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University of Iowa News Release

June 27, 2005

Cynthia Joyce Appointed UI Ombudsperson

University of Iowa President David Skorton has appointed Cynthia Joyce the UI Ombudsperson effective Aug. 15. Joyce was selected from a competitive, nationwide applicant pool to fill the vacancy left by Maile Sagen, who is retiring after 16 years of distinguished service.

Joyce has been associate director of Community Mediation, Inc. of New Haven, Conn., since 1993, where she oversees court, housing, neighborhood and youth mediation programs, directs conflict resolution workshops and provides mediation training for adults and children throughout the state. She has also served as a mediator for the U.S. Postal Service and as a trainer for the Anti-Defamation League in Connecticut on a contract basis.

"I am delighted to join the University of Iowa community and very much look forward to building on the excellent work of the Office of the Ombudsperson," Joyce said.

Joyce holds a bachelor's degree in psychology from Stanford University and master's degrees in environmental studies and in public and private management, both from Yale University. Her annual salary at the UI will be $82,000.

Lois Geist, associate professor of internal medicine and chair of the ombudsperson search committee, said Joyce impressed the committee with her mediation and listening skills and her leadership potential.

"She is passionate about dispute resolution and is dedicated to helping others resolve their problems," Geist said. "Her fresh perspective along with her outstanding management experience will be beneficial to the UI and the Office of the Ombudsperson."

Established in 1985, the Office of the Ombudsperson serves students, faculty, and staff by offering a confidential, neutral, and independent dispute resolution service. The ombudsperson investigates claims of unfair treatment or erroneous procedure and serves as a neutral and detached listener, information resource, adviser, intermediary, and mediator. The ombudsperson considers all sides of a question impartially and objectively and strives to ensure that all members of the University community receive fair and equitable treatment within the University system.

"I am eager to welcome Cynthia to the University at the end of the summer and have every confidence that she will continue the strong tradition of excellence built in the Office of the Ombudsperson over the last 20 years," Skorton said.

STORY SOURCE: University of Iowa News Services, 300 Plaza Centre One, Suite 371, Iowa City, Iowa 52242-2500.

MEDIA CONTACT: Mary Geraghty Kenyon, 319-384-0011,