procedures.

The faculty ombudsperson is a 2-year appointment by the president who selects from a list of three faculty members nominated by the University Senate and recommended by the provost. The position is independent from the University's formal administrative structure and reports directly to the University Senate chair and the provost.



What you say to the ombudsperson will be kept in strict confidence. Information related to any contact or visit will not be disclosed unless you give your permission or there is a compelling reason to do so (i.e., court order, serious risk to personal safety).


The ombudsperson is an independent and neutral agent. In considering any faculty concerns, the points of view of all involved parties may be taken into account. The ombudsperson is an advocate for fairness and equity.


The ombudsperson assists informally to address your concerns and discussions are considered off-the-record. Use of the ombudsperson is not a substitute for the formal conflict resolution system. The ombudsperson can provide you with information about the formal grievance procedure.


The ombudsperson reports directly to the provost and the University Senate chair; the role is independent from the University’s formal administrative structure.