Office of the President

Ombuds Office and Alternative Campus Support Services

September 9, 2020

I write to share news of the retirement of Dr. Lavada Austin, who has served as the University Ombuds at Cal Poly Pomona since 2008. The Ombuds Office serves faculty, staff, and students as a neutral, confidential, and independent resource for the campus community to seek guidance and assistance navigating a variety of issues, conflicts, or concerns. Dr. Austin had previously spent a decade as the director of CPP’s Counseling and Psychological Services (CAPS), and I wish to express our gratitude for her years of service to Cal Poly Pomona.

As is often the case when certain roles become vacant, we have the opportunity to conduct an analysis of short-term and long-term campus needs before making decisions regarding the future of the Ombuds Office. Accordingly, I will not be appointing an interim to fulfill the Ombuds function, rather we have carefully assessed how to provide alternate pathways to supporting individuals in our community in need of assistance. The resources listed below are the principle contacts for each of the following populations, and given the continuation of remote instruction and work in Fall 2020, email remains the preferred method of communication:


Student Affairs at
Confidential support may be accessed through Student Health & Wellbeing or by contacting Survivor Advocacy Services at


Faculty Affairs at
Confidential support for faculty may be accessed through CPP’s externally-administered Employee Assistance Program, Life Matters.


Employee Labor Relations at 
Confidential support for staff may be accessed through CPP’s externally-administered Employee Assistance Program, Life Matters.

While the resources listed above for students, faculty and staff address most concerns, we recognize the continuing need to facilitate anonymous reporting of issues impacting campus life and our community. The following are alternative mechanisms for bringing such concerns to the attention of the University.

CPP Listens. CPP Listens is a newly-created, web-based portal to facilitate the visibility of any concerns raised by members of our community that have the potential to negatively impact campus climate. Any member of the CPP community (e.g., student, faculty, staff, administrators, community member) may make a submission and individuals may elect to self-identify or remain anonymous. 

Whistleblower Hotline. Resource for reporting improper activities of state agencies or employees involving any type of fraud, waste, or abuse. The annual California State Auditor’s Whistleblower Notice includes information on what to report, where to report, how to report, a statement on protection from retaliation for whistleblowing, and a statement from the California State Auditor’s Office regarding the activities of that agency.

As we complete our assessment of long-term options related to Ombuds function, I will keep you updated. Thank you for your continued commitment to Cal Poly Pomona.