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About the Ombuds Officer

Barbara Beatty, M.D.R., University Ombuds Officer


Barbara Beatty, sitting at table, smilingBarbara Beatty was selected from a national search to become the second full-time ombuds for the university. The Metropolitan State University Ombuds Office opened on March 01, 2013.  Michael Kilpatrick was the first full-time ombuds until his retirement in 2017.

Barbara comes to the university from her position as Ombuds at the University of Idaho in Moscow, Idaho.  She brings a diverse background in academia, business, healthcare, science, scholarly publishing, training, and communications to her conflict resolution position.  Her early mediation career began in 1989 when she became a credentialed mediator, and she has been in the dispute resolution field full-time since 2008. Barbara has worked as a mediator, arbitrator, coach, facilitator, trainer, and ombuds handling over 1,500 cases. 

Beatty served as the Director and a mediator for an Arizona Superior Court Mediation and Conciliation Center handling custody cases; as a mediator for the Arizona Justice Court civil cases; and as a facilitator for church/synagogue-faith-based organizational disputes in addition to her work as an Ombuds. She has served as an organizational ombuds in government, and educational sectors for the past six years, including a year at the Texas Department of Public Safety (State Troopers and Texas Rangers)

Barbara holds a Master of Dispute Resolution (M.D.R.) from Pepperdine University School of Law, Straus Institute for Dispute Resolution. She received her undergraduate degree in business and organizational development from The Colorado College. Barb also has a Master of Science degree in the Geosciences from the University of Arizona and has considerable pre-doctoral and doctoral studies in psychology and psychoanalysis. Her training in Arbitration is from Cornell University’s Institute for Labor Relations and the Scheinman Institute for Conflict Resolution in Employment Law Mediation.

Beatty is a member of the Association for Conflict Resolution (ACR) where she served as the Workplace Section Chair, author and conference speaker.  She is a member of the American Bar Association (ABA) Dispute Resolution Section and Membership Chair for the Ombuds Committee. Barbara has also been a member of the International Ombudsman Association (IOA) since 2008 and has been involved in various activities including conference planning and speaker review.  

1 Ombudsman, Ombudsperson and Ombuds are used interchangeably.  Ombudsman is a Swedish term meaning “Agent” as used by the King of Sweden in the mid 1700’s.  In the 2th century, Americans in the profession began shortening the title to “Ombuds” and now all are used, with “Ombuds” becoming the most frequently used.


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